My number one priority is to spread the gospel, not to get a wife. But that doesn't mean I'm not attracted to women, or that I have the gift of celibacy as Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 7:7. It just means that I am more than happy to "renounce marriage because of the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:12). And besides, as a missionary in South America, I'm going to be going places I would not feel comfortable bringing the woman I love, for fear of her safety. I know that this is a decision I have to make, but I would really appreciate your advice. -- Ben Owen (Gainesville, Florida)

Remaining single for the kingdom--a rare and special gift--is something I have been teaching about for several years. Audiences (the singles, especially!) are always surprised when I advocate this lifestyle for those who are able. But it is what Jesus and Paul clearly stated is best, providing one has the gift. If you have the gift, you should use it.

There are many nations and situations where having a wife could put you into a compromised position, especially in the Muslim world, parts of Hindu India, and much of the (remaining) communist world. So, again, if you think you have the gift, I would encourage you to use it. Thank you for your heart.

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