There are many teens and young adults who think that marriage is a cure-all for what ails them. They believe that they have to get married in order to really experience life. Some make marriage their only goal in life. However, neither being single nor being married makes life easy, nor should singleness or the married state be regarded as our ultimate goal. Each has its own particular challenges, as well as blessings and opportunities to serve our Lord.
One day a young medical student was given a tour of the hospital where he would be training for the next two years. The resident led him into a small room where two men were sitting. Both were staring blankly at the wall. They were unshaven and very thin. Each had a look of desperation on their faces.
The young medical student mustered up his courage, went up to them and loudly asked, “How ya doing today?” Neither responded.
The medical student repeated his question, a little more loudly—“HOW YA DOING TODAY?”
Again, neither responded.
The medical student looked at the resident and asked, “What’s wrong with them?”
The resident replied, “The guy in bed number one was madly in love with this girl. She married another guy and this fella never got over it.”
“And what about the other man?” the student asked.
“He’s the guy who got the girl.”
This story illustrates a very important point: Marriage won’t solve all of your problems, and being single won’t either.
The Christian’s Focus
In 1 Corinthians 7 the Apostle Paul writes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and gives needed counsel.
Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not, And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife (vss.23-33).
I have quoted this entire passage because it puts the whole issue of marriage, and many other legitimate institutions and pursuits, into proper perspective. “But this I say, brethren, the time is short”; and “they that use this world, as not abusing it.”
Several years ago I was living in Sacramento, California. One Sunday morning I left early to drive to a church about 150 miles to the south, where I was supposed to preach in the eleven a.m. service.
As the sun came up over the Sierra Mountains to the east, the sight was unbelievably spectacular. I had to pull over and just take in the sights. I always brought along my camera for such a moment and took a few pictures. The jagged peaks, some reaching up to 14,000 feet, were silhouetted by the sunlight with rays of yellow and orange made fiery by the alpine snow. I could have spent the whole day there—but didn’t. I was on a mission. I was scheduled to preach the Word of God.
There was nothing wrong with stopping for a while, or taking a few pictures—perfectly legitimate. And there is nothing wrong with marriage. But it is certainly not the end, and purpose of life.