Married or Single For Better or For Worse

Here is an interesting take on marriage and singleness from John Piper:

I don’t know which holds out more joys and more hardships. There is no way to know ahead of time, it seems to me. We Christians don’t make our choices that way anyway. This would be clear if all singles not only heard the wedding vows, “For better or for worse,” but also heard the same words written over singleness: “For better or for worse.” Marriage may prove to be gloriously happy, or painfully disappointing. Singleness may prove to be gloriously satisfying or painfully disappointing. Only God knows which it will be for you.

I remember a “Mad About You” TV episode where the wife, Jaime, is particularly frustrated with her husband, Paul. She calls up her friend on the phone and asks her: “Fran, remind me again why I hate to be single.”

I would say marriage and singleness both present a combination of joys and sorrows in life. (See the article Riding the Rails of Life in Marriage earlier in this blog.) We often think of the marriage vows in terms of “for better or for worse.” I like Piper’s extension of that to serving God in the state of singleness as well.


  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    We come into this world alone, and we exit it alone. In the end, what matters is how we lived life for God. Whether single or married, did we please Him in how we lived it out? If I am married, am I being the husband or wife He called me to be for HIS sake – regardless of my spouse’s response? If I am single, am I living my life for HIM, pointing to Him as I am given opportunity? There are no regrets if we live this way. 🙂 If, on top of that, we find joy in a mate or find joy in our single friendships, how wonderful!! However, in the end, it comes down to God and me and my relationship to Him.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Excellent thoughts, Sharon. Your first sentence is a point I tried to make in a sermon on singleness last summer. Here is the excerpt from the message:

    “Not everyone gets married, but everyone is single at some point in their life. And even many of us who are married today will be single again sometime in the future. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, but it is not a permanent state. Unless you and your spouse die at precisely the same time, one of you will be single in this life again. Life is uncertain, none of us knows what the future holds, any one of us could find ourselves single tomorrow. That’s not to make us gloomy or fearful, but we should be prepared for anything in life and never take things for granted.”

    I need to get busy posting previous sermons to the blog again. I got started, then stopped, and never started again!

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