Many people today would like everyone to believe that being single is every bit as good as being married. However, this goes against the basic principle that no one on earth, man or woman, was created for their own sake. In reality, all people were created for the sake of others (TCR 406). It is the particular case with women that they:
were created to be beauties, not for their own sake, but for the sake of men, so that men’s natural hardness might become softer, the natural solemnness of their dispositions more amiable, and the natural coldness of their hearts warmer. And this is what happens to them when they become one flesh with their wives…. Nothing is created in [the universe] more perfect than a woman attractive in appearance and becoming in behavior, in order that a man may thank the Lord for such a gift and repay it by receiving wisdom from Him. (CL 56.5)
This passage also reflects a similar fact regarding the wisdom of a man, that it was not created for its own sake, but for the sake of giving form to the life brought to it by its wife.
The basic fact of creation is that being single is not better than being married. This stems from the fact that:
The state of marriage is preferable to a state of celibacy … The state of marriage is preferable because it exists from creation; because the origin of it is the marriage between good and truth; because it corresponds to the marriage of the Lord and the church; because the church and conjugial love are constant companions; and because the use it serves is more excellent than the uses served by anything else in creation, seeing that it results, according to order, in the propagation of the human race, and also of the angelic heaven, since heaven exists from the human race. In addition to this, marriage is the completion of a person, for by marriage a person becomes a complete person … None of these things is true of celibacy. (CL 156)
For those who would argue this point, let them consider that:
if one takes the proposition that a state of celibacy is better than the state of marriage and turns it over to an inquisition to approve and confirm by arguments, then these arguments lead to the following conclusions: That marriage is not sacred, nor can any marriage be chaste. Indeed, that chastity in the female sex is possible only in the case of those who refrain from marrying and take a vow of perpetual virginity. And moreover, that people who take a vow of perpetual celibacy are the kind of people meant by ‘eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God’ (Matthew 19:12). Besides many other conclusions which, stemming from an untrue premise, are also untrue. ‘Eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God’ mean spiritual eunuchs, and these are people who in their marriages abstain from the evils of licentious relationships. (CL 156)
Marriage is preferable to remaining single because, as will be seen, the only truly good manner of being single is to abstain from licentiousness, lasciviousness, and the resulting sexual activities. In other words, the only orderly form of single living is celibacy. And, as was stated above, marriage is preferable to celibacy. Therefore it can be seen that marriage is an integral part of life that is to be pursued in relation to spiritual life even with those who, on this earth, are unable to find a suitable partner. More on this below.
Getting In The Mindset For Marriage
The mindset for marriage is a mental approach to life that is affirmative to spiritual living. The mindset for marriage is a perspective that seeks to love others outside of itself and attain wisdom of life. The mindset for marriage requires that a person acknowledge God and His role in their life so that He will be able to work with them in preparing them for marriage and the happiness of life in heaven.
Too often the world mistakes cleverness for wisdom (CL 182). “An ability to confirm whatever one pleases is not the mark of an intelligent person; rather, the mark of an intelligent person is to be able to see that truth is true and falsity false, and to confirm that” (CL 233). The mindset for marriage requires people “to think and draw conclusions from ends and causes [for this] is to proceed from goods and truths seen in the higher region of the mind to their effects in the lower region – this being the way of human rationality from creation” (CL 408).
The single most important aspect of right thinking is to not attribute to nature things that rightly are God’s (CL 415). Too often when it comes to marriage, marital relations, or other related subjects, people’s minds turn to nature, which is to say science, to explain phenomena which are predominantly spiritual, and therefore from God. The fact is “nature was created to serve the life which is in God and from God … Nature in itself is lifeless, and thus does nothing of itself, but is actuated by life” (CL 415). Therefore, it is important, when thinking about preparation for marriage, to realize that the Word of God reveals truths which are true not just in some ethereal fashion, but in down-to-earth, real-life ways.
There is a bit of a warning in the statement that “all in heaven worship God, and all in hell worship nature” (CL 415). The fact is “people who believe that the Divine operates in every single thing of nature, can, from the many things which they see in nature, confirm themselves on the side of the Divine, just as well as and even more than those who confirm themselves on the side of nature” (CL 416, see also CL 417). Whereas “people who attribute all things to nature see these wonders, indeed, but they think only that they exist, and say that nature produces them” (CL 416). Therefore “let everyone guard himself, therefore, from confirmations on the side of nature. Let him confirm himself on the side of the Divine. There is no lack of material for it” (CL 421).
There is one particular aspect of marriage and human life which seems most often to be put off as non-essential, the church. Truly conjunctive marriage, with all of its joys, is only available to people who pursue true spiritual life, the life of religion. If “church is just not your thing” it should be a matter of reflection that the Lord teaches that “no good love exists in people who reject the sanctities of the church and banish them from the front of their heads to the back, or from before their hearts to behind them” (CL 240). This is not to say that only priests and other full-time employees of the church can have true love. Rather, it is the case that no matter what your occupation, believing in the Lord God Jesus Christ, shunning evils, and doing good must be central to your decision-making process, your lifestyle, and your preparation for and participation in marriage.