Were any of Jesus' disciples married?

At least some of Jesus' disciples were married. Matthew writes directly about Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14), and Paul references other disciples being married in 1 Corinthians 9:5 when he says he has a right to marry a believing woman because Peter, Jesus' brothers, and other apostles had married. However, Paul was not married, at least at the time of his writings.

From this, it's fairly simple to conclude that ministers, pastors, missionaries, and other church leaders and workers are allowed by the Bible to be married.

Paul did write about the benefits of being single when working for the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32–35). He said, "I wish that all were as I myself am [unmarried]. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another" (1 Corinthians 7:7). He also wrote that "… it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:9). The qualifications for elders and deacons include references to their marriages and families (1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9). These qualifications do not require that church leaders be married, but they do certainly demonstrate that many were.

We know that the Roman Catholic doctrine of celibacy for clergy does not line up with the examples of the disciples. Some were married and some were not. In fact, Peter, whom Catholics claim is the head of the church and the first Pope, was clearly married.

Christians can serve God in any life situation. Marriage is a reflection of Christ's relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:22–33). It can be a relationship of love and support in which each spouse is encouraged to follow God all the more deeply and the two work as one to further His kingdom. In singleness, a person might be more directly focused on God's kingdom. Singleness also provides a unique opportunity to rely solely on God for relational intimacy. Both situations, of course, have unique struggles and hardships. No matter our current life situation, we are called to depend on God and faithfully follow Him.


Related Truth:

Was the apostle Paul ever married?

What does the Bible teach about marriage?

Does the Bible talk about a Christian staying single?

What are the concept and the goals of Christian missions?

What is the 'husband of one wife' qualification for pastors / elders / deacons (1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)?


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