I've been wanting to write this thread for a long time, but have been trying to organize my thoughts, so... here goes.
So the obvious questions I'm asking are: Do you believe you'll sin more as a single person or as a married person? Which is worse? Therefore, which should you choose?
Yes, I realize this sounds terribly pessimistic but for me personally, I've found that this is what it boils down to. (Braces herself for a good old-fashioned Christian stoning.)
Let me explain to you what I mean: as a single, we all face struggles and temptations (lust always seems to rank pretty high up there on the list for most of us.) What other temptations and sins do you fall to as a single? For myself, unGodly anger, discontentment, loneliness, bitter envy, and suicidal thoughts are some of my biggest struggles at times.
But guess what? From my own experience, I felt all those things in when I was married/in relationships as well. I had all the same issues, temptations, and sinful behaviors I committed as a single, just in a different form when I was married. (For everyone who thinks all lust and sexual temptations are "cured" in marriage--they're not. Married people who feel that they are, you are more than welcome to correct me.) I think what many single people don't realize is that you'll face times in marriage where sex doesn't happen (because of illness, pregnancy, stress at work, etc.), and this time, your only hope of an option is your marriage partner, so if your spouse doesn't want to or can't have sex, guess what. You're back to square one--not having sex and wishing you could, but you can't. And this time, your situation is permanent.
One of the things that scares me about marriage is that life is so variable and marriage is set in stone. I love the idea of a lifelong, loving commitment. But I am terrified of the fact that if things were to get so bad that I am thinking of killing myself every day (as I did in my former marriage), it doesn't matter because as a Christian, you stay no matter what.
I was expressing my fear of getting married to a non-Christian co-worker once and she said, "Oh honey, it's ok. It may take a few tries to find the right person, and if you make a few mistakes, that's all right. My mother-in-law went through 3 marriages before she finally found the right person" (and they've been married now for something like 25 years.)
To be honest, I couldn't even answer because her reply made me shake inside. I went home... and I cried my eyes out. I wanted to explain to her, "NO, NO, I absolutely CANNOT make mistakes or accidentally choose the wrong person or get a other chances BECAUSE I'M A CHRISTIAN, and marriage is something that can NEVER be broken for ANY reason."
When I have a day off, one of my guilty pleasures is turning on the Investigation Discovery channel for several hours. I have a particular fascination with cases in which people who strongly identify themselves as Christians are involved. For example, I have recently watched several cases in which pastors have killed their own wives (making it look like an accident or suicide, of course) because they wanted to be with another woman.
Don't get me wrong, this kind of action is deplorable. But, being a lifelong Christian, you can also see their reasoning: "If my wife dies, I'm free to do whatever I want and be with whomever I want. But if I get a divorce... my career and life are over. Therefore, I'm going to have to make it look as if she died..."
There is a part of me that totally understands this reasoning, even though it is completely wrong. But in my experience, the church, and most especially other Christians, are much happier to see you dead (or that your spouse has died) rather than divorced. I've actually known people who have told people their spouse died rather than admit to being divorced because of the backlash they've received.
The conclusion for myself is, I don't have confidence in myself at this point that I can stay in a marriage forever, as I've seen too many horrible things happen within marriages beyond the couple's control that I'm not sure how I would handle (death of a child, Alzheimer's in which your spouse no longer knows you and thinks you are a stranger, terminal illness, etc.) I know I would make mistakes and sin as a married person, and one of those sins might even be wanting to leave the marriage if it felt too overwhelming (yes, whether through death or divorce.)
And I know people are going to tell me I need to walk in the faith of God, not fear (see? I'm sinning already.)
Therefore, I know I'm guilty of some kind of sin each and every day.
At this point in my life, I just figure I'm better off sinning as a single person. For now, I handle the temptations of singleness by keeping strict boundaries up and never allowing myself to feel romantic love. (Is it a sin to still hope that someday, I hope I'll meet someone with whom all the walls come down?)
Do you believe you sin as a single? Do you believe you would sin as a married person? Which is worse, the sins of the single or of the married? Knowing this, what choice would you believe is best for you?
The poll is anonymous, and even though the answers are pretty much polarized, you're free to choose whichever ones you identify with.
I would love to hear your thoughts.