In some cultures, people believe that a person cannot be happy unless he or she gets married. Yet, not all married people are happy and not all single people are unhappy. The truth is that the Bible refers to both singleness and marriage as gifts.
1. What are some benefits of being single?
The Bible says: “Whoever marries does well, but whoever does not marry will do better.” (Read 1 Corinthians 7:32, 33, 38.) In what ways can a single person “do better”? Single Christians do not have to look after the needs of a mate. Thus, they generally have more freedom. For example, some are able to expand their ministry in interesting ways, such as by traveling to another land to preach the good news. Above all, they can spend more time drawing close to Jehovah.
2. What are some benefits of being legally married?
Marriage, like singleness, brings unique benefits. The Bible says that “two are better than one.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9) This is especially true of Christians who apply Bible principles in their marriage. Couples who legally marry make a commitment to love, respect, and cherish each other. As a result, they often feel more secure than do couples who simply live together. And marriage provides a secure foundation for raising a family.
3. How does Jehovah view marriage?
When Jehovah performed the first marriage, he said: “A man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife.” (Genesis 2:24) Jehovah wants a husband and wife to love and stick to each other for as long as they are alive. He allows divorce only when a mate is guilty of adultery. In such a case, Jehovah gives the innocent mate the right to decide whether he or she will get a divorce.* (Matthew 19:9) Jehovah does not approve of polygamy among Christians.—1 Timothy 3:2.
Learn how you can be happy—and make Jehovah happy—whether you are single or married.
4. Make good use of the gift of singleness
How did Jesus use the gift of singleness to serve his Father and to help others?
Christians can enjoy using their singleness as Jesus did. Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.
In what rewarding ways can Christians use their singleness?
Did you know?
The Bible does not give a minimum age for marriage. However, it encourages a person to wait until he is “past the bloom of youth,” a time when strong sexual feelings can distort a young person’s judgment.—1 Corinthians 7:36.
5. Choose your mate wisely
Why should a Christian not rush into marriage?
Why should we marry only a fellow Christian?
How do you think Jehovah would feel about our marrying someone who does not love Him?
6. View marriage as Jehovah does
Why does Jehovah hate an unjust divorce?
Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.
If you are married to an unbeliever, what can you do to make your marriage successful?
7. Apply Jehovah’s standards for marriage
Read Hebrews 13:4, and then discuss these questions:
Do you think that Jehovah’s standards for marriage are reasonable? Why, or why not?
Jehovah expects Christians to register their marriages and divorces, as in most countries these are governed by civil authorities. Read Titus 3:1, and then discuss this question:
If you are married, are you sure that your marriage is legally recognized by the government?
SOMEONE MAY ASK: “Why get married? Can’t a couple just live together?”
How would you answer?
Singleness and marriage are gifts from Jehovah. Either can bring joy and satisfaction if enjoyed in harmony with Jehovah’s will.
How can a person make good use of his or her singleness?
Why does the Bible say to marry only a fellow Christian?
What is the only Scriptural basis for divorce?
See Endnote 4 about separation when adultery is not involved.
In some cultures, parents choose a marriage mate for their son or daughter. When that is the case, loving parents first consider, not the money or social standing of the potential spouse, but whether he or she loves Jehovah.
If you are living with someone out of wedlock, whether you leave the person or marry is a personal decision.