Thursday, July 30, 2015
Yes, It Is!
What could have the church shared with her instead? Well, they could have told her the words of the Apostle Paul, and how he says in 1 Corinthians 7 that if possible, it is better for someone to remain unmarried and be completely focused on the things of God. They could have shared the words of Jesus in Mark 12, that in heaven, there won't be the same concept of "marriage" as we know now because we will share that type of relationship with Christ, and with all Believers. They could have told her about Acts 2, and the joyful community of the early church through which one entered not through marriage but baptism, a family of faith. They could have shared the words of Revelation, and how virgins and unmarried people are given a high place of honor. They could have shared the stories of monks and nuns and ascetics, all godly people who devoted their lives to both total community and total celibacy.I agree with this very much, but to it would add one other thing. Churches need to help singles "grow up." I don't know how else to put it. Marriage brings some levels of maturity that are very difficult to obtain otherwise - at least in our current society. Marriage pulls one out of oneself in ways it is hard to imagine when single. The church can supply the necessary conditions to produce that maturity, but it often fails to do so.
Or they could have shared more soberly and honestly about marriage, and how even though marriage is good, it is not perfect. In addition to sharing about the wonders of marriage, they could have included a description of its inherent difficulties, that there are depths of pain and anger and hardship that are reserved only for married couples. Instead of hiding the difficulties of marriage behind the curtains of euphemism and propriety, they could have been honest and open, and in so doing, revealed to single people that marriage is not at all a haven from sin, hurt, loss, loneliness, or pain, not in the least.
Or they could have simply said, "You know, it's totally okay to be single."
I think that is the point that Chin is trying to make here. Rather than urge the single person to get married to "grow up," the church ought provide a sufficient community to allow the single person many of the same benefits. Not a "singles group" for crying out loud - they're awful. No, I'm talking about genuine community with ALL believers.
Think about it.