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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.But is marriage the biblical ideal for *all* gender relationships among Christians? Paul seems to be saying that the ideal is to be fully devoted to the Lord, and somehow marriage “divides” devotion.Such a metaphor is less exclusive because there is no prerequisite or exclusion, as there is with marriage.Therefore, the metaphor for understanding gender relationships, and indeed all relationships for Christians should be that of “sibling.” And there is no place for inequality among siblings before our Creator.
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.
Often the gender debate focuses narrowly on leadership and marriage, at the expense of many.
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.