In the last podcast we talked about Adam’s singleness and why it was not good, and of course this raises the question of whether singleness itself is intrinsically bad. What would you say to singles, especially to those who may be called to a life of singleness?
Now I wrote two chapters on singleness in my book on marriage and the reason I did it is because I knew that if you are going to celebrate marriage you are going to have single people reading it and say-ing: Oh, so that is the great life and I get the other life. And my point there was: No. There are glories that can be shown in marriage that can’t be shown in singleness, given. There are glories that can’t be shown in marriage, but only in singleness, given. If God has called you to a life of singleness, there are ways in and by that singleness to display the glory of God which married people can’t. It does involve other people. So my point stays the same. God created the other and I said other partly because I knew that it is not just wife. It is not just husband. It is other human and single people are called into a life of receive one another as Christ received you so that with one voice you may glorify him. That is talking about the true eternal family. And one of the things I stressed in those chapters was: Marriage is tempo-rary. The Church is eternal.
So the relationships we form in the Church with brothers and sisters who may be single last forever. The relationship between a man and a woman in marriage doesn’t. Jesus went out of his way to say in the resurrection there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, which is why my dad will not be a big-amist in heaven even though he had successive wives 36 years with my mom, 25 years with step mom. He answered that question by saying: There won’t be any marriage or giving in marriage.
So thank you, Tony, of the clarifying question. Yes, singleness doesn’t mean one has embraced a lesser life, because there are ways to display the corporate glory and the glory of dependence on God in unique ways and singleness that can’t be done by husband and wife.
Thank you Pastor John. Those books in particular are titled Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, see the foreword “For Single Men and Women.” And also see the book This Momen-tary Marriage: a Parable of Permanence by John Piper and Noël Piper, especially chapters 9, ti-tled: “Single in Christ: A Name Better Than Sons and Daughters” and chapter 10: “Singleness, Marriage, and the Christian Virtue of Hospitality.” Both of these books Recovering Biblical Man-hood and Womanhood, and This Momentary Marriage are both available in their entirety, for free download—no strings attached—at desiringGod.org. … I’m your host, Tony Reinke. Thanks for listening.