As I write this article this morning I am looking at a little booklet by a well-known Baptist ministry in the United States called SINGLENESS: The Misunderstood World of Single Adults by Martin R. De Haan II (Radio Bible Class, 1993). It contains some excellent advice for young (and even not-so-young) singles and is, on the whole, balanced and well thought-out.
It does, however, contain some serious errors concerning Yahweh's will in the arena of singleness and marriage. Like all writings that have been produced in a monogamy-only context, it recognises that there are more women believers than men. And it's conclusion to the problem, like all Christian monogamy-onlyists, is that therefore it is Yahweh's intention that some remain single, and proceeds to give advice on how singles can remain productive in the Messiah (Christ) and avoid the temptations of the world. But it does so by wrongly stressing that there are 'alternatives' to marriage provided by our modern society such as education, vocations, and so forth.
"Women and men are choosing to find fulfilment through employment or service to society or other ways that bring them into relationships with people,"
the writer adds, and reminds us:
Though I hate to contradict so esteemed a writer as Martin De Haan I have to state quite categorically that what he has written is a blatant misrepresentation of biblical teaching. You will search in vain, from Genesis to Revelation, to find a woman called by Yahweh into singleness, and the few men you do find you will discover to be extraordinary exceptions to the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. Indeed, you cannot avoid reading the Bible and learning that to be barren is nothing short of a curse. Of course, Yahweh is more than able to lift barrenness and did so for women of faith like Rebekah and Hannah. Interestingly, both were polygamous.
"Married people need to be aware that some of the single men and women sitting next to them in church choose to remain single and be just as fulfilled as those who are married" (p.12)
The whole concept of the permanent blessedness of singleness is Catholic and monogamy-only in origin. The early part of the Edenic story in Genesis is that in spite of all the fulfilling things one can find to do in life, there is absolutely no substitute for marriage companionship. None whatsoever. The only instance where singleness is enjoined in Scripture (by Paul) is under extraordinary and exceptional circumstances, namely, deadly persecution making the raising of families not only undesirable but actually impossible. It is this one exception clause which has been twisted by monogamy-onlyists to justify celibacy as not only an alternative to marriage but, in some instances, as being superior to it too.
Though the Bible does not speak directly of such a situation, there can be no doubt that sometimes singleness can be therapeutic or remedial in situations where a woman is getting over an abusive first marriage or a man is reforming himself from, say, some sexual abberation. So singleness is certainly desirable in certain situations for a periof of time.
The first verse of the fourth chapter of Isaiah reveals the foolishness of the monogamy-only distortion where we discover seven women who realise, almost too late, that polygamy is so much more desirable than the curse of the terrible state of singleness (and therefore 'barrenness') that they are willing to absolve their husband of his responsibility to look after them and instead take care of their own physical needs. What spirit could possibly drive women to make such a major concession? Quite simply, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
I am not condemning singleness as a phase in life - obviously not - because singleness and celibacy are an absolute prerequisite to marriage. Nor am I condemning singleness for therapeutic reasons nor, in rare cases, where a man (like Jeremiah) or woman is unquestionably called to give full-time service in (for example) missions. There are always some exceptions. What I am condemning is any hint of a teaching, or an excuse, that Yahweh has specifically called someone to be single all their lives or for any length of their lives because of the unavailability of husbands imposed by monogamy-onlyism. As you go through the Bible and add up the number of people who were called to be single and you will discover that in the space of 5,000 years, you will find that there are fewer than there are fingers on your hands. That's fewer than one person per century. Jeremiah (for certain), John the Baptist and perhaps the odd prophet here or there are called. The apostle Paul was almost certainly either a widower or a divorcee in his latter years.
Marriage is a commandment with an exception clause only if Yahweh wills it. It is, if you like, the default rule. It is a divine expectation. Anyone who is claiming that Yahweh has not commanded them to be married ever may well want to prayerfully check out that this truly is Yahweh's will and not a cop-out. If anyone believes that they are called to be single and have not received a specific call like one of the single prophets for whom marriage would have been impossible then I have to say that there is a strong possibility that they are being deceived by a false spirit. If the excuse is that there aren't enough marriageable single Christian/Messisanic men to go around, then they need to seriouslty and prayerfully consider the polygamy option. Either way they need a revelation from Heaven.
I have met many single women who, for one reason or another (some pro-polygamy and some anti), believe they have been called into permanent lives of singleness, and almost without exception I have found an idolatry in their lives. They have - again with few exceptions - substituted the call to marriage with something else, invariably a career which can often swallow their time and energy so completely that they in truth have little time for Yahweh, and certainly not the kind of time for which they were created. For all women were created to be wives and mothers in the same way all men are called to be husbands and fathers. It is their first and primary calling. Interestingly, there are no biblical exceptions. Careers are not part of Yahweh's mandate to them. Careers are exceptions (in order to survive), not the rule. Industrious they are most certainly to be, but with few exceptions their industriousness is to be home-based. It is the husband who is to go out and work unless he too has a home-based carrer. When career becomes the rule, something seriously is amiss. And invariably, career destroys them in some way or another
If a woman is getting a spiritual signal that she is to permanently remain single, and half her life has already expired, then she is listening to the wrong source. And if she is listening to the wrong source, then somewhere along the line she may well not being obedient to Yahweh's call: she may be out of harmony with Heaven and, more than likely, has substituted something else for what she believes is the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
Though these words may seem brutally harsh, the 'brutality' is in truth merely the revelation of idolatry. Idolatry desensitises and ultimately brutalises our spirits. It bashes them around so badly that we cease seeing right. Godliness can then become a mask we wear instead of a truely liberated life in Christ. I have seen many of these masks - they lack the freedom and true joy that comes from liberated living. Men are no different - most these days prefer a life of seriel fornication.
I consider my life to be one of daily repentance and liberation. A day does not pass when I do not detect a sign of idolatry somewhere. So I am not taking a 'holier-than-thou' attitude to singles. Far from it. My plea is that we all get on our knees and be truthful - unabashedly truthful in order to move in Yahweh's Ruach (Spirit).
You can walk through your life as a believer and really convince yourself that you are in Yahweh's will when, suddenly, an idolatry larger than life is revealed to you and for a while you are stunned into the shock of disbelief (as was the rich young man whose idolatrous love of money Yah'shua/Jesus exposed). I am writing this article as I work through an area of idolatry in my own life which I previously never knew was there, and it is so fundamental that it has coloured almost every area of my thinking without my ever realising it. It was revealed by such a simple scriptural truth that I am still amazed that I never saw it before.
There are many like myself who have now demoted their Greek New Testaments to a secondary status and turned to the original Hebrew and Aramaic NT texts instead. Many of the errors of the centuries have been culled by this simple exercise. The exercise has brought me into the joyful depths of humility as one enslaving enigma after another has been disposed of. I am sure that all the wonderful things that have been happening to me in the last few weeks are a result of this freeing process.
Men, if you are single right, there is a wife, or wives, waiting for you right now. You may be forcing her to wait because you won't accept your divine calling. Yahweh is having to hold her back. And if you haven't found them yet then it may be because there's something you should be doing first which you aren't.
Women, if you are single right now, there is a husband out there waiting for you right now. And if you haven't found him yet it may be because there's something you should be doing first which you aren't.
It is Yahweh's will that as soon as boys and girls reach maturity and know who their marriage partners are supposed to be that they marry. My study of the marriage practices of the Hebrews reveals that in practice this means that boys and girls walking in the commandments of Yahweh will be first marrying at around 20 (when a young man was considered to have come of age) and 16+, respectively. Of course, it is up to Yahweh to set the date. You just have to be prepared to respond earlier rather than later.
For myself, I had to wait until my mid-20's until I got married the first time, and I didn't get it right until at least a decade later because I was not walking in Yahweh's commandments entirely as I ought to have been. Only as I have conformed myself to the Gospel of Yah'shua (Jesus) in its fullness have the doors of blessedness swung the more widely open for me.
To be sure, I have been blessed ever since I met Jesus nearly 40 years ago but not until I discovered that He was Yah'shua and that Yahweh's Torah requirements of salvation have never changed have I begun to feel the joy of complete liberation. Today I discovered something I should have been doing which I never before knew about. It filled me with guilt and remorse. I made the decision to obey, had the guilt lifted from me, and a new joy flooded into my soul. And in the space of one hour I discovered something about Yahweh that I never really knew before. He revealed Himself to me in a new way, leaving me in awe.
I tell you, and I tell you most soberly because it is Yahweh's truth, that marriage and the Gospel Way are completely and totally inseparable. You can't fully know Yahweh and not be married, or not have been married. A godly marriage is your initiation into a knowledge, joy and freedom of Yahweh which no single can possibly ever know. You cannot come to the fullness without marriage, and you certainly cannot be a minister or a counsellor as a spinster or a batchelor. Why do you think that marriage is an absolute requirement of Elders and Deacons (and their female counterparts - 1 Timothy 3:2,12; Titus 1:6)? Why was marriage an absolute requirement anciently (and indeed still today) for being a true adult Israelite? Why? And remember this, that under the New Covenant we are all priests - men and women alike! That means that there is an obligation to marry once you know whom Yahweh wants you to tie the knot with. And if Yahweh has placed that obligation on you, then you can be 100% sure that He has a spouse ready for you here and now if you are willing to obey Him! And if He has kept you waiting, then it may be because you are in rebellion somewhere along the line (unless you are in remedial or therapeutic 'wait mode') ... not to punish you (especially if you are in all likelihood rebelling in ignorance) but to bless you. Or it could be that the one you are supposed to marry isn't ready yet, as I said before.
In other words, if you have been kept single half your life, then in all likelihood it is out of mercy to you, to ensure you marry the right person. Better to wait than to presumptuously marry and join the trashheap of failed marriages. And what a heap that is today ... and it's growing larger.
A failed marriage is not what anyone truly wants
If you are despairing of finding a godly man or woman to marry, make sure that you yourself are first measuring up to the standards of godliness required. There are many men and women I know who think themselves so spiritual and yet who are failing to live some of the most fundamental commandements - honouring the Sabbath Day being perhaps one of the most universally flouted. If you can't manage the 10 Commandements, how on earth do you expect to manage all the others?
I would say also that many, if not most, of those who belong to the remnant church (messianic community) at this time in history are almost certainly called into polygamy at some point in their lives. Most of the leaders of this Body are almost certainly called to be polygamous and there will be little chance of them escaping this truth as they align themselves more closely to Yahweh's will on a daily basis. And if you are a woman, and if you belong to the remnant elect, the chances are that you will be polygamous too.
Show me a remnant Body where there are spinsters and batchelors committed to a life of singleness and I will show you a church out of order. If the spinsters and batchelors are going through great difficulties, encourage them to praise Yahweh for they are being refined in preparation for patriarchal marriage. Show me spinsters and batchelors who are 100 per cent content with their singleness who refuse to listen to the call to marriage and I will show you spinsters and batchelors out of harmony with Yahweh's will.
Before I used to deal primarily with a devil who was leading people into sin. I still am, of course. But more and more I am daily dealing with a devil who wastes peoples' time so they aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing. If there are content men and women who know the truth of biblical polygamy but who are planning to remain single and look no further, they had better get their act together quickly before Yahweh pulls the carpet from under their feet. Far better for them to do what they are supposed to be doing and enter marriage in joy rather than wait until they are forced by desperate circumstances to come begging like the seven women of Isaiah 4:1. Unfortunately, I know of a number of proud and stubborn women who will be forced to do just that.
I'm afraid this essay has probably jarred the sensibilities of a number of readers. As one who is being jarred to repentance on an almost daily basis, I rejoice that Yahweh is shaking His people so that all the junk falls away. And I know that some of you are shaking and crying out for deliverance. Know that the shaking is part of the deliverance. Try to find some joy in it, knowing that it is for your happiness and His glory.
So I conclude once again with this statement: There are no singles in the Kingdom of Heaven in the eternities. It just isn't in the plan. So don't kid yourself if you are in perment self-willed single-mode. Rather, repent, be honest, search the Scriptures, and make sure you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. What makes you think that Yahweh has excepted you from marriage or from obeying the commandments?
The survival and peace of the New Covenant Commonwealth of Messianic Israel - the remnant church (messianic community) which will in due course be required to pass through end-time tribultion - is dependent upon obedience to all the commandments. It is dependent upon its members being true overcomers. It is the function of its ministers to instruct the people to correctly obey and observe the commandments, festivals, and laws of marriage.
So what business do foolish men and women have in trying to undo it by excusing themselves from this commandment or that observance?
Many Christians/Messianics are in denial that they are Israel, but Paul refutes them. If you have accepted Yah'shua (Jesus) as your Saviour, you are grafted into the vine of Israel and all her ordinances, statutes and commandments forever.
"If those ordinaces depart from before Me, says Yahweh, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever" (Jeremiah 31:35-36).
Let us awaken to a lively sense of our duty and calling and turn boldly into the Way that leads us to the place Yahweh wants us to go. Amen.
Stand up, resist the enemy, and do your duty!
 Świętosława Brzezinska, A Practical Examination of Singleness