I've never thought of marriage as second best to singleness.

I admire those who have the gift of singleness. But it's not a universal gift, and it's not a superior one.

Marriage does not hinder individuals' effectiveness for the Kingdom or their capability to be whole-heartedly devoted to Christ. It is simply a commitment between two people, each committed to Christ, who are brought together by God as partners seeking and following Him in this life.

Marriage is a God-ordained covenant between two people in order to make them holy, the closest representation on this earth of Christ and the church.

If we are to glorify God by becoming more like Him, I can say with complete confidence that my time with someone has been some of the most edifying, spiritually strengthening, and encouraging in my life. It has certainly not distracted me from my walk with God or my involvement in ministry. And understanding love in a new, deep and profound way has given me a clearer understanding of what it means to love God, and what it means that He loves me unconditionally and perfectly.

When God instituted marriage, it was not as a fall-back. God knew what He was talking about when He said, in the beginning, that "it is not good for the man to be alone".

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