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What Does the Bible Say About..Being Unmarried?

What does the bible say about being single and about the advantages of being single?


The primary passage that speaks about being single is 1 Corinthians 7. There Paul recommends that those who are single remain single “for this present distress.” (1 Corinthians 7:26) So his main concern was for a short time of persecution. He never recommends that everyone stay single. Early in the chapter he says that some must marry because of their desires.

He does list advantages to being single. “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. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)

From a spiritual standpoint a single man has more time to concentrate on spiritual matters. Of course, if one doesn’t use being single to spend more time in the work of the Lord, then this advantage goes away and there is no spiritual advantage to being single.

Not everyone should be married. Not everyone wants to be married. The Bible never insists that everyone be married, although that is what we were created for. It is hard to legitimately obey the command to be fruitful and multiply if one does not marry.