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Is Marriage Obligatory?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Archippus, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Is Marriage Obligatory?

    In a discussion on marriage in my Bible study group, our youth pastor suggested that marriage is encouraged by the Bible, and that we as Christians (speaking to a group of teenagers) should plan to marry and have children in our lifetimes. He cited this verse:

    Genesis 9:7
    As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.

    I thought of Paul's advice in 1 Corinthians:

    1 Corinthians 7:8-9
    Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    From Paul's advice, I gather that marriage should actually be the exception, not the rule. As for the verse in Genesis, God was speaking directly to Noah and his sons, in a time when the population was very low, and it was crucial to the survival of humans that the advice be followed. Nowadays our population is plenty large enough.

    What are some other perspectives on this? Are there other verses dealing with the subject?
  2. Archippus, I didn't catch what you're looking for, exactly. Can you elaborate on it a little more? :)
  3. Paul always has good advice.
    It is good to stay unmarried, if you do, you can focus much more of your attention towards God. If everyone stayed single starting today, in 100 years, there would be only a few very old people left with no one to take care of them.

    When someone marries and has kids, they need to spend a lot of their time and attention towards their family and less attention towards God. I believe very few are called to stay single. And some of those people have burned with passion. They should have married and not got caught up in the sins they did.

    So… I believe everyone should plan on getting married, unless you have a clear message from God to stay single.
  4. Seems to me your youth pastor isn't properly taking context into account in this case, as you have noted. However, since MOST people seem to get married and have families, it is good for young people to give serious thought to their dating and relational practices in light of their potential future families. Marriage and family also provide an environment of growing and learning which teaches us about ourselves and, since marriage is a reflection of Christ and the Church, as Paul talked about in Galatians 5, it teaches us about our relationship with Him.

    The bottom line is that whether one remains single or marries, he or she is to lead a life in that context that glorifies God. In either case, Paul says that one will do well. The single person can single-mindedly focus all his or her attention on ministering to others. The married individual focuses their time, energy, and resources into and through the marriage in their service to God. Neither marriage nor singleness should be used as a context for being selfishly indulgent. Honor God in whichever state you are, and you will be blessed.
  5. WhoAmI reminded me of another point. Why should all the non-Christians have all the kids? If we don't marry and contribute our "fair share", we might find ourselves being "squeezed out" of the earth.
  6. As in the last bit of the post, just some other perspectives or verses that I might have missed. There might be some passages that deal with this in more detail; after all, I only referenced two, and I think that is an understatement of the importance of the topic.

    Like you said in the second sentence, isn't remaining single more conducive to serving God efficiently? It seems like your points contradict, though they all make sense individually. Do you mean the duty to elders in need of care would outweigh the spiritual advantages of staying single?

    If staying single is thought of mainly in the context of serving God, would a call to serve God in general count as a call to stay single?

    I should add that I had to paraphrase a lot about my youth pastor. The discussion was branching out in different directions, and that was just one point about which I was dubious. Some of the other teenagers also suggested that same verse, and probably others. I just don't remember all of the details.

    Good points. The main focus in the Bible study discussion might have been on what is best for the church, not necessarily according to Paul's advice. I know some churches stress large families more in an attempt to grow fast.

    Statistically I think Christians have more children per capita, but I don't know where I might have seen those figures.

    As for being "squeezed out," it could be a better approach to not have as many children but focus our energies on converting adults. One child takes years and a lot of money to bring up, while you can convert a great number of people using the same time and resources. In turn, the converted adults would not bring up their own children as nonbelievers, so the increase would be exponential.
  7. In the beginning God said man needed help meet of himself- I do not think that has changed for the most part. Some do have the gift of celebicy and can serve God unimpeded by natural drives- for others it is better to marry than to burn. In my own life being married has been one of the best things I ever did and my sweetie helps keep me on the straight and narrow path.
  8. All I was saying was this… if people stayed single and quit having children, the human race would be extinct in about 100 years. The Bible doesn’t say it is going to end like that. So… we need to keep the earth populated.

    No. Every Christian is called to serve God in one way or another. Some are called to serve God by having large families. Some are called to serve God single. Some are called to serve God single until later in life. Some are called… the list goes on. God has no limits in His plan.
  9. True. Concerning the population, however, we might not need to keep it growing nearly as much as we do. Striving towards the goal mentioned in the Bible, that of sending the message to all the remote parts of the earth, it might be more efficient to convert more adults and have fewer children. Then, instead of just outnumbering nonbelievers, we can make them believers as well.
  10. Paul encouraged his readers to remain single, if they could, because of the extreem persecution of the times. Believers at this time were better off if they remained single.
  11. As with everything with Paul, we have to think about who he was talking to, in what context, and why?
    Marriage was created by God, it is His perfect plan, and the untiy and oneness of marriage reflects the Godhead,
    however, some people are called to celibacy as a gift from God,
    they and only they, should stay single.
    It is better in the sense that the can totally dedicate themselves to God and His business, whereas those of us that are married have to be concerned about provision for our families etc.
    It is one thing to go without as an individual, but quite another to have a family that needs things.
  12. God talks early in the bible about it is good to be single.:)
  13. It is great to be single !
    But to those who are married, I have a question.
    Did you know you were going to be married?
    Did you feel it when you were younger?
    I'm almost 20 and have had many relationships before joining the family of God through Christ, and have never felt that I belong in a relationship. Now I really feel in a relationship with God's family :) Praise the Lord! But I have yet to know what God's will is for me, I'll see.

    Could it be that maybe, when I am ready, and when God wills it, He will send me someone that will worship Him with me, and that would feel right for me? That could be it, or maybe I am called to remain celibate. That's fine also :) God is my love.

    Yes Paul is right!! exactly right because I have experienced being in a relationship with a catholic girl while I was still learning about the greatness and glory of God but it has made me further from God, I was deceived :( but now my faith is much stronger and I have learned much since then. Also to add to that, If someone marries and their spouse praises and worships God even more than their partner then that is amazing!! I wish I could have that but I just don't see myself settling down and having a wife.
    I do want that! to love my wife and be with one and become one in the flesh, but I can't see it happening to me even though I would like that, it all depends on what my Father wants. Maybe it's not time yet since God is working through me and preparing me for something big, I just know so..

    God bless!
  14. True X !:)
  15. Marriage or not.

    Lets now think heavily:
    1st Stage. Facts on the table would you be there if somebody preached successfully this form of Gospel to either or both of your parents? -This is one whole sphere of reasoning, even as the Bible magnifies the Father Son Relationship.

    2nd Stage. Every person slightly immature in reasoning and figuring out life affairs can only be kept. Or better, advance to keep himself only. Beyond there, one must smarten up before daring other people's lives to rely on him on lifetime and remain contented. Marriage is in other words a calling to more Accountability in life, and love unconditional, which is without rehearsals. -Denounciation to a lowly selfcentred focus.

    3rd Stage. Beyond here God selectively trains they who have excelled. He lifts them into a higher level of Accountability, through 'paying the price'- system of Grace. A worthy hard bite, into the Pastor's office, then Bishop, then Apostle. Etc. Christ told the Disciples at one time that they were not at all ready to go through the baptism that He will be going through. A Worthy Hard Bite after which the Church through ages has been entrusted Him. We are His, and indeed very SAFE in Him.

    4. There is the fourth and the fifth. Etc but about me;

    I am single by choice but for a while. I am living to show love in all spheres, tirelessly, and thus marriage is in plan. And more, legally.
  16. for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
  17. Thanks for all the responses. I gather that marriage is very much dependent on a case-by-case basis.
  18. society is still aggainst marriage,and the pressures are still the same.:eek:
  19. It seems to me that society brings a lot of pressure towards marriage, not against it. Do you mean secular society or Christian society?
  20. It really depends on the society as I see more people shaking up then getting married.

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