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Question: "Does marriage hinder your relationship with God?"

Answer:
The issue that marriage might hinder one’s relationship with God was of concern to Paul in 1 Corinthians 7. Because of this, he stated that it is best for a single person to remain as he was—single. But he understood that the ability to handle a single life without “burning” with passion was not a gift given to everyone (verses 7-9). He states in verses 32-35 that the unmarried people are able to serve the Lord in an “unhindered” fashion because they do not need to focus a part of their lives on pleasing their spouses. But he also stated that whether married or not, we should be focusing on serving Christ (verses 28-31).

But the fact that Jesus did not call just single men—and even selected Peter, a married man (Matthew 8:14), as one of the three closest disciples—indicates that marriage need not hinder one’s intimacy with Christ. Likewise, in the Old Testament there are two individuals (among others) who were intimate with God. One was Daniel; another was Moses. One was single; one was married. Thus, marriage was not a factor in determining intimacy with God. Christian biographies of such men as Hudson Taylor, George Mueller, and Jim Elliot would also indicate that one’s intimacy with Christ need not diminish with marriage.

The key to marriage not putting a damper upon one’s intimacy with Christ is to be sure to marry “in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39) or, to put it another way, not to become unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14) by marrying either an unbeliever or a believer who does not have the same doctrinal foundation or the same desire to serve Christ with a whole heart. Rather, if one marries “in the Lord,” the statements of Scripture concerning the benefits of a good companion become true (Proverbs 27:17; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), and the spouse becomes an aid and encouragement in one’s walk with Christ.

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