Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
First, a trivially obvious response in the same vein:
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I. [1Cor 7:8]
And we could stop right there, if we wished: it is good to find a wife (as Solomon says), and it is also good to remain unmarried (as St. Paul says): hence we see that TF's "rebuttal" fails, in that Scripture commends both states. That's the first and strongest reply to TF's argument.
A second problem for his "rebuttal" is that the conclusion is unwarranted. He would have us conclude that one implication of the goodness of marriage is that to remain unmarried is not good. But nothing in the premise warrants this conclusion. We could suppose that there are perhaps two unstated premises:
- Either marriage or celibacy is good, but both cannot be good.
- If one of them is good, the other must be bad.
- Proverbs 18:22 says that marriage is good.
(Therefore celibacy is bad.)
It should be obvious that what TF left unsaid is also unwarranted: it is not the case that only one of (marriage or celibacy) may be said to be good. To affirm the goodness of one says nothing about the goodness of the other. This is not a zero-sum game.
I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord: how he may please God. But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world: how he may please his wife. And he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord: that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world: how she may please her husband. [1 Cor 7:32-34]
Now there is nothing wrong with being solicitous for one's wife: this is part of loving her. And of course there is nothing wrong with being free to focus more completely upon "the things that belong to the Lord." Hence we see that both states may be good. If there is evil in either one, it is not that it is evil per se, but rather that we sometimes make our states "evil" (so to speak) in the way that we treat them. Consequently we see that TF's "rebuttal" fails.