Scott Tibbs

Sorry, folks, singleness is not a gift

By Scott Tibbs, April 5, 2023

A number of prominent Christians have promoted the idea that "singleness is a gift" to appease young unmarried people, but that is not scriptural. It is a political statement - not in the sense of partisan politics but in the sense of creating a crafted message. Now, to be clear: I do not have a problem with the phrase "singleness is a gift," so long as it is understood that we are talking about the gift of celibacy and not unmarried sexual debauchery.

The gift of celibacy does exist, and allows some Christians to fully devote themselves to the Kingdom of God. However, we need to recognize that the gift of celibacy is a very rare gift. It is not the norm, and we should not be focusing Church teaching on a very rare exception that is not useful for edifying, admonishing or teaching 99.9% of the sheep.

The normal practice for young men and women throughout church history is marriage. After all, the Apostle Paul wrote that it is better to marry than to burn. No Christian publication, church or parachurch organization should endorse long-term singleness by men or women who do not have the gift of celibacy. It is a betrayal of the sheep and leads them into sin.

The problem is not just that people wind up lonely, whether they are young "incel" men or women in their 30's who are having trouble finding a husband. It also leads to a deadening of sexual desire in men through porn use, to the point that they are not interested in a real woman. It's a tragedy and a waste. It is a disordered life.

Of course the Church and parachurch organizations should minister to singles, but part of that ministry should be encouraging them to get married. (This also means wisdom in who they choose as a spouse.) The vast majority of the population seeks romantic and sexual union with the opposite sex. There are exceptions to this rule, but rare exceptions do not invalidate a general truth.

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