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Can women remain unmarried?

Weekly Q&A

Can women remain unmarried?
Posted on February 18, 2020  - By Dr. Scott Shiffer

Is it possible for a woman to remain unmarried as per Paul or will it be against the Word of God to remain unmarried? (It’s not about being a nun.)

It is certainly not against the Word of God to remain single. Paul even encourages those who can remain unmarried to do so for the sake of the Gospel.

In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, it reads: “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

The point Paul makes here is that for those who are able to control themselves and remain celibate, they can be more fully devoted to ministry. Those who cannot remain celibate should marry. Marriage comes with many responsibilities. These responsibilities are all good and part of God’s plan for humanity, but they also make it difficult to devote one’s entire life to ministry.

If someone is married, she is not more valuable or more spiritual just for being married

So, for anyone called to remain single, there is nothing sinful about this. For those called to marry, there is nothing sinful about this. But whether one is single or married, he or she should devote whatever time and energy he can to the kingdom of God.

It is important to recognise that God has a purpose for the life of every person, whether single or married. If someone is single, she is not less valuable or even less in tune with the Holy Spirit. Likewise, if someone is married, she is not more valuable or more spiritual just for being married. We should all see purpose in whatever place we are at in life. And in that place, we should strive to serve the Lord as He calls and guides us.

Dr. Scott Shiffer

About Dr. Scott Shiffer

Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Faith and Culture Now, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations, including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for many years. Scott is married and has four children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges every day.



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