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35: Paul knew something that our singles ministries often miss, that Christian singleness is more than a waiting period for marriage.
Friendship between women and men was not satisfactory, and often true friendship ceased once the woman or man found the *significant other* they longed for so deeply.
The church certainly encourages marriage; most Christian singles ministries are designed for match-making, so that singles can begin to experience the joy of Christian marriage. Still other churches neglect or don’t know how to approach singles ministries.
I recently heard about a church in my area that needed someone to oversee the singles ministry, but no one wanted to take it up even though 40% of all adults in their congregation were single (which is true for the general population of this country as well)!
Therefore, I think that the metaphor that best describes Christian relationships is indeed a familial metaphor, but the spouse isn’t the source (or ideal) for that metaphor.
It is important to know what a Christian marriage should look like, and CBE is clear that mutuality is the governing principle as taught by Eph. But for other relationships in the church, Christians should treat one another as siblings in Christ—caring for each other’s needs and loving them because they are bound by adoption to a common family.
But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided.