Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Celibacy is for the celibate

Tim Challies has an excellent review of Getting Serious About Getting Married by Debbie Maken. According to his review, Maken's book teaches that single men ought to pursue marriage unless they are certain that they are indeed called to a life of celibacy. For a guy to just hang around women without any thought of marrying any of them (as I did during my past series of platonic friendships) ought not be an option. To this, I would add my opinion that a single woman ought to be about the business of finding a husband unless she's likewise persuaded that she's called to lifelong singleness.

As I've written recently, there's too much "Hollywood thinking" going on in the heads and hearts of Christian singles. Far too often, we meet members of the opposite sex and evaluate them on whether or not we find them attractive instead of on whether they may be suitable. We put the cart before the horse, thinking that romance ought to come before marriage, failing to understand that romance is a mutual duty shared by the husband and wife once they enter into the wedded state. Over the years since I began my long-overdue search for a wife, I've been saddened to see how many single gals are just as confused on this point as I once was. So many Christian guys and gals think of the pursuit of a godly spouse as a romantic game rather than as a God-ordained responsibility.

Although not all members of the opposite sex are suitable marriage partners, and compatibility on certain matters--especially spiritual matters--is important, there's plenty of matters that singles often think of as being important that, to be perfectly honest, don't matter worth a hill of beans. Many of these "essentials" are little more than matters of personal taste. Frankly, I'm ashamed by some of the silly little excuses I've used to reject perfectly fine women, and I'm sure some single women have likewise rejected decent guys for equally silly reasons. If this is the case with you or me, we ought to quit blaming God for not giving us a mate; instead, we ought to look in the mirror and take a good look at the real reason for our so-called disappointments.

To my fellow Christian singles, both guys and gals, I urge you to quit majoring on the minors, and to prayerfully search the Scriptures to find out what you ought to be looking for as you busy yourself in the search for a spouse. Unless you are truly called to lifelong singleness, your business and mine is to marry, so we need to put aside any worldly thinking that might be hindering us from this vital task.

To my married friends, I urge you to pray for your single brothers and sisters and to do whatever is within your power to assist and encourage their pursuit for suitable spouses. We need your prayers, help, and encouragement.

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