Some men who want to be married will remain single. That’s a different topic than what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about a man’s choice to intentionally remain single and not pursue a relationship with a woman that leads to marriage.
1. Men Should Not Pursue Singleness as a Solution to a Sin Saturated Culture
How do we do that? The short answer is that we address these sin issues like the Bible tells us to address all sins: correct, rebuke, encourage (2 Timothy 4:2, Galatians 6:1), use church discipline (Matthew 18:15-20), preach the word of God accurately (Ephesians 6:19), focus on the sins in the church and not the sins in the world (1 Corinthians 5:12), pray for the Holy Spirit’s conviction (John 16:8), lead by example (1 Timothy 4:12, Mark 10:42-45), and so on.
2. The Biblical Call to Singleness Is Given to a Small Amount of Men and Motivated By Ministry
Singleness in the Bible is a gift (1 Corinthians 7:7) from God bestowed on some people for specific reasons, such as: Being able to focus on ministry and so one can focus more fully on God (see 1 Corinthians 7).
Nowhere in the Bible does it state you should remain single because you’ve been hurt by women, because culture is so sinful, or because you are afraid of losing your kids in court.
These are real issues, but they are not reasons to avoid marriage. Marriage was created by God, not the government (Genesis 2:18). To forsake God’s ordinance of marriage because of governmental and cultural interference is a sign you respect man’s power more than God’s power (Galatians 1:10).
Perhaps Christians need to discuss if and when we need to separate our marriages from governments (i.e. no marriage licenses, handling marriage issues in the church rather than the courts, etc.); but forsaking biblical marriage is definitely not the answer.
Marriage reflects Christ’s love for the church and the church’s love for Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33). Yes, don’t marry a crazy feminist. Yes, open your eyes to the threats coming against you as a man.
But don’t mix your cultural fears with a pseudo biblical justification for singleness that is not a true interpretation of biblical singleness.
The mandate to be fruitful and multiply does not go away simply because there are a lot of sinful people who don’t love Jesus anymore (Genesis 1:28). World history is full of sin and rebellion, and God’s gift of biblical marriage has always remained (Matthew 24:38).
Without true Christian men marrying true Christian women who then raise true Christian families, many of the blessings we experience in our culture would not be present. For you to stop the common grace that flows through the creation of a Christian family into a secular culture is to only perpetuate the cultural dysfunction already present.
If you have a biblical call to singleness, pursue that passionately. But that biblical call to singleness is totally different than running from marriage in fear because of your past relationship hurts or fears about culture’s power over you.
Most men don’t have the calling to singleness (1 Timothy 4:1-5, 1 Corinthians 7:2, Genesis 2:18, Matthew 19:10-11). Most men are called by God to pursue marriage, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18).
3. The Worldly Call to Singleness for Men Is Rooted in Relationship Hurts
Not wanting a relationship because you’ve been hurt in the past by relationships is not a biblical justification to pursue singleness. This would be like forsaking the church because you’ve been hurt by “a church” in the past (Hebrews 10:24-25).
If God has called you to marriage, you running from that calling because of your past wounds will only deepen your wounds and increase your unhappiness. You need healing. I’m not saying you should pursue a relationship before you are ready.
But getting burned by one woman and then taking that out on all women is sign you are projecting past wounds onto people who have nothing to do with those wounds.
In short, when you try to be single because of past hurts, you stunt your growth as a man and cut yourself off from love (Ephesians 5:22), holy sex in marriage (Proverbs 5:18-19), raising children (Psalm 127:3-5), and so many other biblical blessings God wants for you (if he’s called you to marriage).
Proverbs 19:14, “House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
4. The Worldly Call to Singleness for Men Is Rooted in Generalizations of “Women”
“There are no godly women left” or “all women just want you for your money” or “all women sleep around and then just want to marry a nice guy later in life.”
This is what I call “internet logic.” Internet logic is when a mass group of people make generalizations about another mass group of people and then apply those generalizations to individual people.
So in our case, men are talking with other men on the internet about what they are seeing in many women. And to be fair, much of these generalizations are true. Many women (and many men) are godless these days, many women (and men) are materialistic in these days, and many women (and men) are sleeping around in singleness with no thought of their future spouse.
But notice the word I’m using, here: women (or men). It’s absurd to say that every woman (or man) on planet earth is exactly the same. Yes, “women” (and men) are off the rails today. But marriage has nothing to do with “women.”
Biblical marriage is all about “a man” and “a woman” being a husband and a wife (1 Timothy 3:2).
So the fact that there are many women, even most women, who are not biblical marriage material does not provide a logical argument for why you should stop seeking to find “a” godly woman.
They are out there. You only need to find one. God will always preserve a true remnant of his true church.
You need to be very careful you select the right woman (and the first step to that is by becoming the right man). But it’s not wise to give up on God’s call to marriage because you are spending too much time generalizing on the internet and then feeling released to judge individuals you don’t even know.
5. The Worldly Call to Singleness Is Rooted in a Fear of Women, Not a Strength Towards Women
Continuing on with what I said about “internet logic” in which a man feels released to not pursue marriage because “all women are evil,” I’ll add here that this is a fear-based motive; and fear should never be the primary motive for anything a godly man does, “. . . for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).
In truth, the men who are preaching that they are not pursuing women because “all women are evil” know deep down that there are some godly women left but they also fear they are not capable of winning these select few.
Men who are ungodly or who are Christians but struggle with laziness and carnal pleasure fear that they don’t have what it takes to pursue a godly woman. Like boys whose egos’ have been hurt when they lose the game at recess, they say, “You only won because I wasn’t even trying.”
You can’t lose if you don’t play the game. And if you play but get rejected, it eases the hurt to say you didn’t try your hardest. Men who feel they could not win the available good women protect their egos by stating they are single simply because they aren’t ever going to try to win a good woman.
It’s a lot easier to let yourself go physically, stay in your low pressure and low paying job, get addicted to video games, watch porn, and do other self-destructive things when you release yourself from anyone holding you to any kind of standard.
As men, it’s healthy to have a woman in your life who expects things from you (and vice versa for a woman who has a man who expect things of her).
A lot more could be said here, but in short, a worldly call to singleness is often rooted in a fear of women rather than a strength towards women. Men who feel rejected by women often respond by saying they are the ones who are actually rejecting the women.
It’s rare to find a desirable man to women who is freely rejecting women. It’s usually the men who already feel rejected who are preaching for you to go your own way. This is not healthy because it causes you to give into weakness rather than calling upon your strength in the Lord.
6. Pursuing Singleness for Most Men Leads to Sexual Perversions
If you don’t use your sexuality properly, it doesn’t just go away. You will use it improperly if you don’t use it properly. Like hunger, just because you don’t eat good food doesn’t mean you just won’t eat.
Your hunger will always be there and you will always seek to satisfy it, so you will just eat junk food if you don’t eat healthy food. This is what happens to men who pursue singleness but don’t have the gift of singleness. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 states:
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.’ But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
It’s shocking how common it is for people to totally misquote this passage. They miss the fact that Paul is quoting what the Corinthians wrote to him when he wrote, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”
He’s not saying that himself! In the next verse, he literally corrects them and states the opposite.
One of the signs you truly have the biblical call to singleness is if you can control your sexuality during singleness and you don’t have a strong desire to have sex in marriage one day. If you are looking at porn, masturbating, or having premarital sex, you are not showing the biblical evidence of having the gift of biblical singleness.
And even if you are resisting sexual temptation but you also have a strong desire to have sex in marriage, this too means you are probably not called to singleness.
As Paul said, “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9).
7. Being a Husband and Father Brings Immense Joy Through Embracing Responsibility and Self-Sacrifice
Culture has lied to men and said that “freedom is the absence of responsibility.” This false version of freedom will actually make you a slave to your own selfishness.
Biblical freedom is not the absence of responsibility but rather possessing the strength to do what you want. When you embrace your biblical masculinity in Christ, you will sense a deep desire to take responsibility for the well-being of others.
Yes, this is a sacrifice. But it is a joyful sacrifice. Never is this seen and felt more clearly than in marriage and fatherhood.
As a husband, you will need to sacrifice your time, talents, and treasure for your wife (and she will need to do for you too). As a father, you will have to endlessly give up putting yourself first and you will constantly need to serve your children.
And guess what? It will be biggest source of joy in your whole life (besides God himself).
It’s not wrong to have some hobbies and enjoy things just for yourself, but if you put those things above your family, you will hate yourself and your life. The only men who are telling you to not get married and to not have kids are the men who are already miserable.
Why would you take advice from someone who isn’t happy themselves? Misery loves company. I’ve never talked to a godly man who embraced godly masculinity and said, “I wish I didn’t sacrifice so much for my wife and kids.”
Acts 20:35 states, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”