It is at least a consideration when deciding whether to trade the gift of celibacy for the gift of marriage.Marriage's sexual freedom is a great aid in the struggle for purity, as it provides a righteous outlet for sexual desire.
The debate is nothing new, though it's been reinvigorated in recent years. Lately, the pendulum has swung toward marrieds, and some even suggest that singles should not serve as pastors.I have previously written in defense of singleness in the pastoral role.And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit.But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.That visage brings change, spiritual growth, maturity, and a host of other pastorally helpful qualities. If the husband is worth his salt, he learns to concern himself primarily with the needs of his wife.
This is the essence of love and the hallmark of self-giving ministry. The man goes into marriage made of one set of material, but the heat and pressure change him.Rather, he is giving wise apostolic counsel regarding how the marital state affects life and ministry experience. I loved being a pastor, and the amount of time I could put toward pastoral ministry would have been sinful neglect of family for a married pastor. Billy Graham acknowledged this difference in a letter to the lifelong single John Stott. For those 20 years of single pastoring, my thoughts were substantially focused on the church. My mind moved there naturally with problem solving, creativity, prayer, sermon prep, and so on.Allow me to present the relevant points in 1 Corinthians 7 intertwined with my experience. As an example, over my single years, I would spend one, two, or three nights a week in the homes of church members. Those thoughts produced vision, teaching, and countless other helps that assisted my church greatly.Dealing with sexual desires is a matter of the heart, and a marriage ceremony doesn't change that challenge.There are many, many godly singles in ministry who are honoring God with their bodies.This list is certainly not exhaustive, and comments on this article will likely include many other worthy considerations. I often had people and groups in my home, as it was always available. In my single years, it seemed I had nearly boundless energy. The married pastor has much more to think about that lies outside of ministry.