Either marriage is obligatory or not, whether you chose to marry or not to marry, the greatest error you can commit is unfaithfulness in the state you are called into. It’s good to know that marriage is God’s remedy for sin of fornication. And marriage, with all its inconveniences, is much better than to burn with impure and lustful desires. Marriage is honourable in all; but it is a duty in those who cannot contain nor conquer those sinful sexual inclinations.
The choice we make here on this planet (earth) greatly determines our position in life. The life we choose to live determines our condition! Therefore, make a wise choice!
Marriage is not obligatory or optional, but it’s necessary!
Is It Found In Scripture That Marriage Is Obligatory Or Optional?
This is one of the most controversial questions that have been asked about marriage for long time, but, as it’s so controversial, so it has answer. I will like the answer to this question to be directly from Scripture because this is basically a Scriptural issue, and I see the Scripture as the most reliable source of reference to clearly shed light on this and solve this particular question.
Though it has not been found in the Bible where it’s specifically and clearly said that marriage is obligatory or optional, but we see how the Bible has placed much importance and value on it; with strong emphases from teachings of apostle Paul, the strong disciple of Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, we understand the significance of marriage in the life of humanities. The only thing we see is that the Bible says: “two is better than one”, and the statement of Jesus that, “for this reason my father has created them and female”. These two statements show the importance of marriage, without doubt.
Is Marriage Obligatory Or Optional?
Before answering the question, take note of this: now, having answered the question above regarding whether the Bible ever says that marriage is obligatory or not for we human beings—though this question is not something that’s so matters most in the life of human beings, but the life they see as most beneficial and profitable to them. What do I mean by this statement? I mean that what matters most in yours and mine life, as human being, is the choice we make In life!; that’s, the most important thing is that you and I have to choose the kind of life we want, based on the state you and I see suits us best—You and I are in the right position to choose the kind of life we want to live and the state or position we want to be in, as this will therefore definitely lead to seeing, knowing realizing and answering whether marriage is obligatory or optional in our life?
It’s not obligatory
Now, to be factual and realistic and to give answer to the question whether marriage is obligatory or optional, you and I have to first understand our capacity in controlling our passion for sex (self control). You must know that the Bible doesn’t clearly say marriage is obligatory or optional, but we must know that it’s a duty (moral duty or responsibility) in those who don’t have ability to control (in those who don’t have self control/continence) themselves. Therefore, it’s not bound upon anybody by any law to marry under duress (force). No law says, even the Bible, “if you don’t marry, you won’t make heaven or you will be punished or you wont be able to serve your God”. Or, in other words, no law says, “you must marry by force, and if you don’t do so, you must or will be punished or you will not be able to serve God”. Yes, the fact here is that you can stay unmarried and still be living a good, fine and normal life in the sight of the living God; but, there is a great danger found associated with this kind of state (single state). What’s the danger found in it? It’s clear that those who decide or choose to stay unmarried are greatly exposed to danger of sin of fornication: those who choose to stay unmarried do expose themselves to great danger by attempting to perform what is above their strength—worst thing can happen to you when you are alone!
Fact: Marriage is highly essential in the life of human beings; it’s a remedy for problem of fornication; and every true Christian will agree with me that if you—especially, as a child of God—want to spiritually succeed as a Christian, you must marry; but if you are giftedly able to control yourself, you may decide to stay unmarried. But, the best state ever so find advisable—on earth—for man to be in is marriage state. Though not obligatory or optional, but it’s very indispensably and indisputably necessary!
It’s not optional
It will be too cheapy to say marriage is optional, yes! As said earlier and as an emphasis, marriage is not optional but a duty and necessity for human beings; that is, it’s your moral right and responsibility to choose to stay married if you don’t have ability to stay unmarried (if you don’t have ability to control yourself or if you can’t conquer your lustful/sinful inclinations)—this is your duty. “Each man and woman should have his or her own husband or wife because of fornication (to avoid fornication)”, this is what apostle Paul said to the Corinthians concerning whether to marry or not.
Furthermore, factually, marriage is necessary!: it’s highly a total necessity for human beings to marry for some practically undeniable, indispensable and indisputable purposes in life, the purposes which I will not be able to list and explain one after the other in this post because of time space: for it’s discovered that one of the major factors for living a complete balanced and destiny fulfilling life, ever found here on earth, is marriage, both spiritually and physically, and even in all ramifications of our life. The Bible says, “woe is he who is alone”, and it says further that two is better than one; for when one is fallen, the other one will lift him up, when one is cold, the other one will keep him warm.
Warning: Don’t think of staying unmarried at all if you can’t stay controlled (If you don’t have the gift of self-control).
Note: Even if you choose to stay unmarried for the sake of your service (because of your spiritual service) to God, first ask or check yourself to see or know whether you have the ability to stay unmarried successfully. It’s better to know your ability than to be burning with sinful passion/inclinations that can definitely land you in hell. And, one more thing, if your circumstances or state requires you to marry for preventing the lust of uncleanness, then choosing to stay unmarried is completely wrong for you; it’s an error! Why should you choose to stay unmarried and go to hell because of inability to have yourself controlled—this can land you in committing secret sins against your Creator, God.
Note again: Therefore, marriage, with all its conveniences, is much better than to burn with impure desires and suffers from secret sins. Marriage is honourable in all; but it’s a duty in those who cannot contain (control) or conquer those sinful inclinations.
Apostle Paul & Jesus’ Teachings
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7: 1-2, 32-34
“1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband and each man his own wife. … for they that are unmarried have opportunity, if they have but a heart, to care more for the things of the Lord, how they may please the Lord”. (1 Corinthians. 7:32-34)
Apostle Paul showed casuistry in settling the issue the Corinthians brought before him in verse 1 of the verses above, regarding marriage. He, at first, made them understand that it’s not good to touch (; that is, to have a wife or sexual intercourse) a woman. Then, he further made it clear to them the basic important reason for marriage, which he showed as basically because of:
- Fornication because of lack of self-control and,
- Spiritual service to God (1 Corinthians 7: 32-34)
“…haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
“The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry. 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” (Mathew 19:4-12)
And again, Jesus said to Pharisees and Sadducees in the above quoted passage by bringing them back to the beginning of creation and showed them why God has created man male and female, in response to their quarry, which is solely because of marriage. He says you should marry because:
- God created man male and female for marriage purpose
And further made it more clear in His parable of the three eunuchs, the one more reason for them to stay unmarried, in response to the disciples decision not to marry because of His teachings concerning divorce: He says you may not marry:
- Because of the kingdom of God (your service to God, referring back to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7: 32-34)
Let me quickly explain the number two point He made to them here: By the word if you are able means if you have the ability to stay single or unmarried (if you have the gift of continence or to put yourself under control) because not all people can accept this fact because of their inability to take this fact.
Now, furthermore, having understood the main Biblical, practical reasons for marriage, I will like to make something very clear to you about the teachings of Apostle Paul and Jesus:
Both of them Justified singleness by their words. How? Apostle Paul explained good important reasons for why one can stay unmarried by saying “for they that are unmarried have opportunity, if they have but a heart, to care more for the things of the Lord, how they may please the Lord“. And, Jesus showed this by narrating the parable of the three eunuchs “…and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it“.
By the statement “he who is able to accept this, let him accept it” Christ allowed what the disciples said, “It is good not to marry“; not as an objection against the prohibition of divorce, as they intended it, but as giving them a rule (perhaps no less unpleasing to them), that they who have the gift of continence, and are not under any necessity of marrying, do best if they continue single (Mathew Henry commentary).
Therefore, if you prefer to stay unmarried, this is not a sin or error, but it will be a sin and an error if it’s for any other reasons other than the reasons given by the Scripture. Once again, marriage is not obligatory or optional but necessary!
Finally, the point is: Marriage is God’s remedy for lust. The fire may be quenched by the means it has appointed. And marriage, with all its inconveniences, is much better than to burn with impure and lustful desires. Marriage is honourable in all; but it is a duty in those who cannot contain nor conquer those inclinations. Marriage is not obligatory or optional but necessary. Necessity is laid upon you to get married for some practical purposes in life like: living a complete balanced and destiny fulfilling life that has meaning and that which produces God’s desired result.