Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife… Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that… But if you do marry, you have not sinned… I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord… So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
The New Testament teaching about marriage is quite different from modern day encouragement. Far too often, we are led to believe that marriage is the solution to a problem. If we feel alone, if our life is disorganized, if we struggle with issues like same-sex-attraction… we might give, or be given, the erroneous advice “you just need to get married.” Marriage is a wonderful thing, but understand that it is a commitment, it is a willingness to “give up” and it is not about what you “get.” So many people get divorced because they didn’t “get” what they thought the “benefits of marriage” were supposed to be. Marriage is a vow to serve, not to be served. Thus, it is a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us. You shouldn’t seek to be married for marriage sake. If you pine away the hours thinking: “oh… I wish I were married…” and you don’t have a person in mind, that’s not healthy for the Christian. Paul makes it clear, getting marriage isn’t a sin, you do just fine getting married, in fact, most people will get married, but if you can remain single, that’s even better. You probably won’t hear that from most Christians because they’re potential grandparents… 😉 If I can boil down Paul’s advice, it’s this: only get married if you have to, and it’s okay if you have to.