In a recent question and answer session at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA, pastor John MacArthur said that single men ought to see themselves as the saviors and redeemers of the women who will become their wives, arguing that men save women from an unfulfilled life by marrying them.
MacArthur’s words came in response to the question of a young man named Ben. “I have a question regarding 1 Corinthians 7. So I’ve noticed that many of my brothers and I — all of us meet the 1 Corinthians 7 prerequisite. We are wrestling with God and searching out a woman to potentially be a helpmate,” Ben said.
In the passage that Ben referred to, the apostle Paul instructs the Corinthians that being unmarried allows Christians to devote themselves more fully to ministry but concedes that it would be better to marry than to “burn with passion.”
“I’ve noticed in myself and I’ve heard brothers express this paradox of sorts that we recognize the fact that we have romanticized romance and have, at times, set up this unknown woman as an idol, discontent with what God has given us,” Ben continued. “But we also know that as single men with conscious sexual feelings, it’s not good [for us to be] alone and that God has specifically created us to have a wife.”
Then Ben asked, “So my question is, how do we reconcile these two thoughts in terms of timing?”
“Well, you might be eager to obey the command but can’t find anybody who’s willing to marry you. So there’s always that reality,” MacArthur joked.
After the laughter of the crowd died down, MacArther gave Ben a more serious answer, saying, “This is a really important question, Ben, because marriage is the grace of life. Marriage is the most fulfilling relationship in life on every possible front. And this particular culture we live in today has postponed that more and more. It seems like every year the average marriage age gets older and older and older and older.”
“And this puts tremendous pressure on young people to maintain purity when they have reached the age where they would desire to be married and desire to start a family,” MacArthur continued. “So all I can do is to exhort Christian people not to get caught up in what you said — not to get caught up in the perfections that this society drags in front of you which are not related to reality.”
MacArthur then referred to Ephesians 5, wherein Paul uses the relationship between Christ and the Church to illustrate the selflessness that should characterize spouses’ relationship to one another.