Some have confessions to make. They're in love with married women! As singles they liked single women. Now that they're married, that just doesn't work anymore. If the woman isn't married, the Christian man is just not interested!
Many single women are "rounders". Hopefully, married women are not. Married women are serious about relationships and are more dedicated. The thought of a married woman is exciting! Hearts palpitate wildly just knowing the woman is married!
1 Corinthians 7:2 "... let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
That's what scripture says about marriage! "But", you say "let every man have his OWN wife!" The popular mantra "That's what I'm talking about!" is what is being talked about. Yes, a man can be in love with a married woman. His own wife!!! What's more, time doesn't change things. When men get married it is their wife for life. That's what the wedding vowels say!
Having power over each other is erotic. That's part of marriage, but a tiny part! The most important part comes from here:
Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Have you "cleaved" recently? It's harder than it sounds! "Cleave" in this context, means to be faithful! Faithful is fidelity. Just like a good sound system, a great marriage has fidelity, being true to the relationship. There's certain obligations, duties and things to observe in marriage. Things to which the married person must be true.
Our "obligation" is exclusivity. We are to focus on the one to which we're married. It may not be easy at times! That's where "for better or for worse comes in". That's to make the "difficult" surmountable. Our "obligation" of exclusivity is what's meant by "and they shall be one flesh". Marriage is unity. It's when a man and a woman put the good of the family before the interests of the self. When a couple get married I call that "when world's collide"!
After the excitement and lust have subsided, a newly married couple get down to brass tacks. Now they must be friends and become a functioning unit. That's the hard part!
Serial dating is an obstacle to a committed marriage. Most people date one person after another through high school and maybe college. When friction causes conflict, the solution is simple. You break up! In marriage that's not the way it's meant to be, but that's the way it is. People are so accustomed to splitting when things go awry that it becomes the natural thing to do. Hence, a couple should have a lengthy engagement before marriage. It helps to break the serial dating cycle. "Lengthy" is different for different people. The engagement should last long enough to be sure a person is "committed", but not so long as to get too comfortable being single "partners".
Many single couples have evolved into "married singles". They are still single, likely live in separate homes, but quit dating. They get into a married routine and, thus, have no reason to get married! I propose that single's go on a date once a week and no more. Neither should there be any hanky panky. What a man doesn't get is a good reason why he gets married. Likewise, for a woman:
1 Corinthians 7:9 "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn."
"Burn" in the transliterated Greek is "pyro" (to set on fire). There are several ways to be on fire: 1) lust, 2) to be incensed or 3) eternal torment. People get married to extinquish sin. What they can't have outside marriage is blessed in the context of marriage. Those married are to multiply and the casual reader knows the mechanics of multiplying.
It's disrespectful for a man to "use" a woman, by not committing! Women who're used are tools for satisfying a man's libido (and for women too). That's just not right. It's called fornication.
1 Corinthians 6:9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind..."
Those who fornicate are unrighteous in the sight of God. However, those who have fornicated are subject to God's grace just as all the other sinners! However, forgiveness is contingent on contrition and those sorry are to whom grace is available. Thinking "Lord, forgive me for what I'm about to do!" isn't sorrow!
From a personal aspect I prefer marriage. When I was scouting unknown territories for a wife, I had certain metrics that interested me. Some are trivial, but others crucial:
1) A born-again Christian.
2) Accept that God comes first in marriage.
3) Attend church regularly with me.
4) Fellowship with Christians, not the worldly.
5) A conservative. (Alike politically).
6) Dark hair (I was being selfish!)
7) Slim (selfish again!)
8) Hard worker.
9) Good ethics.
10) Non-curser, non-drinker, non-smoker
11) Someone who did not use drugs nor ever did.
13) Simularities in families/upbringing.
14) Common interests.
15) Not a nagger nor a jealous person.
16) Not a manipulator.
17) A woman who doesn't overvalue money or things.
18) Woman who loves my children.
19) Woman who loves me dearly.
20) Woman who ignites heated fire in me! (Very selfish!)
21) Not a "rounder" (Someone not promiscuous)
I gave an acquaintance a list of what I was looking for in a wife. She said "The virgin Mary is dead!" I stuck to my guns awaiting the Lord to provide. God did good when I least expected it!
Were my criteria too high? Was I deserving? No! I was looking for what I wanted. We both looked not at the past, but at the present. We didn't care about previous relationships because we're to live in the present. We all are what we ARE, not what we WERE. That's important.
Single life in celibacy is the ideal if one's focus is solely on God. Otherwise, marriage is what makes people happy! We can do and feel things which before were taboo. However, friendship and commaraderie in marriage will eventually be more important than anything sexual because marriage is much more than "putting out the fire". Marriage is a picture of the church's relationship to Christ. It's a commitment that God honors and as a result, we have hope! Rule No. 1: We weren't meant to be alone. That's why man has wo-man; to be our help-mate!
Gen 2:20 "...but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Marriage is God's plan. Marriage is one woman and one man. Anything else is an abomination! That unity is why couples are to marry. You can't date and live apart for years because that's not unity. You can't cohabitate because that's not unity and is a dire sin! Obedience is the result of salvation. By living outside God's will is disobedience. Not married, but burning? Get married! Release guilt, please the preacher and parents and please God!