Is it wrong to desire to remain single?

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Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, so I hope this meets the requirements.

I often find in Christian, especially Reformed, circles that marriage is an inevitable step in life that is unavoidable. The common understanding is that you will invariably meet someone (usually by the time you're 25), fall in love and within a few months tie, the proverbial knot and produce a busload of noisy and burdensome covenant children. In all of this God is glorified, I am sure.

Having said that, I do not have any desire to restrict myself to this sort of existence. Marriage and children entail a denial of self that I don't believe I'll ever be willing to make. Am I wrong to feel this? Is it morally reprehensible for me to enjoy a life of solitude, freely exploring (when I wish) the varieties of experience a godly life has to offer, free from the burden of screaming babies?

Furthermore, if this is wrong, upon what basis is it so? Is the desire for a single life condemned in Scripture or is it merely another man-made "social norm" without any real logical coherence to it? Somehow I think it is the latter.


Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Mal 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

Heb 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all,

Marriage helps quell the natural desires:

1 Cor 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
1 Cor 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
1 Cor 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

Notice that in 1 Cor Paul clearly states that certain things are direct revelation of God. In this next verse, he says that THIS is not a commandment, but my opinion (on this issue):

1 Cor 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
1 Cor 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
1 Cor 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
1 Cor 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

So, Here's your answer! If you can abide without "burning" with passion or sinning............

[Edited on 4-28-2004 by Scott Bushey]


Puritan Board Freshman

I think you need to meditate on why God said, "It is not good for man to be alone." Nature teaches us that it is normal for adults to be married.

We were not designed to live for or unto ourselves. Marriage teaches us that there are others that are just as, if not more, important than ourselves. Marriage provides opportunity for us to regularly deny ourselves.

I believe there are those who have the gift of celibacy. That is to allow not to enjoy a life of solitude free from the burden of screaming babies, but to serve the Lord Jesus Christ unencumbered by the care of others.


Puritan Board Sophomore
I can't possibly see how someone can say that the desire to remain single is sinful. Paul obviously exhorted his contemporaries to remain single if possible. As Sundoulos pointed out, our "singleness" is to be used to better serve the Lord with.
I think your desire is just and proper, if only a bit abnormal. Paul knew that the responsibilities in marriage create a lot of stress and distraction; if you want to avoid that, then so be it. Someone might say, "Well, only if you desire to go overseas as a missionary, or preach the Gospel in a persecuted land where having a wife would be a burden, is it proper to desire to remain single."

But if your thinking is: "Without a wife, I won't be as tied down with the stress of making her happy, and hence I will be more free daily to devote myself to the Lord. Or- I won't have the occasional arguments with a spouse which can hamper my relationship with the Lord and hence I am more free. Or- I won't need to have the financial worry of providing for another, and therefore my opportunities are greater for living and serving the Lord."

If its anywhere along these lines, then who can say that it is wrong. I think the above is in keeping in spirit with what Paul was saying; so go for it! :chained:


Puritan Board Freshman
Living single is selfish, in my experience. If you're just bashful, or don't want to share your material wealth, get over it. But if you're really called to be single for the sake of the gospel (ie, you wouldn't want to drag a wife and family into danger), go for it. Take the Word with you into the remotest, most hideous places on God's earth.

The man who told me the gospel, which I believed, said Afghanistan was the most anti-christian horrible place on earth. That was in 1986. Perhaps you can stay single and change the world. Paul did.

My prayers are with you.


Puritan Board Freshman
Anon. Rex;

There's a right reason and a wrong reason to get married, and a right reason and a wrong reason to stay single. It sounds like you want to stay single for the wrong reason.

(For what it's worth, I'm single but I want to get married eventually. Still not sure if it's for the right or the wrong reasons.)


Puritan Board Doctor
Yes I read your entire post:sing: I thought because of your first sentence it was pretty rude. but thats just my wrong opinion.

no offense but you have no idea why I want to remain single for now. so please dont come up with a verdict before you see the evidence.

I want to remain single because:

a.) I dont know a reformed girl.
b.) Im not mature enough to be married or handle that responsibility.
c.) Im not finacially ready to support a wife let alone a child.
d.) It just doesnt matter that much to me as it does to most people who feel the need to hook up right away. I like my life the way it is its its busy enough.
e.) personal which deals with b.


[Edited on 5-8-2004 by Bladestunner316]

[Edited on 5-8-2004 by Bladestunner316]


Puritan Board Sophomore
Blade, when you are ready, I'm sure you'd be a good husband for a Christian lady.



Puritan Board Freshman
Blade, it makes totally and absolutely NO DIFFERENCE to me if you remain single or get married. That's between you and God. But if you wanted to marry my daughter, that would be a different story.:p
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