Hi, dwight92070. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate it very much.dwight92070 wrote:Singalphile,
Had I the chance to do it over again, I would have married in my early twenties. Personally, I believe it was a mistake to wait that long. ... Basically, I set aside almost 15 years of my life, which could have been spent in rich service to God and my wife and children, had I gotten married. Instead, those years were largely spent in recreational activities with other singles with little or no dating, and I'm afraid little or no spiritual fruit to show for it.
Today, the trend of the world is to not marry, and of course, to sleep around. So the message to remain single comes from both in the church and outside the church. But God said that it is not good for man to be alone. So, generally, most people should get married. Remaining single should be the exception, not the rule. I truly believe God's will for you is whatever desire he has put in you. If you desire a wife and children, then you should marry. If not, then He has another work for you to do. As a practical matter, if you do get married, you probably would have fewer issues if you marry a woman who has not been married before, but, obviously that is between you, her, and God. If you haven't already done so, Steve's teaching on divorce and marriage is well worth listening to. I wish I had heard that back when I was a new Christian.
Again, don't get me wrong. I love my wife and children. I do not believe they are God's "second best", just because I waited so long to marry. But I do believe the church sends out wrong messages, unintentionally, that don't always line up with what the Bible says, which greatly changed my life.
Marriage is still pretty much the norm among people I know, I think. I haven't felt any pressure from any Christians one way or the other. (It was a non-Christian who first kind of embarrassed me about not being married.)
I noticed the other day that although Paul advised the unmarried Corinthians to stay unmarried if possible (1 Cor 7:8), he also wrote in 1 Cor 9 that, unlike himself, "the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas" were married.
I think TruthInLove pointed me in the right direction. I have not been using my time and abilities fruitfully. I don't see how I could attribute that to my singleness, though. I just got too busy with work. I've always figured that since I'm not getting married (b/c I never had interest in dating/marriage), I'd be able to retire early and then do my service/ministry "later". That was/is not very wise of me, I think, and I'm now taking steps to see what I can start doing as soon as possible. For various reasons, I mistakenly substituted marriage in for that lack of Church ministry/service, I think. My sudden, unexpected, and unwelcome impulse to seek marriage is subsiding, thankfully.