Would You Rather?: Marriage vs Singleness

Would you rather is a fun game to play, particularly when getting to know someone. A person is asked to choose betwen two things of equal desiring—making it hard to decide and opening dialouge as to why the person chooses the option they choose. Recently I stumbled accross several versions of "Would You Rather?: Bible Edition" and found the questions quite intriguing. I've decided to answer one every Sabbath. Let me know your answer to today's "Would You Rather?" in the comment section.

Would you rather be single your whole life or married to an unfaithful spouse?

Answer: It's complicated

Backstory

Paul

Many of God's people never took a spouse, but Paul is perhaps the most famous. He even gives us reasons why singleness can be a good thing.[1]

Hosea/Christ

Hosea was called to married a prostitute—scholars debate whether he married a woman with a promiscuous past who was now faithful or if she remained promiscuous after their marriage. Either way, this marriage was symbolic of God's relationship with Israel and is symbolic of Christ's marriage to the Church. Both Israel and the Churhc struggle to be faithful to God.[2]

Rationale

This is a hard question for me because I have a "logical" answer and a "heart" answer. When I think about the question in it's totality, there are spiritual ramifications, and yet I feel like I would choose the one with negative spiritual consequences (singleness).

As Paul state in 1 Corinthians 7, there are benefits to being single. Most of the drawbacks are external. If you stay in community with your fellow believers, you should not be lonely and if you do not listen to the world's definition of success or happiness, you shouldn't feel incomplete without a spouse.

As someone who is single and has never been married, I am content in my current state and I don't think it would be "the end of the world" if I never married. This is why I lean toward this option.
I say to the unmarried[e] and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am.1 Corinthians 7:8 CSB
Many people in our society have experienced infidelity and based on conversations I've had with married people, I actually believe most couples work it out and remain married. Of course a one time slip up is very different than a serial cheater.

For this question, I imagines the relationship between Christ and the Church or God and Israel, where the spouse is continually breaking the covenant. In this case, of course pride drives me to think I wouldn't want that—if the other person doesn't respect the marriage covenant, why be married? On top of that, in our fallen world, such behavior can quickly get messy. From side babies and baby momma drama to incurable STIs/STDs, not being faithful can have consequences other than just hurt feelings!
The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord. Hosea 1:2 KJV

Of course, the catch here is that God always takes us back. God loves us to the point that He's willing to take on whatever baggage we pick up in the world while we're out doing our own thing without Him. This is extremely profound from a spiritual perspective and exemplifies the meaning of true unconditional love.

There is a Bible verse that says forgive so that you can be forgiven (Luke 6:37) and by choosing remain single, I feel like I'm walking on thin ice... If I can't forgive a cheating spouse, why should I expect God to forgive me for all the things I've done? This is why it's complicated. I want to to choose be married to an unfaithful spouse, but in my heart I'm sure I would choose be single.

Which would you rather do?

References and Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 7
  2. Hosea 1:2

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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