Should Everyone Marry?
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Matt. 19:10 (Holman) His disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it’s better not to marry!”
Jesus’ high standard for marriage—one man, one woman, till death—terrified the disciples. The Apostles were ordinary guys, products of their raising. Easy divorce was all they had ever known. They had most likely seen lots of divorces work out well for husbands. They were culturally conditioned to think, if things go bad in a marriage, there’s always an easy way out. They had never bargained for anything as radical as what Jesus was presenting.
The disciples’ reply was not only staggering. It was also insightful. The 12 clearly understood what Jesus was saying. They got it! They didn’t agree yet—that came later—but knew exactly what He had commanded. They already knew Jesus wanted them to love others; they hadn’t yet applied it to their wives.
Their gut level reaction has an eerily modern ring to it, especially among young USA men. “Marriage is hazardous, too many restrictions, an inescapable trap, a miserable life. No easy door out? I don’t want to go in. Better no wife than a bad wife. Illicit sex is better than being lassoed in a permanent noose.”