By: Kyle Thorp
Married to Myself
“I firmly believe that each of us must first of all love ourselves . . .You can have a fairytale even without the prince,” said Laure Mesi from Italy, regarding her self-marriage ceremony on September 27. Oddly enough, Mesi is not the first person to “marry herself.” Although it is shocking that such an overt display of narcissism could become acceptable in our society, it displays a value system that is becoming all too common.
Just as the world has turned marriage into a matter of self-fulfillment – finding your “better half,” singleness also has become a means of serving oneself. With no spouse to worry about, there is more time to devote to a career, travel, and hobbies. When you are the center of your world, there is no need for sacrifice.
The apostle Paul encourages young men and women to remain single for a very different reason.
“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided.” 1 Corinthians 7:32, 33
How many unmarried men, even Christians, are concerned solely with the Lord’s affairs? What about unmarried women? Sadly, I think there are very few.
Correcting the Confusion
The church is partly to blame for this misunderstanding of singleness. Hundreds and hundreds of books have been published on biblical courtship, the search for a spouse, and preparing for marriage. Preparation is good, but single adulthood is more than just a training ground for a later marriage. Although most people marry at some point in their lives, marriage is not the only option. I find it disappointing that so few consider serving God through a life of celibacy. For some people, such as same-sex attracted individuals like myself, singleness may be the only option, yet there are precious few resources for those who choose that path.
Living for Christ
The Apostle Paul reinforces the Christian value system in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Whether you are single or married, your life should be a witness to Jesus Christ. Husbands and wives imitate Christ in their love for one another. Are we to think that single people can model Christ by intentionally living for themselves? No! Jesus’ entire life was one of sacrifice and self-denial. And he never married. Single people have an incredible opportunity to love those around them if they are willing to give of their time, talents, and resources.
How many men are living for their own satisfaction and fulfillment? How many women are crafting their own happily ever after by living uninhibited and independent from any man? Should we be surprised when people turn to self-gratifying practices, such as masturbation? Even if there was no ceremony, these people certainly appear to have married themselves.
I would rather make my body a living sacrifice to the God who loves me relentlessly. Ask yourself if you are using your status as a single person to serve yourself or to serve God. Do not deny him the opportunity to work through your singleness.
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Kyle Thorp holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Grove City College. He currently resides in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he is pursuing an MDiv at Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity and working part-time. He plans to enter full-time ministry after completing his degree.