(1 Cor. 7:8) Is Paul against marriage?

CLAIM: Marriage is a gift from God, and Paul argued that men who deny marriage are from Satan (1 Tim. 4:1-4). However, here he writes, “It is good for them if they remain even as I” (1 Cor. 7:8). Was Paul speaking against marriage?

RESPONSE: Paul was not forbidding marriage. Instead, he was giving his view for that time, because of the persecution in the first century. If you were being tortured for following Christ, that would be bad. But, imagine how much worse it would be, if you had a wife and kids? Later in the same chapter, Paul writes, “Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is” (1 Cor. 7:25-26). Paul explicitly points out that getting married is not sinful (“If you marry, you have not sinned” v.28). However, in view of the persecution at the time, we can agree with Paul that it would probably have been better to remain single.