STATISTICS ON MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE WORLDWIDE:
Do you know that 50% of those married end up in divorce in developed countries around the globe? Here are the divorce rates across the world as per November 2018 India Today: Luxemburg 87%, Spain 65%, France 55%, Russia 51%, USA 46%. Psychology Today; August 17, 2009; around the world, marriages are in decline and single living is on the rise.
MARRIAGES IN INDIA:
India is far, far better in this list with just 1% of marriages ending up in divorce. Only 13 marriages out of 1000 marriages end in divorce in India. However, according to the Times of India; Feb. 20, 2013; Bangalore has seen a 20% increase in divorce.
COMMON QUESTIONS ON BEING SINGLE OR MARRIED:
Is it possible to have a happy marriage?
Can I remain single?
Singles, how do you know if God wants you to marry and, if so, who is the right person?
How can you know God’s will on this important decision?
JOKES ON MARRIAGE:
I heard a story about a husband and wife. They were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. The husband got in front of friends and family and said, “I love this woman so much and she is so dear to me that I am going to take her to Paris for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.” The wife was very excited. She said, “I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.” She said, If you are doing that for our 25th wedding anniversary, I can’t wait to see what you’ll do for our 50th wedding anniversary.” The husband said, “Well on the 50th anniversary, I pick you up back from Paris.”
These are the kind of jokes people say regarding marriage. Maybe that’s why one person said marriage is like a three-ring circus: Engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. Oscar Wilde was quoted to say, “The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life.” How about this statement from one of the wealthiest men J Paul Getty, who married five times, “I would give my entire fortune for one happy marriage.”
SO, SHOULD YOU STAY SINGLE OR GET MARRIED?
The problem is that we look at the marriages portrayed in the films and all those romantic songs, and the celebrity marriages out there, and we think we can have a successful and happy home like that. Bollywood or celebrities are not a good example of a successful marriage.
EMBRACING DIFFERENCES IN MARRIED LIFE:
The word of God tells us everything we need to know about how to have a strong and lasting marriage. The Bible tells us everything we need about singleness and how to find a life partner in general. The one thing that people often cite as to why their marriage is failing is irreconcilable differences and incompatibility.
There are certain advantages to being single.
1 Corinthians 7:7-10 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
1 Corinthians 7:34 An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
It is good to stay single. But if you cannot control yourselves, better get married. I want to salute our singles above 40 at church who have remained pure and are pursuing the work of God.
If You Can Remain Single, Be Devoted To God
Many Christians put pressure on singles, especially older singles to get married. We should not put people into marriage. Paul teaches that being single is good if a person is gifted for it, since it opens opportunities for serving Christ better than married people. This does not mean that marriage is not good, the Bible refers to marriage as a good gift.
ADVANTAGES OF BEING SINGLE:
A. Singles Have More Freedom to Devote Themselves Fully to God and His Service
B. Singles Have More Freedom in Difficult Times
When someone serves the Lord and goes through a difficulty, it is better to endure suffering as a single than let the whole family suffer through it. Ex: Paul’s hardships and imprisonment.
C. Singles Have More Flexibility to Go to Difficult Places With The Gospel
There are exceptions to it.
D. Singles Have More Freedom to Give Sacrificially To God
Paul is not saying that critically like it’s a bad thing to be married. What he is saying is when you’re married you have to think of someone else besides yourself. A husband has to think about his wife and children. A wife will have to think about how to please her husband and so on. That does not mean that you cannot please God, but it means that you will have limitations in your life. You did not have those limitations when you were single. Therefore, single men and women can use those times to do the Lord’s work, grow closer to the Lord.
If You Are Not Gifted For Celibacy, Pray And Look For A Godly Spouse
Now not all singles are called to be celibate. So when you are single, pray about the right person.
A. Marriage Gives God-Given Outlet For Sexual Desires
1 Corinthians 7:2 Since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife and each woman with her own husband.
1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
If you are single and find sexual temptation a constant battle, then you probably don’t have the gift of celibacy. You need to pursue marriage. Of course, temptations don’t end with marriage, you still need self-control.
B. Marriage Provides Companionship To Relieve Loneliness
Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
C. Marriage Is A God-Given Context To Raise Up Godly Children
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
SEVEN STEPS TO LOOK FOR A SPOUSE
A. Guard Your Moral Purity
1 Corinthians 6:15-20 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Do not have physical intimacy before marriage. We are living in days of one-night-stand which is sin.
B. Do Not Marry A Non-Believer
The scripture speaks against it. 1 Corinthians 7:39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (MSG) Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives.
Many times a believer says that I will marry a nonbeliever friend and make him a believer. In most cases, the non-believer is going to pull the believer down. That is a trap. That is something we should avoid. Listen, if you are single, wait on the Lord, pray for wisdom in choosing the right person. Because once you are married you are entering into a relationship that will last a lifetime. If you are prayerful and self-controlled; the Lord will bring the right person at the right time.
If You Are Married To A Nonbeliever Stay With Them
And those of you who are married to a nonbeliever, the scripture says you should stay with them.
2 Corinthians 7:12-15 12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
C. Is The Person Trustworthy?
D. Does This Person Make Your Faith Stronger?
E. Is This Person Hard-Working?
F. Does This Person Truly Trust Jesus?
Is the person compatible?
If this is an arranged marriage: Are the families compatible?
Should you stay single or get married? If you have the gift of being a celibate, stay single and do the work of God. Otherwise, get married. Married people work on making your marriage a success with the grace of God.
Remember marriage is not the final solution for your problems. Let God be the center of your life. Let God guide your marriage. If you are single, let God bring you the right partner.
PRAYER FOR THE SINGLES AND MARRIED:
Father, we pray for every person here watching and listening. I want to pray for married people because I know there are some marriages that are on the rocks. Lord, we pray that you will save those marriages and established on a firm foundation maybe. Now, Lord, I want to pray for strong marriages would you make him even stronger and even better.
Finally, Lord, I pray for anyone who is single.
I pray that they will wait upon you to bring the right person into their life and that they will not rush ahead of you. They will not lad behind you. They will remain pure until that day when they’re joined together. Lord, we pray for those who have the gift of celibacy. We honor them. We bless them because they are using their time to serve you. Thank you for ministering to us Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.