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Would You Rather?: Marriage vs. Singleness

Original Publication Date
October 3, 2020
Updated
Sep 26, 2022 3:45 AM
Tags
Would You RatherRelationshipsLoveRepentance and ForgivenessHoseaPaul
Bible References
Hosea 1:2; 1 Corinthians 7
Status
Done
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This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on October 3, 2020 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.
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Table of Contents
Would you rather be single your whole life or married to an unfaithful spouse?
Would you rather be single your whole life or married to an unfaithful spouse?

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 prostituteβ€”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 Church struggle to be faithful to God.[2]

My Answer

It’s complicated.

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 its totality, there are spiritual ramifications, and yet I feel like I would choose the one with negative spiritual consequences (singleness).

As Paul states 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.

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 imagine 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 thatβ€”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.

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.

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Would you rather is a fun game to play, particularly when getting to know someone. A person is asked to choose between two things of equal desiringβ€”making it hard to decide and opening dialogue as to why the person chooses the option they choose. Recently I stumbled across 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.

References & Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 7
  2. Hosea 1:2

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