Of the original twelve apostles, we know that Peter was married because of what we read in Matthew 8:14-15, “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.”  It is possible that some of the other apostles were married.  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:5, “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?”  This seems to indicate that other apostles were married although we do not read anything more about it.  To ‘lead about’ a wife is translated ‘take along’ in other translations, showing that these men took their wives with them in their labors for the Lord. 

While the Apostle Paul had the right to marry, we do not read that he ever did.  He writes of his singleness in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.”  Paul was stating that for the sake of serving Christ, it was better to be like him…single.  However, singleness is not for everyone, in fact, there are relatively few who may be called to live the single life.  “Every man hath his proper gift of God.”  Paul would later write in verse 28, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned…”  Even though he never married, Paul certainly did not forbid others from being married.  (Some have stated that Paul was at one time married because it was necessary for a Sanhedrin to be married.  However, Paul never stated that he was a Sanhedrin.)

Others that we read of being married or having a family include Philip in Acts 21:8-9, “And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of PHILIP the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.” 

We read of a married couple who labored together for the Lord in Acts 18:24-26, “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when AQUILA and PRISCILLA had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Read also Acts 18:2).  Since we never read of Apollos having a wife or family, it is probable that he was single. 

In these examples, I do not know of any who left their wives and families to serve the Lord.  While there may be occasions to separate temporarily, the Lord would not have anyone abandon their families for the sake of serving Him.  The husband has the responsibility to “hold fast to his wife” (Ephesians 5:31), and to be with his children to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).  The Lord would not have us forsake our familial responsibilities in order to serve Him.  Rather, He will use us as we remain faithful to these commitments.  (425.6)