Questions: Chapter 4

  1. Of the three stages of marital decisions making (pages 63-64), which one best describes your current status? Are you reading this book to prepare for potential opportunities in the future or to help assess and process a current relationship?
  2. In Paul’s counsel to unmarried believers, which of his directives seem to have the force of a command (representing God’s moral will), and which represent an appeal to wisdom?
  3. How would you paraphrase Paul’s counsel to single Christians in 1 Corinthians 7?
  4. As a devoted follower of Christ, how should you respond to your current assignment from God to be single?
  5. With respect to your aspirations for marriage, how would you distinguish your goals from you desires? What can you do to attain your goals?
  6. Are you single by choice or by circumstance? What insights do you gain from the perspectives of Jesus and Paul that you can apply to your life for as long as you remain single?

Note:  The meaning of one’s “own gift from God” (1 Cor 7:7) is variously understood by Bible scholars. The traditional view holds that this is a reference to the spiritual gift of celibacy  – the supernatural endowment to serve God joyfully as a single person without being unduly distracted or frustrated by sexual temptation. But two other interpretations critique the weaknesses of this viewpoint and offer alternative explanations. For an evaluation of these three views, see “The Gift of Celibacy.”