Jesus recognized a variety of sources of singleness. Some are born not to marry, some become single by the actions of others, and others choose not to marry. The disciples had suggested that maintaining a faithful marriage was so difficult that singleness was a preferable option.
The tragedy of our time is the number of persons who have become single because of that difficulty. A single mother—or father—mirrors the widow, and needs to be accorded similar care. Scripture states God’s concern for widows and orphans many times, providing for their sustenance, and accusing those who ignore their plight.
Our culture continues to devalue the family and trumpets easy divorce. Apart from the pain of divorce, the drive for women’s independence has led many women to a life of unnecessary hardship, leaving many unmarried mothers to fend for themselves and the children without the benefit of married companionship and support.
We must recognize the deluding false messages encouraging marriage break-up before accusing those that fail. Some marriages break up because of intolerable abuse, but those that end simply due to dissatisfaction could have endured to the benefit of both partners and children.
While the biblical mandate for faithful marriage may be demanding and resolving marriage conflict challenging, its rewards are incalculable.