Are single sisters happier?

by Esmeralda001 50 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Esmeralda001

    This question is for the ladies out there, but if you are a man and you'd like to share your thoughts on the following topic you are welcomed to do so.
    Given the WT society's view on women, did any of you ladies gave up on the idea of getting married "in the truth". In such case, did you sometimes feel that you were missing out? I've noticed that it is very common for sisters to visit different congregations in hope of finding a mate.

    I personally gave up on the idea of getting married and having children partly because I want to take care of my parents once i'm done with school and also because I don't want to be trapped in an unhappy marriage. My opinion is that the JW dating systems is set up in such a way that it rushes people into marriage when they have very little knowledge of their mate. I think that single women in the org. are in a better place, for they still have their independence and their freedom. I will never date/marry anyone. Freedom tastes too good :-). I Hope that I'm doing the right thing.

  • Divergent

    Hi Esmeralda,

    What makes you think that you would be trapped in an unhappy marriage if you marry? What makes you think that the man you choose to be your husband won't assist you in taking care of your parents? Why would you give up on marriage & having children when these are the only reasons you can think of to support your decision??

    I see a lot of negativity in your post. How about examining the positive side? Is your negativity due to a relationship / relationships you once had? Or is it due to observing the relationships of other people? Have you even tried dating before? If you haven't, why not give it a try? If you have, why not date someone else? Nobody's asking you to rush into marriage while having little knowledge of your mate!

  • Khaleesi

    Many sister in the JW want to find a suitable JW mate, but it's hard, there are many many single sisters in ratio to jw men... i am saying this because I found myself single again at 28 yrs old, I got married to a JW at 23.....I mistakenly thought that I can only have a happy marriage if married to a JW, NOT TRUE, many couples married at abt the same time I did at early 20s, multiple problems because as you stated the dating system.... I gave up dating any JW, you do have more options outside of JW, since you will be going to college you will see options.... don't rush take your time in the future you may change ur mind but don't limit yourself to thinking you need to find a mate in JW, think about what will happen if you walk away from this religion & married to a devoted JW? ....

  • Divergent

    Adding on to what Khaleesi said about marrying a JW mate, please also watch this video -

    You DON'T have to marry a JW!

  • Esmeralda001

    @ Divergent

    If I were to to marry in the lord, my parents wouldn't be able to attend my wedding at the KH because they are non-belivers. My husband would not help me taking care of them for the same reason. I'm pretty sure that my parents in law would reject them. It would grieve me to see my parents being disrespected. I'm also concerned that if I get married, I will be expected to give up on my career to stay at home and cook for my husband. The scariest part is that I would be expdcted to be submissive to him. That doesn't sound too good to me...

    I have dated a guy when I was "in the world". I was 19 and he was 24 at that time. In all honesty, it was a very pleasant experience, but I had to put a stop to our romance due to my increasing desire for sex. Also, I was afraid that this romance could affect my studies negatively.
  • Divergent

    Thanks for your reply, Esmeralda. First & foremost, we would need to define what to marry in the lord really means. Please read the following article & think for yourself which of the following 3 explanations makes the most sense:

    In 1 Corinthians 7:39 widows are told to marry “only in the Lord.”

    What does this mean?

    Context and background

    Let us begin by opening our Bibles to 1 Corinthians 7. As we skim through chapter 7 we are reminded that the topic of chapter 7 is marriage. The Corinthians have apparently asked some questions about God’s law regarding marriage and Paul is taking the opportunity at this point to address these questions. Verses 39-40 read, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment–and I think I also have the Spirit of God.” (NKJV)

    Three possible answers

    What we will notice is that there are three scriptural answers to this question. To answer this question what we will do is look at the reasons for the position and against the position. Then we will draw some concluding remarks and leave the decision in your hands. In each answer, there are some difficulties in the answer. What we will look for is the answer with the least amount of difficulties. Unfortunately the phrase “only in the Lord” is unique to this place in the scriptures. We cannot go to another place in the New Testament and read the phrase “only in the Lord” to know how to apply the statement. If this had been the case, the answer would be much simpler. Further, the phrase “in the Lord” has a number of meanings in the New Testament. We will note these meanings later in our study. Therefore, there are three possible and scriptural answers that we will concern ourselves with. (1) widows can only remarry Christians. (2) widows could only remarry Christians because of the present distress, but does not apply now. (3) “in the Lord” means to marry according to the law of God. Let us now deal with each of these three positions.

    “Widows Can Only Marry Christians” position

    Arguments in favor

    This is the majority view. Nearly every commentary and scholarly work I picked up said that what Paul means in 1 Corinthians 7:39 is that a widow is only authorized to marry a Christian. The NIV translators were so sure that this is the meaning of the verse that they translated the verse differently to reflect this opinion. The NIV reads, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” This is clearly an interpretation of the verse since all other translators render the phase “only in the Lord.”

    The greatest advantage to this position is that it is simple and straightforward. When reading this verse alone, it is the most natural answer to the passage. Further, the phrase “in the Lord” can refer to being a Christian. Romans 16:11, “Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.” Here Paul is clearly speaking to those who are Christians. To make the argument stronger, in 1 Corinthians 7, the very same chapter of the verse in question, Paul uses “in the Lord” to refer to Christians. Notice 1 Corinthians 7:22, “For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.” With this information before us and no other study done, it is easy to see why many would understand this passage to mean that a widow must only marry a Christian. If this was all that there was to the study, I would agree with the position present. However, let us notice the many difficulties that are presented by accepting such a viewpoint.

    Arguments against

    Let us begin with the most logical of arguments. No where in the scriptures do we read of any limitations upon whom a person may marry in regard to if they are Christians or not. In the very beginning, God commanded man to leave father and mother, be joined to his wife and the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Jesus teaches this principle himself in Matthew 19:4-15. This is general authority for all people to become married, unless there is specific prohibition, as we find in Matthew 19. But there is no specific prohibition against a Christian marrying a non-Christian. Many will misuse 2 Corinthians 6:14 to say that Paul is discussing marriage. But Paul is not discussing marriage and to make this passage a law that Christians can only marry Christians is something God never said.

    Further, such an argument violates the very commands Paul gave earlier in 1 Corinthians 7. In 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 Paul answers the Corinthians question about some of them being married to unbelievers. He does not tell them that being married to unbeliever is sin. In fact, Paul teaches the opposite. Christians married to unbelievers are to remain in marriage (7:12-13). Further Paul says that by being married to the unbeliever he or she may become a Christian (7:16). To say that a widow must marry a Christian violates Paul’s teaching here that the marriage is sanctified if married to an unbeliever.

    If a widow marrying an unbeliever is a sin, then what must one do to repent of the sin? Put away the unlawful marriage. How else could a person repent of this action if it is a sin to marry an unbeliever? The only answer is through divorce. Is this what God has told us to do? Is this what we will preach to people that Christian widows must divorce unbelieving spouses? Again, this is in clear violation of Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16. Paul said if the unbeliever is content to dwell with the Christian, DO NOT DIVORCE.

    What would be the logical argument to teach that widows must only marry Christians, but all other Christians do not have to? How can we justify teaching that there is logical sense for widows to marry Christians and not have all other Christians marry Christians as well? If God would command it of widows, why not for the rest of us? Some argue that it is better for widows to marry Christians. But that is true of all people. Others argue that widows needed to marry a Christian so the widow would be taken care of. But this is true of all Christians also.

    If Paul was teaching widows to get remarried to only Christians, why did he not say that in his other letter regarding widows and marriage? Turn to Romans 7:2-3. In this passage Paul gives the exact same instructions as he does in 1 Corinthians 7:39 except he says nothing about marry Christians. Did Paul give a different command to the Corinthians than he did the Romans? Turn to 1 Timothy 5:3-16. Here Paul gives the instructions for widows in Ephesus. In verse 14 the younger widows are told to get remarried so that they will be taken care of. Nothing in this passage says that widows are to only marry Christians. Did Paul give a different command to the widows in Ephesus than he did in Corinth? No. We must be misunderstanding what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7 since all of these difficulties arise from this position.

    Further, the statement by Paul in verse 39 would not make rational sense if “only in the Lord” refers to marrying Christians. Paul said that a widow is free to marry whomever she wishes. If a widow can only marry a Christian, then the widow is not free to marry whomever she wishes. It would be like me telling someone that they can go to any college in the United States as long as it is in West Palm Beach. The clause complete invalidates the statement about going to any college. This amounts to simple trickery. If Paul wanted to tell widows to only marry Christians, the simple statement would have been that widows are free to marry in the Lord. But he did not say it this way. He said they could marry whomever they wish. For “only in the Lord” mean marrying only Christians limits Paul’s statement of “marrying whomever they wish” to the point that it is not true.

    “Widows Can Only Marry Christians but Applied During Present Distress” position

    Arguments in favor

    There are many aspects of Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 7 that are said in the light of the present distress that the Corinthians were enduring. We see Paul make reference to this in 1 Corinthians 7:26, “I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress–that it is good for a man to remain as he is.” Paul certainly was not teaching that people for all time ought not be married. He said these words in light of the persecution that Corinthians were enduring. In verses 32-33 Paul explains why it is better to not be married during a persecution: “But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord–how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world–how he may please his wife.”

    Further, it can be argued that verse 39 was written with the present distress in mind. This can be seen from the flow of the argument given in verse 40: “But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment–and I think I also have the Spirit of God.” Paul said that she is happier to remain as she is. Was Paul saying that all widows are better off not marrying? No, that cannot be since he instructed younger widows to be married so that they would be taken care of in 1 Timothy 5:14. Obviously, Paul is says these words in light of the persecution. It would be better for widows not to get remarried during the present distress the Corinthians would be enduring. It can be contextually argued that Paul commanded widows that if they were going to remain during those difficult times, then they must marry a Christian.

    Arguments against

    But there are also some difficulties with this position. One problem is that the argument begins to pick and choose what commands were given because of the present distress and what were not. If there is a command that we do not like, then just attribute the command to the present distress. I do not believe we have the liberty to be so free with the commands of God. Unless the passage clearly speaks in such a way so as we know it is referring to the present distress, then we must be careful to simply throw away commands we do not like or cannot explain.

    Further, look carefully at verse 39 again. Is there anything in that verse which suggests that this command is referring to present distress? It does not seem to be the case. Further evidence of this is the fact that this principle that is given by Paul is given in other places in scripture. Romans 7:2-3 says the same thing as 1 Corinthians 7:39. Was Romans written in light of a present distress? No, it was not. It is a fundamental principle of marriage that a mate is bound to another as long as one of them lives. That was not a command that was true only in light of the present distress. It is a permanent command of God regarding marriage.

    We should also argue from logic. If this command was given because of a persecution, as the position argues, then what benefit would the widow have from marrying another Christian? If Christians are being persecuted, why would marrying a Christian be an advantage? It seems that the opposite is true, that it would be an advantage to marry an unbeliever and possibly be able to avoid the persecution. One who accepts this position must come up with a logic reason why it would be in the best interest of a Christian during a persecution to marry an unbeliever.

    “‘In The Lord’ Means According to the Law of God” position

    Arguments in favor

    The final way to look at this passage is to understand the statement “in the Lord” to not refer to marrying a Christian. Instead it is argued that “in the Lord” means according to the laws of God. There are many scriptures where the phrase “in the Lord” in used in such a way. Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” These are two clear passages where Paul used the phrase “in the Lord” to refer to obeying God’s will and not to being a Christian. Paul is not telling children to only obey their parents if their parents are Christians. He is telling children to obey their parents because that is God’s will. The same for wives in Colossians 3. Paul is not telling wives to only submit to Christian husbands. He is telling wives to submit because this is the will of God.

    Therefore Paul is telling the Corinthians that when a spouse dies, they are free to marry whomever they choose, according to the laws that God has given. In particular, they are free to marry according to the laws that Paul has just stated in chapter 7. Paul has just spent a whole chapter dealing with God’s legislation in marriage. Paul is reminding his readers that these commands are still in effect, even if your spouse dies.

    Arguments against

    The only objection in my mind to this position is that this position is not the most natural reading of the text. It does seem more natural to understand the passage as referring to marrying Christians. However, we have noted that while this may be a natural reading, it is full of too many conflicts and difficulties. Also, the use of the word “only” in verse 39 is a limiting factor. Paul is placing a limitation upon the widows in some sort of regard. Some argue that the word “only” is limiting the widows to only Christians. But this is not a necessary assumption.


    The three positions have been presented. I currently believe “only in the Lord” refers to being married according to God’s law because it has the least amount of difficulties and do not conflict with any other inspired word of God. In fact, in light of all the commands that Paul has given in 1 Corinthians 7, it seems like a natural reading for verse 39 to say that a widow is allowed to remarry whomever they wish, as long as they obey the commands Paul has just given. Everyone in encouraged to study these things for themselves and come to a determination in regard to this scripture. I hope that this study will give you a good head start in helping you come to an answer regarding this passage.

  • kaik

    In my KH we had JW woman who was single, never married, and available after Armageddon. She was very nice woman, and good friend with my mom. Both of them will sit next to each other and travel together. We even were together in 1991 assembly in Strahov in Prague. She always dressed with bright colors, unlike other elderly, single women who my mom called a gray mice. She had pink nails, red hat, beret, yellow to orange skits. Eventually she had a personal crisis after Strahov assembly, which even my mom does not know why. What I know, she did not have family either. One day she decided to jump in front of train, which run through my city. This train is more or less single car lorry, something like tram. She did not die as the impact catapulted her out, but she was disfigured and lost a limb. I went to visit her, she was looking out of window from wheel chair and refused to talk to anyone. She just stared away. Couple months later, she destroyed everything she owned, cut all pieces of her clothing, upholstery on her furniture, smashed all her china, and set the place on fire, while took sedatives, and died. I often wonder why she went the way she did. She did not deserved to commit suicide at age 60 or so. We could not even bury her, and she was cremated on the city expenses and scattered as she did not have anyone to claim the body.

    When it comes to marriage, St. Augustine said that marriage is for these, how are afraid to sleep alone in the darkness of the night. Some people are happy to be single, and some people wants to be married. Many have unhappy marriage, and some people have great marriage. There is no rule what makes things better.

  • Billy ex Blaze
    Billy ex Blaze
    "Sisters" tend to look for "spiritual" men in the congregation. The Borg has twisted their thinking so much that most "sisters" look for outward appearances such as titles, "privileges" and service. Instead of looking for someone who is compatible and well suited for them. I don't know how many times while I was "in" and single that I heard the saying that there just wasn't enough single "brothers"; what they really meant was that there wasn't enough Borg zombies.
  • Zana


    You think about taking care of your parents and how a marriage might influence that, but apparently you don't think about who is going to take care of you when you get older!?


    Thank you for this "in the Lord" interpretation. Very helpful! One problem remains though; How can you get married (JW to a non-JW) according to God's law, if obviously you cannot marry in a church or kingdom hall?

  • Divergent
    Thank you for this "in the Lord" interpretation. Very helpful! One problem remains though; How can you get married (JW to a non-JW) according to God's law, if obviously you cannot marry in a church or kingdom hall?

    Glad that you found the interpretation helpful =) As for your question, where does it say in the Bible that you MUST get married in a church or at a kingdom hall???

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