Jesus never married. Paul commended singleness as preferable to marriage, at least for some. And for centuries, and still today in the Roman Catholic Church, priests were expected to be celibate.

But in much of the world today, the pendulum has swung to the opposite side. We look with skepticism on singles, especially if they serve in ministry. Maybe there’s something wrong with them, we assume. Spiritual maturity is sometimes equated with marriage, and then with children. And that’s not necessarily wrong, since God can and does use those roles and responsibilities to sanctify believers. But such a view still reflects many cultural assumptions not necessarily shaped by Scripture.

Sam Allberry has contributed a timely word for this discussion in his new book, 7 Myths About Singleness. Sam is a pastor, global speaker for Ravi Zacharias Ministries, and editor for The Gospel Coalition. He argues that neither marriage nor singleness can satisfy our longings. Only Christ can do that. And I love this quote from his book that sums up his whole argument: “If marriage shows us the shape of the gospel, singleness shows us its sufficiency.” How true. It all points to Christ.

Allberry joins me on The Gospel Coalition Podcast to discuss these myths, why we don’t talk enough about the challenges of marriage, the need for intimate friendships, sexual temptation, and much more.