Why does the Church seem to place so much emphasis on unmarried Christians getting married?
Well, fellow GAPpers, I’m glad you asked. Personally, I think the Church places emphasis on marriage because it receives a whole lot of influence from the world around it. It’s the culture we live in. It isn’t just the Church that tells us we should grow up, get married and have babies. Turn on your television. I’d be willing to bet you can’t leave it on one channel for more than 15 minutes without seeing a commercial for eHarmony or Match.com or Christian Mingle. Unless you’ve got it on HBO… they don’t do the commercials. But you get my point, right? Dating websites are a dime a dozen because they prey on our cultural fear that we’re gonna die alone. And they make money hand over fist because people are so desperately afraid of being alone that they’re willing to pay $30 a month to let some computer find their compatibility rating with a random member of the opposite sex. Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent decrying the evils of internet dating. There’s nothing wrong with that. I just use it to illustrate the influence those sites have on our culture. To think that the Church is immune to the influence of that culture would be naive.
At the same time, I don’t want to suggest that the Church should push for the other end of the spectrum either. While Paul’s opinion on singlehood is a wise one, it can be a difficult and, at times, lonely life to lead. But it’s a life that needs to be led by God, not by the opinions of the people around you. If He calls you to be single, be single, and live that life passionately for Him. If He places someone in your life with whom you can share your walk with Christ, by all means, marry that person. But those choices are definitely for you to decide, not the Church.