Does God Want Everyone To Get Married?

“Marriage” series: (post #3)

(Note from the author: This blog post was originally written as part of a series on the subject of marriage. I wrote the post to answer the question, “What if I don’t want to get married?” However, in the years since I published the post, I’ve noticed that many of the comments have come from people asking the question, “What about the person who wants to get married but can’t?” The post really doesn’t speak to that question, but several of the comments, as well as my replies to those comments, do. So if that’s the help you are looking for, take the time to read through the comments and replies. And be sure to click on the “older comments” to access them as well. We’ve had a pretty spirited debate on the whole subject over the years, and my prayer is that God will use it all to help you find the answers you need. Thanks for reading, and God bless you.)  Pastor Russell Mckinney      

Is it God’s will for each person to get married? The Bible’s answer is, no. However, the reason the Bible names for remaining unmarried is an interesting one. It has to do with the single person being able to devote more time, energy, and resources to service to Christ.

The passage on this is 1 Corinthians 7:25-40. In those verses, the apostle Paul presents the advantages of remaining, as he puts it, “without care.” He says of the man:

But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord — how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world — how he may please his wife, (1 Corinthians 7:32-33, N.K.J.V.)

Then Paul applies this same thought to the woman, as he says:

There is a difference between a wife and a virgin (Paul’s term for an unmarried woman). The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world — how she may please her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:34, N.K.J.V.)

Needless to say, we shouldn’t take these verses as an indictment against married people. After all, God’s ordained way of propagating the human race is through marriage, and a person can certainly be married and still serve the Lord. But Paul’s point is a good one. Anyone who has been married for one week knows that married life carries many responsibilities with it, and those responsibilities will eat away at time, energy, and resources that could be spent on matters that are more obviously spiritual.

I purposely use that word “obviously” because the fact is that every aspect of a Christian’s life is, in a very real sense, “spiritual.” This same Paul wrote in Colossians 3:17:

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (N.K.J.V.)

He says basically the same thing in 1 Corinthians 10:31:

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (N.K.J.V.)

Those two verses remind me of that little story about the woman standing at the sink, washing the dishes. A sign above her sink reads, “Divine service rendered here three times daily.” You see, even a marriage responsibility such as washing the dishes can become “divine service” when it is done to the glory of God.

But what Paul is saying in the 1 Corinthians chapter 7 passage is that single people can do certain things for the Lord that married people just can’t do. I was a pastor before I got married. Back in those days I could sit up all night working on sermons and not worry about bothering anybody else in the house. Do you know what made that possible? It was the fact that there wasn’t anybody else in the house.

Similarly, I could pray out loud while I laid in bed. I could plan my pastoral visitation schedule with no thought whatsoever to what was going on with my wife’s day. I didn’t have to concern myself with the cares of grocery shopping for anyone other than myself. I didn’t have two boys to get to their ball practices. I didn’t have a mother-in-law or a father-in-law to include in my plans for the holidays. I was, to use Paul’s words, “without care,” except the care I put into serving Christ.

In Matthew 19:12, Jesus gives this same teaching. He says:

“For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” (N.K.J.V.)

With these words, Jesus describes three different types of eunuch. First, the eunuchs who were born eunuchs would be those people who shouldn’t get married because of physical or mental problems from birth. Second, the eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men were men who were castrated in order to serve in royal service to a king. (In the East, it was common practice to castrate certain servants, particularly those who were placed in charge of kings’ harems.) Third, the eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake are those who have voluntarily committed themselves to celibacy and remaining unmarried in order that they might completely give themselves over to service to the Lord.

And so we see that there is nothing wrong with remaining single. However, if you are going to go that route in life, you must ask yourself the question, “Why do I want to remain single?” Is it because you don’t want to be “tied down” to one person? Is it because you want to be free to “play the field”? Is it because you are far too self-absorbed and self-centered to ever think about sharing your life with someone else? Or is it because you want to keep yourself free so that you can devote 100% of your time, energy, and resources to Jesus?

If that last one is your motivation, then you are in the good company of Christians such as Paul, people whom God is able to use in ways that are different than the ways in which He uses married people. You see, remaining single is certainly nothing of which you should be ashamed. You just need to make sure that you take the time, energy, and resources that you would spend on a spouse (and potentially children) and spend them exclusively on Jesus.

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82 Responses to Does God Want Everyone To Get Married?

  1. Abigail says:

    Thank you for posting this teaching. I will be turning 25 in 2 weeks and its very disheartening to see my peers pursue married lives while i have not had the opportunity. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out what’s wrong with me that i am still single. But after reading this I agree it is not God’s will for everyone to be married & it’s not a bad thing if you’re not. I don’t know what God has planned for me yet but i will keep my heart open to what He wants & keep praying for guidance.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Let me thank you for your kind words and interest in the post. I have no idea whether or not marriage is in God’s plan for your life. That’s between you and Him. But I will say that when Tonya and I got married I was 27 and she was 25. So, it doesn’t have to happen in the late teens or early twenties. We are happily married and last month we celebrated our sixteenth anniversary. I tell you this just to help you stay open-minded about the issue of marriage. It may very well be that God’s plan for you doesn’t include marriage. If that’s the case, that’s fine. My point is simply that your age isn’t the tell-tale sign just yet.

  2. Melissa says:

    Thank you for putting this up. I have read other sites about this matter and by far yours is the most encouraging. I am currently 38 and I struggle with being single. My friends and family constantly ask me what’s wrong with me and I always tell them “God’s will be done.” I wish that they would stop. However, I must say that my heart is becoming hardened and I’m not sure on how to stop it. I do not want to be bitter. I do not want to put up a wall between myself and God, but everyday it get harder. I am praying and asking God for guidance. Do you have any advice?

    • russellmckinney says:

      I did this relatively short post as a part of a series on marriage. I’ll confess that when I wrote it I had absolutely no idea that it would become my most read post ever (by a wide margin). There is hardly a day that goes by that someone doesn’t find it and read it. Obviously, it answers a question that a whole bunch of people are asking. I had no idea that it was such a relevant topic.

      I tell you this to let you know that you are not on an island alone when it comes to struggling with singleness. As for advice, I’ll offer something you may have already heard. If you have a genuine desire to be married, the thing to do is continue to live for Christ all out while you are single. Even more than just begrudgingly obeying His commands and emulating His example, you should work to get to a place where you delight yourself in serving Him. By the way, that includes delighting yourself in His perfect will and plan for your life. By doing this, you can then claim the very real promise of Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

      I know that it’s easy for me to tell somebody else to delight herself in the Lord, but I prayed before I started writing this reply. I asked the Lord to give me what He wanted me to say to you. And that’s the verse that He immediately brought to my mind.

  3. Comfortable says:

    This was so refreshing to read. I recently told my boyfriend of 8 months that I was not interested in being married. I am sure that is because of the things that I see such as, he has family drama, our family will be blended not sure that I am ready, finances will fall on me, etc… Just overall I think I would be the provider and we both need to be providers. I am not excluding all men, but I rather be single if I have to remain as the sole provider. I hope I do not sound selfish, but I rather not start something that I will not later be able to continue. Had to vent this a lot to think about.

    • russellmckinney says:

      I’m glad the post was a help to you. I have absolutely no idea what God’s plan for your life is and it’s none of my business anyway. I’ll just encourage you to commit your life fully to Christ and wholeheartedly seek His will regarding marriage, career, and everything else. If we will present our bodies to the Lord the way Romans 12:1-2 describes, He’ll get us to all the places we need to be. Thanks so much for commenting.

  4. Cassandre says:

    I read this hoping that it would bring me comfort but I’m sorry to write that it doesn’t. For most of my life I thought I would end up married one day or at least in a healthy loving relationship that would lead to marriage. But I’m 27, the only relationships I’ve had were abusive and I’ve been single for almost 7 years now. Luckily I’m still young enough that people don’t ask me when I’ll get married or have children but I know I only have a few years left. I thought reading your article might help me find peace with being single but it only reminds me of how lonely I am and how much I truly want to be in a relationship. I’ve read about the “gift of loneliness” and prayed that I had it but I clearly don’t. I trust God with every aspect of my life but when it comes to this subject I’m incredibly terrified. I’m terrified that God might send me the man He wants for me but I won’t recognize him. And I’m terrified that if it is in God’s plan for me to be single then I’ll never get used to it and will be constantly suffering on my own while everyone around me is happy. I don’t date cause I’ve developed an intense fear of being vulnerable to men. I also don’t date cause it seems like I have all these personality disorders that make me keep men at arms length. I simply confused and very upset.

    • russellmckinney says:

      When I wrote this post I really wasn’t thinking of coming at the subject from the comfort level. My goal was simply to relay in a pretty basic way what the Bible teaches on the subject.

      With that said, I would offer you two pieces of advice. First, you can’t make the pursuit of anything a “god” in your life. That’s a form of idolatry. And from what you’ve written it sounds like you might at least be dancing on the edge of doing that.

      Second, don’t give up on the Lord in regards to you getting married. He’s never in a hurry and nothing we can do will speed up His plan. Believe me, I’ve tried to speed Him up. It doesn’t work.

      What is His will for your life? I have no clue. Does He want you to someday get married? I don’t know. What I do know is that you are too young to be depressing yourself into thinking doom-and-gloom thoughts about a life of singleness. It seems to me that if you have that great a desire to marry, God knows that about you and has a plan to meet that desire. After all, He knows you better than you know yourself and loves you more than you love yourself. Just food for thought.

      • Cassandre says:

        I’m not dancing on the edge of idolatry. I never even implied that so I don’t understand your piece of advice.
        Thanks for the second.

      • russellmckinney says:

        Sorry, didn’t mean to read something in there that wasn’t there. My mind went that way because of the fervency of your words. I just sort of got the impression that you were devoting an inordinate amount of thought and energy to the idea of you getting married. You also say, “I trust God with every aspect of my life but…” The last word of that line is kind of what I was focusing upon. Anyway, my apologies. It’s hard to offer any kind of reasonable counsel to someone you don’t know.

        With that said, I’ll take one last swing at it. You use the word “terrified” three times in your first comment. Try to claim the words of 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mine.” That verse has helped me in a lot of situations. God bless.

      • Jess says:

        Dear sister,
        I am 31 and have long thought all of the above also and can really relate to this. I would like to share with you a couple of things I have learnt in the hope you will be able to see if this is also you and hopefully help. What you’ve written is extremely depressing thoughts and also long what I have thought and WORSE which I’m sure you have also. It took me a while to understand I had depression and what that meant especially as a Christian. I learnt that depression stemmed from negative thoughts, the negative thoughts stemmed from sexual abuse and repeated horrible experiences and so I continued believing the worst because that’s what I had in my life, and also being v confused and beating myself up about it. I have always felt lonely yet been saved and genuinely tried to be on the right path. Despite hating men for what they did, I desperately wanted one who was different who would comfort me… (In fact, that’s God I needed) This was the first verse God laid on my heart as a starting point to help me…

        ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.’ Phil 4:8

        Controlling thoughts are harder than you think, there is great power in thoughts… when you rein them in, things will improve.

        Amongst other things, I left my home and crossed the world to a country where I was alone, to find peace, in the hope that God would challenge me and show me something new – I was broken even as a saved person. I got lost trying to find a church and ended up in a concrete wilderness, it was getting dark, the last bus home had gone and I felt so lonely and vulnerable AGAIN. People would laugh at this but I cried and cried. I have long felt these awful feelings – so lonely in the wilderness, that this wouldn’t have happened if I had a husband lol. Life had been so hard alone and I wondered where God was. I believe that God challenged me and asked me ‘WHO AM I, WHO AM I THAT YOU SERVE?’ and I realised my negative thoughts were all influenced by the world and wrong from the past (even nasty things Christian people said) and were all lies that I believed because of bad experiences. I felt ashamed of my thoughts and belief and cried with happiness, remembering who God is, how God saved me and thanked God for who He is. I believed he would be my help. I realised I was not alone and shortly after a taxi pulled up! 🙂 I could write for hours about the amazing things God has done for me, in response to a passing prayer in belief – I didn’t how God would make some things work, but I knew he could AND HE DID SOOOO MIRACULOUSLY!!!

        Then there is also something I have wasted far too much time being hugely stressed about as a Christian and that is – God’s PLAN. Maybe the pastor would also comment as I have deeply appreciated his sensitive thoughts – (so many married people are so insensitive as to what’s involved). There are two interpretations of that verse in Jeremiah 29:11 – the KJV speaks of God’s ‘thoughts’ towards us and every other version of the Bile talks of ‘plans’. These are two different things – plans and thoughts. What is the truth? I find ‘plans’ as being rather superstitious… The Bible directs how are are to live – the instructions are there, the parables… God asks we don’t sin and He does give us choices. The man with one talent had a choice to bury or invest… God ASKED Solomon what he wanted when he became King, God didn’t tell him, but it pleased God that he asked for wisdom. Also, God gave Hezekiah what he wanted (even though it might have been better if he didn’t have his life extended as he witnessed awful things)… Sometimes God has told people what to do, other times, we are to ask for wisdom to make decisions according to lessons from the Bible… I know what people mean by plan as I have sometimes banged my head against a wall trying to go down a career route for example and the door is closed, but that is exciting because God knows what we need and what is best for us, HE LOVES US and a better thing will come up. Now, being a bit older I can see that All things DO ‘work together for good to them that love God’. Sometimes God has given me what I wanted (ie a boyf) just to show me that it might not necessarily be good for me lol and that it’s Him I need.

        If I had met a man when I wanted him, when I was mugged and in the gutter… would it have worked out and been a good thing, when I had such negative thoughts and was so obsessed with having a relationship? NO – I would have ‘consumed him with my lusts’ and probably sickened the poor guy lol I would have learnt less of God’s goodness (I really believe that) and missed out on revelations from God that have strengthened me and given me more faith so I can say that ‘my redeemer liveth’ which I now have. Could I have been my best for this man? A man ain’t the answer. A lot of my friends now (10 years down the line after marriage) are envious of my travelling experiences… What does that say? I now understand God’s love and that He has good things for me. As a teenager I always asked for God’s best and I had felt like that verse which talks about being ‘rewarded evil for good’ but we have to fight the good fight and it’s worth it.

        I could recommend some helpful Christian books on depression if you think this might be you – it did help me as a starting point as well as online sermons (when my head was so fried I couldn’t read). I am so glad to be away from home and a church where you are obviously weird, ugly and have nothing to offer if you are unmarried and I can get on with an exciting life that pleases God, where I am challenged and learn things some married people haven’t. For the first time in my life, I have now have faith and hope instead of the despair of the world which looks on my circumstance and negative self beliefs – despite being a Christian, I had those beliefs. Knowing God and His gentleness and love, I do believe God has someone for you if those feelings persist – God doesn’t mean harm for us, He wants to heal us and show us better – we must listen and seek and when we have true belief ‘without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him’ I agree with that verse earlier, God will give us the desires of our hearts.

        I still have bad days, but they are less… Since God showed me I had depression and showed me practical ways out of it, I now am hopeful about seeing good in life (this is what God promises) and I have seen good things. God has shown me what was wrong in such a short space of time since I moved away and corrected me so I have a better life. He can do this for you and show you what needs to happen for peace etc. It can take long to start, but don’t lose heart, you never know when you’l make a big step quickly sometimes.

        I hope in some way this has been helpful and I wish I could make you feel love – sometimes in churches single people can feel isolated and a small piece of love that other ‘marrieds’ lol take for granted, we treasure forever… I pray that single people will not fall into dangers because of needs and insecurities. I would like to point out too that sometimes some churches make us feel MORE weird and insecure too and it can be very difficult for a single person to throw themselves into Christian work when our singleness is highlighted every time we step through the door, Christian people say things, they can be proud and insular too and we can already feel we have nothing to offer because we aren’t ‘good enough’ for a man, when Paul says otherwise!!!! Sooo many single people backslide, end up in clubs, bad relationships or in alcohol etc and waste years looking for what everyone else has and then are FURTHER cut off from the church. These churches need to get real and open their eyes.

        God has good for you. He loves you x

  5. omeneke says:

    I am presently still single and in my early 30’s but I have scripture that just keeps me going and that is the scripture that says none shall lack its mate and I can not fufil that part of the scripture negatively but in a positive way, meaning that I will definately get married cos its the will of God for me.

  6. douglas h. brown says:

    dont you think its in the heart more then what you from god to get married

    • russellmckinney says:

      If a person is a genuine Christian, and if it’s God’s will for the person to get married, I certainly would agree that God will give that person a desire for marriage. Philippians 2:13 says: “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” That means that God, working through the indwelling Holy Spirit, implants within the Christian the desire to do His will. One example of that would be Him implanting within the Christian the desire to get married.

  7. c says:

    it’s hard for those of us born that way: because it isn’t a choice really. My disabilities make it so I haven’t been able to marry. I suffered great anger at the thought of being held accountable for sin when I can not marry. I wanted to marry because I didn’t want to sin. It’s not my choice. Maybe you can do an article on disabilities someday,

    • russellmckinney says:

      I won’t even pretend to know what all you’ve gone through concerning this subject. I also don’t know why God has allowed a disability to be a major part of your life. What I do know is that most of us, in one way or another, have been disappointed by God. An excellent Christian author named Phillip Yancey even wrote a book entitled Disappointment With God. You might consider buying that book and reading it. Yancey addresses the whole subject far better than I can.

  8. ona says:

    this is in response to c. i am profoundly disabled (in other words, i am trapped in my body). i do know how it feels. while others have choices, we (the profoundly disabled) have almost none. i am only allowed to make the simplest choices in life, like choosing what to wear. i am not free to choose where to live (i will be living with my parents for the remainder of my life) because my condition is too severe to allow for independance. i certainly will never be able to even consider marriage or dating relationships.
    let me be honest- i believe in god, however i feel extreme anger at what he has done to my body (not creating me “whole” like others) and the (very cruel) choices he has made on my behalf. i do not feel that it is wrong to say god has been cruel to me. i feel that it is factual. i still serve god but it is a painful and agonizing type of serving god. nothing about this is easy or happy. the only thing helpful to me is to remember that many of us are suffering innocently and many people and animals throughout all of time have suffered unjustly. i believe ultimately that severe conditions like mine are one type of martyrdom, a particularly terrible kind, because the martyrdom lasts the full lifespan.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thank you so much for your response. I’m sure that it will help others to know that they aren’t the only ones who’d love to get married but never will because of physical disabilities. As I think about your reply three passages come to my mind. First, in Exodus 4:11 God asks Moses, “…who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” Obviously, the handicapped and disabled from birth are created by God just as surely as everyone else is. Second, in Matthew 19:12, in Jesus’ most extensive teaching on marriage, He says, “For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb…” This is clearly a reference to those who will never marry because they were born somehow handicapped or disabled. And then third, in John 9:1-3 Jesus explains that the blindness of a man born blind wasn’t the result of sin on his part or his parents’ part. The blindness was so that the works of God could be revealed in the man. In other words, the handicap was all a part of God’s will for the man’s life. I realize that none of these passages changes your situation or makes marriage possible for you, but at least they can help you understand your situation from a Biblical perspective.

  9. ann says:

    I so appreciated the explanations about God and marriage. I am 50, never married and always thought when I was younger that I would be married and have many children. It just didn’t happen. I suppose it could have happened if I were to turn a blind eye to my suitors infidelities. I was not willing to accept a fake commitment in order to have the dream of marriage and children. I often wonder if that was the right choice. I didn’t want to be married to be divorced. I’ve known many men in my lifetime and I can count on one hand the number of them that were faithful to their wives. Maybe I wasn’t aware of the committed men when they were around? I don’t know. I do know that I will try to to live an honorable life. At this stage of my life I don’t really want to me married. Is that honorable to God to decide not to be married or do you think God wants us to be open to marriage at all stages of our lives?

    • russellmckinney says:

      I once heard a preacher say the faith walk is on a need-to-know basis. So, with that in mind I’d say that it’s always good to remain generally open-minded about anything pertaining to God’s will and plan for your life. After all, He does seem to throw us “curve balls” every now and then to keep us looking to Him. But if God ever does want you to get married I do believe He will grant you the desire to do so. And if you never feel such a desire, then don’t worry about it. Just continue to serve Him and be perfectly content as a single. Nothing wrong with that.

  10. Hayden!Niehus says:

    Hello, I’m sixteen and I came here just wondering what God thinks about relationships. I’m not sure if this topic is still active,Russell, but I feel like I would like to get married and i have an interest in being loved by another human being. I realize I have a lot of time,maybe, for God to use me for is will, but honestly I don’t understand how I can give God my life if I’m sharing it with another person. I used to not want to be married but lately I have had a desire to want love from others. You speak of God planting seeds for the desire to marry but I’m unsure of what he wants.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Procreation through marriage is, quite simply, God’s plan for the propagation of the human race He created. This in no way invalidates the very real advantages and blessings of singleness, but it does show beyond doubt that marriage holds a high place in God’s eyes. Think about it, Adam was single and God could have left him that way, but He didn’t. So while it’s true that single people are better able to serve God in certain ways, it’s not true that a married person can’t be fully submitted to God. The fact is, the married person can serve God in certain ways the single person can’t. Furthermore, no one would argue that Jesus isn’t fully submitted to God, and yet even Jesus has a bride (the church).

  11. Vanessa xx says:

    Why is it that married ppl are praised up and if single ppl want to get married all we are told is “our true spouse is christ” ( not that its a bad thing) so what about the married people? Why arent they told that their true spouse is christ too? Sorry i dont mean to rant but im so sick of marrieds being praised up and rallied around whilst brushing off singles with not enough encouraging words and sympathising with thier loneliness. Not that ur doing so i just want your opinion because im 25, single for 5 yrs and lookd down on because i dont get dates AT ALL & ppl i kno r either in long relationships or marriedi . I cant last 4 mnths with a guy & christian men are the same as worldly men i dont understand y this is happening to me. Ive grown bitter 😦

    • russellmckinney says:

      First, let me say that you are right that married Christians should understand that Christ is their spouse. Ephesians 5:22-33, Revelation 19:6-9, and Revelation 21:9 teach that the church is the bride (wife) and Christ is the bridegroom (husband). For all our talk about marriage, the only marriage in heaven will be the one between Jesus and His church (Matthew 22:30). Marriage between a man and a woman is a temporal, earthly relationship, not an eternal one (despite what the Mormon church teaches). So, yes, the married Christian’s first love should be Jesus. Of course, the truth is that if a spouse puts Jesus FIRST in their life, he or she will be a far better spouse for it. I mean, it’s not like Jesus is going to lead that spouse to commit adultery, engage in spousal abuse (physical or verbal), or neglect the other spouse in any way. As Adrian Rogers used to say about his wife Joyce, “She is #2 in my life and she knows it. Jesus is #1. But I am a better husband to her because He is #1 and she is #2.”

      Second, I hear you that, “…christian men are the same as worldly men…” You are overgeneralizing there a bit, but your basic premise is far too true. The lives of many single, professing Christians are indeed marked by premarital sex, drunkenness, drugs, vulgar language, etc. As a pastor, this has always been a source of frustration for me. And I don’t claim to have a solution to the problem either. I’m just admitting that you aren’t totally off base in your complaint. It’s not all in your head, that’s for sure.

      But, third, let me encourage you to seek the Lord’s help to lose your bitterness. I myself was 27 when I got married, and so I do know something about living a life of holiness as a single and waiting on God to send someone my way. I’ve been on bad blind dates, dressed up for the grocery store in hopes of meeting a girl there, gone to the movies by myself, foolishly chased relationships that were dead ends, and so on. I tell you all this to let you know that you aren’t the first 25-year-old who has gone through what you are going through. Is it God’s will for you to ever marry? I don’t know. If it is His will, how much longer will it be before you meet the man He has in mind for you? I don’t know that either. But what I do know is that bitterness isn’t the answer. So go to God in prayer and voice your complaints to Him. Be more “real” with Him than you’ve ever been. Tell Him that you have a problem with the way He is running the universe. Tell Him that you have grown bitter. Tell Him how frustrated you are. Tell Him how shabbily that supposedly Christian guy treated you. Tell Him how lonely you are. And then listen for His still, small voice as He replies to you. Don’t just talk at God, talk with Him. You see, He is the only one who has the answers and healing that you need.

      • Vanessa xx says:

        Thanks for your reply
        I must also add that it doesnt help that a church i used to go to would announce events that are & i quote “for married and courting couples only” and i thought it was a bit insensitive, oh well
        This is the encouragement i needed not a brushoff. Once again thanks

  12. Amanda MacNicol says:

    I do know that we are not supposed to have fear in our hearts, but my biggest fear is that I won’t marry. I am a single mother, 30, with a 7 year old daughter. I have prayed for as long as I can for God to bring me the person I am supposed to be with, I found contentment in my single life, I was active in church, and I was happy. Then a while later, I met my ex. I thought, at first, that he was going to be a wonderful man. He ended up emotionally abusing me, and I did go to therapy for this. I grew up with a father who was present, but he was abusive as well. I have not spoken to him since November 2009, and I’m sad to say that the family knows the only time I want to hear from them about him is when he has passed. My daughter’s father left us, and I have prayed that she have a positive father so she does not have the same childhood that I had to endure. I make sure that she is in church often, but because of my work/school schedule, I cannot come to church as I would like, but I do know that God has a plan.

    When I was 17,I was in my first car accident. The semi hit me on my driver’s side at a slight angle. The entire driver’s side of my car was ripped off, but I walked away. I truly did not know what had happened, or how bad it was, until I got out of the car and looked. I didn’t even have a headache from the wreck, but I did get a little stressed which eventually lead to one. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was found early enough that the DR said that surgery would be sufficient. I had the surgery, and everything seemed OK. I went back to the DR a few weeks later, and he said that it had come back and was worse. I called my pastor that night, and I had him get the entire church together to pray. A week later, I went in for more testing, and the cancer was gone. Even the scarring from the first surgery had greatly decreased. God healed me!

    Now, my question remains. I grew up without a loving or supportive father, and I do not want that for my child. She deserves to have a father, and she is coming to the age that not having one is bothering her, and she is saddened by it. She even said, “I prayed for a dog for about a month, and Rexie showed up (our rescue dog). I’ve been praying for a father longer than that, but God still hasn’t given me one. Why?” I keep telling her that it will happen in the right time, but my faith is faltering. I would go to a church, and the pastor would be wonderful, and I would find that I could trust him, but then he would leave the church. This has happened three times since I gave my life to God in my early twenties.

    My greatest fears are my daughter not having that father that she so desires, and that I will grow old and alone. I am a caring person, I want to have a family that is a loving and Christian family. I have prayed that God brings me to who HE wants for me. Yet, when I think that I have come to that point, it ends. Right now, I am looking for guidance. I am working to do what I am supposed to do, but sometimes I feel that I am being punished for my past mistakes and having a child while not being married first.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Amanda, I never quite know how to counsel the folks who comment on this post. I feel under qualified. But I do hear what you are saying and sympathize with your situation. It sounds like you’ve had more than your share of troubles in regards to males.

      As I always say, I don’t know what God’s will is for your life. That’s between you and Him. But what I do know is that He isn’t punishing you for mistakes you’ve made in the past. If you know Christ as Savior, ALL of your sins are forgiven. I’m not minimizing or excusing them; I’m just pointing out that it’s Satan who loves to bring up the past, not God. God is very much a God of the here and now, not to mention the future.

      I think the best counsel I can give you is to stay your course. It sounds like you’ve got the right attitude on the subject and you’re trying to be patient. As you say, sometimes everything just comes down to God’s timing. By the way, thanks for your honesty about your faith wavering. Too many people try to put up a big front in that regard when the reality is that their faith is just about gone. As I read the Bible I find that the Lord would rather have blunt honesty than fake falsehood. He can and will work with such honesty. Bank on it.

  13. tooty says:

    Hi, i been bitter lately because im 34 and not married to the man i have children with and been with for 15 yrs. we were engaged once but we didnt go fourth bc of financial problems. He believes that 2 can be married without no money and the money wll come but i believe going into a marriage without your own can set you for stress and divorce. love is the easy part for us but am wronge to not want to marry because were not financially ready. To me as a man he is not responsible enough for marriage but he has a good heart. im getting weary and bitter. Everyone around me is getting engaged or married and i want to be happy for them but i feel bad because i envy them. And alot of them have thier life together. Sometimes i think even if i love this man maybe i need to move on to someone more responsible and grow to love that person.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Well, you are describing a complex situation there, one in which only God can sort out His will. And I’m not Him. All I can do is offer some basic truths and general facts. First, it’s clear that you’ve made mistakes. Having sexual relations before marriage is sin. It’s not the unpardonable sin, but it’s sin. Second, you’re wrong in believing that finances should dictate when two people marry. I like the saying, “If something is God’s will, it’s His bill.” That simply means that when you do God’s will, He is obligated to meet any financial needs that come about in the wake of it. Third, I have no idea whether or not this man is the one whom God has in mind for you to marry. Someone might say that it must be His will now that children have become part of the relationship, but my answer to that would be that two wrongs don’t necessarily make a right.

      Jesus is the one who has the answers you need. If you have never placed your belief in Him as Savior, do so now. He was God the Son walking among the people of the world. He died on the cross to pay for the sins of the entire human race. (That includes all your sins.) He arose from the dead. Now He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, extending salvation and forgiveness of sin to each person who will believe in Him as their personal Savior. And the moment you do that He sends God the Holy Spirit to literally live inside your body. This is the “born again” experience, and it changes you on the inside by giving you a new nature, new priorities, new desires, and new attitudes. Furthermore, the indwelling Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you what is God’s will for your life and what isn’t.

      So if you have never done so, believe in Jesus as your personal Savior right now. Then pray to Him. Confess your sins to Him and stop committing those sins. That’s something else the indwelling Holy Spirit can help you with. And also, ask Jesus to show you exactly what He wants you to do and how He wants you to handle the mess you’ve made. Perhaps He will want you to marry the father of your children. Perhaps He won’t. But whatever He tells you to do, do it. Please don’t keep going on the way you are going. It’s long past time to get in step with the Lord and let Him guide you into His will.

      • kam75 says:

        Is it really a good idea to pass off ones opinion as God’s or attatch gods name to it? Misguidance occurs with that . Paul’s opinion still is an opinion. God never said its not his plan etc that not all should marry please acknowledge this is what u think not what God thinks

      • russellmckinney says:

        As I understand it, Paul’s words about singleness in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 match up with what Jesus (God in the flesh) taught about “eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” in Matthew 19:12. So I’m not so quick to dismiss what Paul wrote as simply being his personal opinion. Even though he admitted that singleness was his personal preference, his letters were very much God-inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), which means that his words aren’t just his own but also God’s.

  14. Sharinda says:

    I am a 34 year old female, never married, I have the desire to be married. I want a family, I want a husband. I sometimes think or feel bad rather becuase of my desire to be married. I see so many friends, families marrying and I can’t seem to find someone and it bothers me. I feel less of a woman, kind of like a married woman who can’t have children. I don’t date or anything and it’s not because I don’t want too. I pray for the Lord to send me someone becuase I don’t want to sleep around, I’m not promiscious, but it’s getting hard and harder to actually contain myself as I am not a virgin. I understand what the bible says about being single but the bible also says to be equally yoked to someone and the bible says that it is not good for man to be alone. I love the Lord but yet I am lonely, I desire companionship. Does that make me less of a person? Less of a Christian? I can’t make anyone want me and I can’t make the Lord send me anyone. I don’t desire just any man, I don’t want to be abused or mistreated or get married and regret that I wanted it. But I do desire my own family.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Sharinda, it sounds to me like you are on the right track in regards to your thinking. I’m glad that you are keeping God, His word, and His will front and center concerning this area of your life. Unfortunately, you can stay on that right track much longer than you want to. What I mean is, God works in His own timing, not ours. I really felt for you when I read your words: “I can’t make anyone want me and I can’t make the Lord send me anyone.” I’ve never heard the problem expressed any better than that.

      I wish I could say that you will meet someone in two days, five weeks, or whatever. But I can’t. I’m not God. What I will do is remind you that God loves you with an immeasurable love. As irrefutable proof of that I’d point you to Jesus hanging dead on the cross as payment for your sins. And since God loves you, He knows how badly you want to be married.

      So why hasn’t it happened? Again, I don’t know. Perhaps God isn’t quite finished molding and shaping you into a woman who will be the best wife she can be. Perhaps you are fully prepared but the man God has in mind for you isn’t. All I can tell you is that waiting on God always holds special rewards. Is the waiting easy? Obviously not. But can it be done? Yes. And I’ll be praying for you that you will continue to wait until God opens the door for marriage in your life.

  15. shanieth says:

    Well i just want go start off saying that i enjoyed your post and it was really helpful. Although i do have a question for you. A long time ago i wanted to get married but i went threw some really bad relationships and since then i no longer want to get married but a lady who is a prophetess had told me that God does have the right person for me but to be honest he can stay where he is because i dont want to deal with marriage. I dont want to deal with all the extra stress that comes with marriage nor do i want to open my heart up again. I guess my question would be if i didnt want to be married and it was apart of Gods plan would i be being disobedient to God if i didnt get married to the man he has for me??

    • russellmckinney says:

      Let me start by saying that I can’t offer an opinion as to whether or not that word from that prophetess was valid. I won’t address that either way. What I will say is that submission to God is vital to every area of life and that includes the area of whether or not you should get married. So my counsel to you would be to make sure that you are fully submitted to God in regards to marriage. You see, an attitude that says, “I won’t get married even if God makes it clear that He wants me to do it,” is a whole lot more dangerous than either remaining single or actually getting married. At that point the subject changes from marriage to rebellion, and the role of the rebel is such a poisonous, self-destructive one to play. Once you start playing it in one area of your life it gets easier to play it in other areas. So be very, very careful. The best way to live is to bring every corner of your life under the lordship of Jesus Christ. That will automatically take care of the corner of staying single or getting married. You do that, and the Lord won’t steer you wrong no matter which way He steers you.

  16. VerySeriousMark says:

    i am a straight man that would love to get married again, especially after having my wife of fifteen years that was the one that cheated on me. i was a very caring and loving husband that was very committed to her as well, and i even thought that i was going to have a family with her at the time. now going out all over again is very hard for me now since i am in my late fifties, and there are so many very nasty women out there today with an attitude problem. since many women nowadays having high paying jobs, many of them think that they are all that now too. it is very hard to find a good woman for many of us very serious good men that are looking to find love again, and it is very hard just to start a normal conversation with a woman that i would really like to meet. i certainly do not blame myself, since i did not do anything wrong on my part. i certainly wish we had women like June Cleaver and Donna Reed again, and they were very committed to their men and accepted them for who they were. yes, the women back in the fifties and sixties were much more educated than the ones that are out there today. just look at our parents and grandparents, they are a perfect example how very long their marriages lasted. my aunt and uncle are starting their 65th year together, and they are certainly living proof. back then it was much more easier meeting each other, since the times were much different than now. they met each other in school. i certainly wish that i had been born a lot sooner, then i could have avoided this mess myself. it is bad enough that i hate going out like i have mentioned before, because it is like a game that most of the women are now playing very hard to get. i hope that God will bless me to find the right woman to connect with again, and i will just hope that i will be at the right place at the right time.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Mark, I won’t get into the issue of modern-day women vs. those from the 1950s and 1960s, but I will say that if God wants you to meet someone you WILL be at the right place at the right time. Rest assured on that.

  17. VerySeriousMark says:

    to russellmckinney, thank you very much for your support.

  18. Catharina says:

    Unfortunately still in some cultures, even Christian communities, its not an acceptable thing for women to be single.They even get marginalised by their fellow so called Christian married counterparts.Look at most mainstream churches and you’ll find married people, not so many single women including the most stigmatised group of them all the divoced single women.They move to cell groups or much smaller denominations where they feel they are more valued.Unfortunately that’s reality.Many women don’t want to be single, but they still believe that God will provide them with a soulmate and unfortunately many times its those women who so strongly believe that God will do just that, and they even accept the fact that they might be much older when they get married for the first time, actually God fearing women who are being treated like outcasts.I do believe that if Christian pastors will start preaching more about the plight of single women, that they’re a group that must not be stigmatised, then they will be surprised that there denominations will start showing a rise in congregation members, because if they can start there and also show it through actions, then the foundation is set for getting other marginalised groups in as well.Isn’t that what Christ did or taught?

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thanks for your response, Catharina. Jesus certainly did teach that all marginalized and stigmatized groups are welcome in His kingdom. He proves this over and over in the gospels as He ministers to single women, Gentiles, lepers, etc. Furthermore, I’m sure that our churches can do a better job of ministering to all types of people. No argument there.

  19. Japchef says:

    If God tells you not to marry, is the desire still there? If so, then why?

    • russellmckinney says:

      Since there is nothing in the Bible that generally forbids marriage, I assume you are referring to God “telling” a Christian by way of the still, small voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit. However, I can’t imagine God doing that to a Christian who has a desire to get married. That would make no sense. So my answer is, if a person has a desire to get married, it isn’t God who is “telling” that person not to marry. Of course, the issue of WHO that person should marry is a whole other subject. For example, God does tell (by way of scripture) the Christian not to marry a lost person.

  20. jack_vino says:

    i dont believe so. The only thing that was “not good” in genesis, is that of the man being alone. It is certainly God’s will that a man find that person and settle down with her. But not wanting to marry is a personal thing. Also, marriage extends the lives of people the stats say. I think personally, that Paul couldn’t possibly be married with his schedule! But then again, all things are possible with those who believe. And i dont think in the bible there are good examples of men (am a christian) who showed a more complete image of a man: father, husband, man of god etc..
    Then again there is the question of sex. sex iz the only thing, if missed in this life, will never be ‘available’ again- not even in heaven. Then on the other hand, so many ppl r havin sex its betta they get married. but i think it is god’s will for everyone 2 hav someone in the Lord

    • russellmckinney says:

      I understand what you’re saying, Jack. The Adam and Eve reference is especially relevant. There are other passages, though, (the ones I mentioned in the post) that indicate that it isn’t God’s will for every individual to get married. Thanks for commenting.

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