“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?
’ And He [Jesus] answered him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment.
Jesus Christ and Paul declared the single life to be good, and even to be desired, because marriage and the responsibilities attached to it (spiritual, emotional, sexual, relational, mental, and financial) a distraction from Christ and the broader ministry of the kingdom.
Jesus said, “There are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
Singles, living without the gift of a spouse and choosing to abstain from sexual expression outside of marriage, have a richer opportunity to attend on Christ through daily relational devotion to Him and purposeful investment in the kingdom of God.
In fact, in many ways, the intense battle to be faithful to God through sexual abstinence provides the context for cultivating a close dependence on Jesus.
Society, which up to that point was centered on marriage and family, was now to include those who were unmarried as valued and equal partners.
This two-pronged mission, to love and to participate in Christ’s kingdom-oriented reordering of the world, is for everyone.
To follow Jesus faithfully means we need to reorient our values and priorities radically.
One radical value Jesus proclaimed was that single men and women had equal standing in His kingdom.
Undistracted, unhindered love and obedience to Jesus is what the Christian life is all about, whether a person is single or married.
But both Jesus and Paul taught that being single is preferable in order to remain focused on an undivided life lived for kingdom purposes.
To proclaim that singleness was good and even preferable to marriage was unheard of in a culture where marriage and family were considered the only blessed state.