Is Marriage Worth Bothering With?

“Is marriage worth bothering with? I’m surrounded by mediocre marriages; I don’t see anyone or at best very few who have a marriage that I would want to have. My sister has been married a short time and she tells me how hard it is and it seems like so much difficulty with so little reward.”

The preceding statement comes from a comment I recently received from a man calling himself AngloSaxon.

And to be honest a great majority of men in our modern western countries find themselves asking this same question for the same reasons that AngloSaxon has.

Men sought out marriage throughout the history of world to be able to have a companion with which they could share their lives.  But the companionship that men sought with women was not the same as the companionship they sought with other men.   They did not seek out women as equal partners, but rather they sought out women for things male companionship could not offer them.

They sought out things in women they could not find in men.  They sought out women so that they could be looked up to, respected and needed for their ability to provide and protect.

They sought out female companionship for the visual and physical pleasure women could give them and the fact that women could bear and care for their children and thus help them continue their family lines.  They sought female companionship to have someone to care for the domestic needs of their homes to free them to go out into the world and make their mark on it knowing their female companion had everything in order back at their home.

But this entire dynamic of marriage with women desiring men for their provision and protection was totally upended by feminist movements in America and other western nations which began in the 19th century.

Many women in our post-feminist culture do not seek out men in marriage for their provision and their protection.  Rather they seek out men simply for “friendship” and to have someone to “that makes me laugh”.

And many women today do not enter marriage in order to give their husbands sexual pleasure or bear their children or to serve the needs of their husband’s home.  But rather they come into marriage to be served by men.

So the modern state of male/female relationships is that many men have been robbed of their purpose and their desires in marriage and they have come under what one of America’s founding fathers, John Adams, warned of if women were ever given equal rights with men and that is the “despotism of the petticoat” or in other words the “despotism of women”.

And since women came to dominate male/female relationships with the abandonment of courtship and the embrace of the new concept of “dating” in late 19th and early 20th centuries marriage as an institution has been severely decimated.

Before the political feminist movements of the mid 19th century divorce rates were three percent.  As men gave more and more control to women over dating and marriage divorce rates began to skyrocket and eventually peak at over fifty percent by the mid 1980s (with women being the initiators in seventy percent of divorces).

Everything I have just stated may seem like a dark and dreary outlook of marriage and male/female relationships in our Postfeminist culture.  But we as Christians do not have the option of loosing hope in God’s institution of marriage.  God does not give us the right to give up on the very first human relationship he ever established which was marriage.

Why Marriage is Worth Bothering With

Marriage is absolutely “worth bothering with” because God has commanded it. And why has he commanded it? He has commanded it as part of his larger reason for making man and woman in the Garden of Eden.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9 in its divine commentary on the creation account states:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

Men and women were given life and given their shared human traits for different reasons. God gave man his human traits along with additional masculine traits so that man bring glory to God by imaging him with his life. Literally man was created to live out God’s attributes. That is why men are called to be leaders, providers and protectors to their wives and children and to image God as husband to their wives and image God as a father to their children.

Women were not given their common human traits with men for this same purpose. They were given their humanity in order to be a helper and companion to man they were purposefully made as “the weaker vessel” as 1 Peter 3:7 states so that they would need man’s leadership, provision and protection as all mankind needs God’s leadership, provision and protection.

So it is for this reason that marriage is SO MUCH MORE than about our personal happiness or having fun. Marriage was designed by God as an extension of his purpose for creating male human beings so that they could full image him in all his attributes – and to do this they need someone to lovingly lead, provide for and protect and thus he made woman.

So its not about what you or I want or what sounds like fun or if it sounds difficult. It is about obeying God’s first command to mankind:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

God has never rescinded his first command and even in the New Testament the Bible states Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). Marriage is God’s rule for our lives and celibacy is his exception to that rule that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction (1 Corinthians 7:35). In other words, if your reason for not marrying is to serve God in an undivided fashion than your reason for celibacy is honorable and holy before God. If however your reason for celibacy is based in fear or selfishness that you want to just have more money or not risk being hurt by a spouse in marriage than your reason for celibacy is not honored before God.

Another indicator that celibacy is not for most people is that the vast majority of people have God given desire for intimate companion ship that only marriage can fulfill(whether it be for sex or having children or other reasons) and therefore we can rightly say based upon the Scriptures that it is better to marry than to burn (1 Corinthians 7:9).

The Facts Don’t Lie – Marriage is Better for Men and Society

Occasionally I will check out various atheist blogs and YouTube channels that critique this blog.  What I often find interesting is that they admit something many Christian feminist bloggers will not admit.  Some atheist bloggers admit that feminism and women’s equality has been a major blow to this historic institution of marriage.  But you know what their response is? We don’t need marriage anymore.  Sure, it is fine if you want to, they say, but marriage is no longer needed for a strong and stable society in their view.

But multiple studies call into question the contention of some atheists that marriage is an outdated societal institution that is no longer needed.

Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas H. Wolfinger in their article for National Review entitled “Hey Guys, Put a Ring on It”  demonstrate through the results of many studies the positive impact marriage has on men and thus society at large:

“First, let’s consider money. Marriage has a transformative effect on men’s finances. After marrying, men typically work harder, smarter, and more successfully. They are less likely to be fired. And they make about $16,000 more than their single peers with otherwise similar backgrounds. In general, marriage seems to increase the earning power of men on the order of 10 to 24 percent…

Men don’t just enjoy a better sex life when married; they are also more likely to enjoy better health. Research suggests that men who get and stay married live almost ten years longer than their unmarried peers. And a recent Harvard study found that even among men diagnosed with cancer, the married ones live longer…

We’ve seen that for the average guy, when it comes to money, sex, and health, marriage offers significant returns on the sacrifices it requires. It’s all of a piece with what one major research project, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, found about what makes men healthy and happy over the course of their lives, including their retirement years. Indeed, elderly men who enjoyed good marriages reported significantly less depression, better moods, and more satisfaction with life.”

Robert Rector wrote an article for the Heritage.org entitled “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty” where he made the following conclusion from looking at government statistics on the demographics of those most likely to fall into poverty:

“Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware of its principal cause: the absence of married fathers in the home. According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate for single parents with children in the United States in 2008 was 36.5 percent. The rate for married couples with children was 6.4 percent. Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 80 percent

The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, when compared to intact married families, children from single-parent homes are:

More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;[20]

Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;[21]

Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school;[22] and

A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.[23]”

The facts above clearly show that married men make more money and are more successful in their careers.  They lead healthier and more fulfilled lives.  Children raised by fathers married to their mothers do better in their education and are less likely to fall into poverty or get involved with crime.

So, both the Christian feminists and atheists are wrong.  Christian feminists are wrong in denying that feminism has decimated the institution of marriage and atheists are wrong in saying it is OK for marriage to go away and that society no longer needs it.

Conclusion

Marriage is definitely “worth bothering with” because God commands it and it is part of the very reason, we as both men and women were created.

Now does this mean young men must take the first woman that expresses interest in them as a potential husband? Absolutely not!  And far too many young men who are insecure with themselves marry the first woman who expresses interest in them.  A lot of Christian men marry because they are desperate to have sex and they fail to look closely at the character of the woman they are marrying.

Christian men can and should approach women and dating (really it should be courting) with a great deal of Scriptural knowledge of what marriage is about and also prayer as well as discretion.  They also should lean on their parents and other wise counsel to know if a woman is of good character and one who would make a good wife to them and a good mother to their children.

But the main point is Christian men cannot give up on marriage even it takes many years to find the right woman.  The search should be continual even if it means a man saving money for many years and seeking a wife overseas from a less westernized country or more conservative (mostly rural areas) of western countries.

Related Articles:

For What Reasons Does God Allow Celibacy?

Why MGTOW Is an Unbiblical Philosphy

What is the Difference Between Courting and Dating

Is God’s Command to Be Fruitful and Multiply Descriptive or Prescriptive for Christians?

“I would be willing to theologically contest that “be fruitful and multiply” is a prescriptive command for each individual.” This was the assertion made by a Christian man I recently was conversing with on Facebook.   Here is was his fully comment:

“I would be willing to theologically contest that “be fruitful and multiply” is a prescriptive command for each individual. Rather it was a descriptive account of what God said at the beginning of his creation to Adam and Eve so mankind would grow, and was repeated to Noah since he had decimated Earth’s population with the flood. It’s not a command you see repeated in the Law of Moses as a command to the Israelites though, for example.”

I thought it would be good to let my readers know my response to this assertion as it is one that is commonly made today.

Below is my response.

I would agree with you that Christianity made singleness a legitimate way of life but only in service to God. Singleness was not encouraged so that one could live selfishly and escape the many responsibilities that come with marriage and family.

The command to be fruitful and multiply is actually renewed in the law of Levirate marriage in Moses Law:

“5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 25:5-6 (KJV)

God was not just concerned with a man marrying and having his own children, but he was so concerned about this that he commanded men to marry their brother’s wife if he died with no children to carry on his name.

God repeats his “be fruitful and multiply” command in different language in the book of Jeremiah:

“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

Incidentally – this is why American and western nations are seeing their native populations die out and only through immigration do they continue to grow. We are actually seeing the native population of the United States dwindle each year because women born and raised in American are not having enough children. We are having roughly 1.76  births per woman in the US which is well below the replacement level of 2.1. Check out the article entitled “The historically low birthrate, explained in 3 charts” from Vox.com actually praising these falling birth rates.

That number is actually inflated by immigrant women who tend to have more children than women born and raised here and if we did not count immigrant women having children it would be even less.

This is the direct result of our culture disobeying God’s command to be fruitful and multiply.

So sir I kindly and respectfully disagree with you that God’s command to have children (which would first require marriage) was “descriptive” rather than “prescriptive”. Celibacy is the exception to his rule but it does not negate his rule.

This is why I feel some Christian teachers have gone too far with celibacy and are attempting to normalize it. We can honor celibacy in the service of God while at the same upholding God’s very first command to mankind to be fruitful and multiply.

Does God Exempt Asexual People From His Marriage Mandate?

In Genesis 1:28 God’s first command to Adam and Eve was to “Be fruitful and multiply”. Is God’s allowance for celibacy in the New Testament a cancelation of his marriage mandate or is celibacy only a limited exception to his mandate? Specifically in regard to people who are asexual, does God exempt such persons from his marriage mandate and thus allow them to live celibate lives simply because they do not want to have to have sex with someone?

These are a summary of the questions being raised by a young woman that I have been calling Jill.  Recently I wrote an article entitled “Can a Christian Woman Have Children Without a Husband?” that was a response to Jill’s first set of questions to me about Christian women being able to pursue having children through adoption without having to be married. After that article Jill sent me some follow up questions and also clarifications of her intentions.

In my last article I made the following statement to Jill:

“Celibacy is an exception that God makes to his first command to mankind in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful and multiply” (to marry, have sex and have children).  God’s normative design was for man to image him by being a husband to a wife and father to children and going out in the world about his work.  He created woman to help man to fulfill his mission to image God by her dependence upon her husband for his leadership, provision and protection and by her serving him and submitting to him. In this way the husband and wife relationship pictures the relation of God to his people with man modeling God and woman modeling the people of God.

Celibacy should only be sought after either because a person has NO desire for a spouse and NO desire for children or their zeal and dedication to serve God is so strong that it makes any thought they would have of having a family seem like nothing. This kind of person wants to dedicate their life in a undivided way in service to God.  Now that does not mean celibate women have to be nuns.  They could be missionary nurses or doctors, they could be school teachers or a host other occupations in undivided service to God.”

Clarifications from Jill

Below is are some excerpts from follow up emails I received from Jill after she read my first article responding to her concerns.

“Thank you again for your very detailed response. I just have a few more questions. I really appreciate your answers.

–Is asexuality in itself a sin?

–The reason I am not interested in marriage is because I know I would not be good for a husband. I do not want to have sex. I love the idea of companionship and growing old together, but I don’t want sex. Therefore it would be selfish of me to enter a marriage. I cannot provide sex for a marriage.

–Because I cannot get married, my only option is to support myself. I want to be educated so that I can support myself well. Do you agree this is my only option?

–Much, much later in life, if it is evident my asexuality is never going away, I would adopt a child with no chance of getting adopted otherwise. I desire to make a difference in the life of a child. Only in that instance would I adopt–if the child had no chance of a better life otherwise. I still thinks kids need both a mom and a dad, but it’s better to have one than none.

–If I change in life, and am no longer asexual, I would love to get married and have a traditional family. I would stay home with my children. I would like to homeschool them.

What are your responses to each of these points?

Oh, and forgot to add–this is almost completely off topic but I was just wondering what you think. What about women doctors? I thank God for women doctors because I have anxiety over male doctors. I do not like males who are strangers touching me (nor females, really, but it is better than males). I think it links to the asexuality. If a women is unmarried and childless, can she be a doctor or even a surgeon?

By the way, I have experienced NO trauma in my life whatsoever, sexual or otherwise. I have an awesome family and enjoy close friendships with males. I just find myself asexual.”

Is Asexuality In And Of Itself A Sin?

No Jill, asexuality itself is not a sin.  In fact asexuality can be part, and I stress part, of the gift of celibacy that God gives to some people.  But if a Christian is asexual, they should not automatically equate this to having the gift of celibacy.  I talk about asexuality in my updated article “For what reasons does God allow celibacy” where I state the following:

“Asexuality is when a man or a woman has no desire to have sexual relations.  But is asexuality the same as the gift of celibacy that Paul alludes to in I Corinthians 7:7? The answer is no.  Asexuality may be one component of the gift of celibacy but this gift has more to it than that.  Remember that Christ said that men became eunuchs “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” and the Apostle Paul said the gift of celibacy was given so that one could “attend upon the Lord” without distraction.

So if you have no desire for sexual relations this by itself does not give you an exemption from God’s command to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” in Genesis 1:28 or in other words marry, have sex and have children.”

Is It Selfish To Marry If You Know You Are Asexual?

Jill you stated:

“The reason I am not interested in marriage is because I know I would not be good for a husband. I do not want to have sex. I love the idea of companionship and growing old together, but I don’t want sex. Therefore it would be selfish of me to enter a marriage. I cannot provide sex for a marriage.”

Jill, let me correct your misunderstanding when it comes to sex.  Our culture teaches that sex is based on desire. We are told that if you desire sex than you should have sex or if you do not desire sex than you should not have sex.  This is why in our culture people have sex outside of marriage and then in marriage they refuse their spouses sex.  Because today we have made sex based on feelings and desire.  The truth is that the Bible calls sex a kindness, a duty and right within marriage:

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)

The term “render” has with it the idea of giving what is owed and benevolence literally means “kindness”.  Sex is a duty and kindness we owe in marriage and it is also our right.

So if you were to marry you could absolutely provide sexual relations to a future husband.  The only reason you would not is if you chose not to.

Do I think you should be honest with any future husband about your asexuality?  Absolutely.  But believe it or not some men would find this a challenge they wish to pursue.

Here is the answer to your question about selfishness, marriage and asexuality. Is it selfish to marry knowing you are asexual? In and of itself no it is not.  It is only selfish if you hide this from a potential husband in premarital counseling or if you sought to have the companionship of marriage without sex as some women do.

Genophobia Is Not a Reason God Allows For Celibacy

You said in one of your emails that “I have experienced NO trauma in my life whatsoever, sexual or otherwise” but you previously admitted that you “have anxiety over male doctors”.  Now it is possible that both statements could be absolutely true.  You may have never experienced any kind of trauma in your life sexual or otherwise and yet you still have anxiety with male doctors.  You also admitted that this anxiety you feel with male doctors may actually be linked to your asexuality.

I believe you have a condition called Genophobia which is a fear of sexual touch or sex relations of any kind. You mask it in “I just don’t want too” but the reality is you are afraid of sexual touch.  Let me stop here though to give you some comfort.  Genophobia is now and has always been more common in women than in men.  Many a bride while be excited for marriage and having children has had great anxiety about what her wedding night holds for her.  This is normal for many women.

There is a big difference in asexuality that is based in choice and asexuality that is based in fear.  If a person is choosing to serve God in celibacy, not because they fear sex, but because they genuinely have such a strong desire to serve him in an undivided manner that they have no desire for it then this is honorable before God.  But when a person uses celibacy as a cover for their fear of sex this does not honor God.

I believe you should seek counseling to help you overcome your genophobia.  Talk to other women about this – you would be surprised to find that many Christian women were anxious about having sex with their husbands.

The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love”. Your love for God and your love for your future husband can cast out your genophobia if you allow it to.

God Does Not Allow A “Buffet” Approach To The Family

There is an old English proverb that states “You can’t eat your cake and have it too”.  In modern English this would be restated as “you cannot simultaneously retain your cake and eat it”.  It speaks of wanting two things that are contradictory to one another.

You admit that you “love the idea of companionship and growing old together” and you also admit that you “desire to make a difference in the life of a child”.   So based on your words I would summarize your position as follows:

“I want both the companionship and raising children aspects of marriage.  However I don’t want the sexual aspect of marriage.  Therefore since I don’t want the sexual part of marriage I realize I can’t have the companionship aspect of marriage as they are intertwined.  However I still want the raising children aspect of marriage.”

Here is the problem with your thinking. God designed having children and raising children to flow from marriage.  So in the same way you can’t have the companionship aspect of marriage without the sexual aspect of marriage, so too you cannot have the raising children aspect of marriage without the companionship and sexual aspects of marriage.

Again as I said in my previous response to you – because we live in a sin cursed world divorce happens and death happens.  This results in single parents having to raise children on their own.  This results in grandparents having to raise their grandchildren.  But we should never seek to go around God’s ideal and his plan for the family because we don’t like or are afraid of certain aspects of marriage.

Our culture today takes a “buffet” approach to relationships.  Men want sex from women without the responsibilities of marriage and children.  Women want romance from their husbands without having to give sex.  Some women actually want marriage and sex without having to have children. Other women want the companionship, sexual aspects of marriage and even having children but they don’t want to stay home and raise those children.  They want their husband or a nanny to take care of the children so they can pursue a career outside the home.

All of these groups have one thing in common – they all want to have their cake and eat it too.  They want some aspects of marriage or family but they don’t want to accept others.  That is not how marriage and the family work.  Marriage and family in God’s design is a “take it all” or “leave it all” proposition, it is not a buffet where we can choose things we want that only marriage was meant to give us but not accept the things we don’t want.

Asexuality Is Not A Valid Reason For Celibacy

After what I just said you might say – “Ok then I will leave it all and forgo even seeking to adopt a child later in life”.  But you still have a problem.

Jill please hear me. You are revolving your entire life around your asexuality and more specifically your genophobia.  Your reasons for seeking to live a celibate life are not the reasons that God allows celibacy.  You are not seeking celibacy in undivided service to God.  You are seeking it because you don’t want to have sex which you have admitted is a requirement of marriage.

But what you are failing to see is that not only is sex a requirement of marriage, but marriage itself is a requirement. Each and everyone one of us are required to actively seek out marriage in obedience to God’s first command to mankind.  Only if we are physically barred from marriage or if we are called by God to devote our life in undivided service to God are we exempt from God’s marriage command.

Careers And The Celibate Life

In another email to me, you asked about fields outside of teaching, nursing and medicine for women and you alluded to many other fields women might work in:

“However, there are countless fields outside teaching, caregiving, and nursing. What about a history degree to work in a museum? What about a Bible degree to work in ministry? What about culinary school? What about a journalism degree, an English degree, a theater degree, a degree in art or filmmaking or news broadcasting? Degrees to work in dentistry or physical therapy? Sports-related fields? Architecture and design? Road-planning and surveying?

And outside of college: Becoming an EMT or dispatcher? Working in shipping? Working at a vet’s office? Training animals? A tour guide or travel agent? There are hundreds of options. How are you supposed to weigh which ones are allowed and which ones are restricted to women? Is a woman allowed to broadcast on the news? Lead museum tour groups? Act in the theater? Write for the newspaper? Edit novels? Work in a church? Become a photographer or videographer? I truly want answers to all of these.”

When we understand that God only exempts women from his Genesis 1:28 command to “Be fruitful and multiply” so that we “may attend upon the Lord without distraction” (I Corinthians 7:35) “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” this makes the answer to your questions here very clear.

God does not allow women to be celibate so they can pursue careers in journalism, literature, science, broadcasting, dentistry, architecture or these other fields you mention.  He exempts them from his marriage rule if he has given them the gift of celibacy for undivided service for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.  So that means a celibate woman’s education must directly relate to some type of ministerial effort for God otherwise she is abusing God’s exemption for celibacy.

Also as a point of clarification.  As a celibate woman if you don’t have a father to support you then you may need to have some way of supporting yourself while pursuing your ultimate ministry for God.  There is no problem with doing things like being a secretary or working as a waitress or other such jobs simply to put food on the table as you pursue your service to God.

Now does this mean women can’t pursue some education while also pursuing marriage? No it does not.  But a woman’s primary focus may only be one of these two things.  Dedicated service to God by full pursuit of marriage and dedication to her husband, children and home OR dedicated service to God in celibacy.  There are no in-betweens and no other options in God’s design for woman.

And just a side note for men who pursue celibacy.  Men also should not use celibacy as cover for fear of sex or fear that women may hurt them in marriage or divorce them.  They should not use celibacy as cover for greed and ambition where they want to pursue money and power and not be saddled with a wife and children.

Conclusion

Asexuality in and of itself is not a sin but being asexual does not automatically mean you are called to a life of celibacy.  Asexuality which is based in the fear of sex or fear of having to follow gender roles in marriage is not a proper basis for a Christian to seek a celibate life.  Only asexuality that comes not from fear, but from the gift of God to do work in an undivided manner for the kingdom of God is honored before God.

Those who have an asexuality that is based in fear are not exempt from God’s command in Genesis 1:28 to seek out marriage and to have children.  Rather these Christians have a moral responsibility based on their love for God to cast out this fear and replace it with a desire for what God would have them to desire.

In this matter of celibacy and marriage God only gives us two desires. One is to serve him in an undivided manner with our entire being for the entirety of our lives and the other is a desire to serve him by following his marriage mandate.  We all need to pray that God will give us one of these sets of desires because anything in between is not from God.

King David asked God in Psalm 51:10 to Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Our culture often jokes or even seriously says sex is dirty thing.  They say a person who has sexual desires or longings in their heart is thinking on dirty things.  But this could not be further from the truth of what God’s Word teaches about sex in marriage.  The Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:4 that Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.  The Bible calls sex in marriage “undefiled” which means it is pure and CLEAN.  That means someone who is desiring and looking forward to sex in marriage in their heart does in fact have a clean heart before God.

The irony is that people who are afraid of sex and afraid of thoughts of sex are actually the ones who have unclean hearts as far as God is concerned. This fear will inhibit a person from serving God as fully as they were meant to do.

Jill, I pray that you and others like you will seek help from God as well as those he has placed in your path so that he can renew a right spirit within you in regard to your asexuality.     

For more on the topic of Celibacy from a Biblical perspective see my article “For What Reasons Does God Allow Celibacy”.

Is marriage too big a risk for men?

With the modern possibility that a woman can take a man’s children, half his assets and saddle him with years of potential debt in the form of child support and alimony is marriage now too great a risk for men? Many men think so.  A lot of young Christian men who are engaged get cold feet about marriage because of these very real possibilities.

“She is so sweet and submissive now, but what will she change into after we are married.” This is the thought of many young men today.

Two reasons men don’t want to marry

There are really two reasons today that men don’t want to marry.  One is for selfish reasons.  “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” is the philosophy of a lot of men today.  The practice of women “giving the milk for free” (having sex before marriage) has served only to help increase this irresponsible behavior in men.

In fact there are many in the so-called “manosphere” that actually recommend men forgo marriage all together and instead simply pursue a life of casual sex with various women.

Some in the manosphere argue that marriage is far more advantageous to women in our current culture than it is for men and if we were looking at this simply from the perspective of men getting the kind of respect and sex they want from women they would be right.  

But while respect and sex are things that are critically important to most men – these are not the only things that are important to  many men.  This leads us to our second reason some men do not want to marry.

The second reason that men do not want to marry is not for selfish reasons.  This second group of men truly want to share their lives with a woman in marriage and have a family. But they fear the very real possibility that a woman will deceive them and rip their heart out through divorce. Even if the woman does not divorce them she may turn out to be a contentious and angry woman that is cold to them both inside and outside the bedroom.

Some Christian men even find what they think is Biblical support for their belief that marriage is just too risky a proposition.

The Bible tells us it is hard to find an excellent wife

“An excellent wife, who can find? for her price is far above rubies.” – Proverbs 31:10 (NASB)

Some men read passages like this and think to themselves “if it was hard to find a good wife back in Biblical times – how much harder is it today?” And they are right. It is very difficult for a man to find a good wife today.

The Bible tells us it is better to be alone than with a contentious woman

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” – Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

Again these are not encouraging words for young Christian men to read about the prospects of marriage.  If women were contentious in Biblical times, how much more contentious are they today in age of feminism?

The Apostles say “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry

Christ had this discussion about marriage and divorce:

“9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” – Matthew 19:9-12 (KJV)

I have written exhaustively in previously posts about what Christ said here on divorce when we understand it light of the entire witness of the Scriptures.  But really this conversation boiled down to the fact that men thought they could put their wives away (divorce them) for any reason and Christ was putting a stop to easy divorce.

This meant you could potentially marry a very contentious woman and nasty woman but if she did not sin against you sexually (by either committing adultery or through sexual defraudment against you) you had to stay married to her.  This is what Christ was saying.

So the Apostles were basically saying – “if a man has to stay with a contentious and nasty wife it is better not even to get married.”  Christ responds to their conclusion that it is only for those “to whom it is given” – in other words those who have the gift of celibacy.

Paul talks even more about celibacy. Some think the Apostle Paul would agree with them that is better not to get married.  The Apostle Paul wrote these statements about celibacy:

“It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” – I Corinthians 7:1 KJV

“So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.” – I Corinthians 7:38 KJV

If we stopped at these passages many young men would go away feeling validated from the Scriptures that their feelings that marriage is too risky a proposition is right.

But when coming to God’s Word we must examine all of the Scriptures and not just the ones that seem to validate our feelings and desires.

The two reasons Paul thought Celibacy was better than marriage

The Apostle Paul did not say it is better for a man not to get married under ALL circumstances.  Rather it was only under certain circumstances that it was in fact better that men do not get married.

The first reason Paul gives for celibacy is “I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is.” (I Corinthians 7:26 NASB)  This was because of great persecution that Christians were under.  Christians being rounded up and put in prison or even worse being put to death.  It is understandable why Paul would recommend celibacy if possible under such grave conditions.

“but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided…This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.” – I Corinthians 7:33 -35 (NASB)

Paul then gives a second reason to consider celibacy. According to Paul marriage creates a new temptation.  The temptation to put your spouse before God.  The temptation to turn your spouse into idol.

Celibacy is NOT always good

While it is true that Paul wrote “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (I Corinthians 7:1 -KJV) he also wrote:

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” – I Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)

“for it is better to marry than to burn.” – I Corinthians 7:9 (KJV)

Christian men do not have the option to do as unbelieving men and just go around having casual sex with women.

Also for the Christian man celibacy is not an option unless God grants him that “gift” (I Corinthians 7:7). If a Christian man has a strong sex drive the answer to that strong sex drive and also to avoiding temptation to fornicate is marriage.

So if God has given you a strong sex drive and not the gift of celibacy – you have a Biblical obligation to seek out a wife.

Previously we saw that the Bible warns us as Christian men about the potential pitfalls of marriage.  There are a lot of sinful women out there.  There are a lot of Christian women out there that are contentious and do not have the submissive spirit God calls on women to have toward their men. But regardless of these facts the Bible tells us marriage is a good thing.

The Bible calls marriage an honorable endeavor

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22 (KJV)

“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.” – Proverbs 19:14 (KJV)

The Bible calls children a blessing from God

“3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” – Psalm 127:3-4 (KJV)

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” – Proverbs 17:6 (KJV)

God commands us to marry and have children

One of the oldest commands in Scripture is found in the creation of man and woman in the Garden of Eden:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” – Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” (to get married and have children) has not expired. It was not a temporary command.

God designed men and women to bring him glory through living out their design.  A big part of our design is that we were designed for marriage.   How can we fully live out the roles that he has given to us if we do not marry? How can we model the relationship of Christ and his Church (Ephesians 5:22-33) if we do not marry? The answer is we cannot.

Yes God makes exceptions for his command to marry in the form of Biblical celibacy.  But this is only if we have the gift of celibacy.

Conclusion

Marriage has always been a risk for men and a good woman has always been hard to find as we can see from Scriptures.  I will fully admit that marriage today is probably the greatest risk it has ever been for men in the history of world.

Our society has completely rejected the roles that God designed for men and women in society, in the church and most importantly in marriage. In fact our society has actually encouraged and enabled rebellion in women and this makes the probabilities of marriage difficulties and divorce very high.

But as young Christian men come to realize these risks they would do well to heed the words of Joab to the men of Israel:

Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the Lord do that which seemeth him good.” – II Samuel 10:12 (KJV)

Having courage in the face of overwhelming odds is what it means to be a man.

Yes marriage for a man is huge risk today.  But anything in life that is worthwhile is a risk. Did you know that 90 percent of small business startups fail? But would we recommend that people stop trying to start businesses? Of course not.   In the same way just because we know 50 percent of marriages end in divorce does not mean we should can give up on God’s institution of marriage.

Instead of giving up on marriage, we need to do everything we can to mitigate the risk of failure in marriage by following Biblical principles in dating and seeking out a wife. If you start out with a woman who has a good foundation your chances of success are far better.

See my post on Biblical dating for good principles to follow in finding the wife that God would have for you.