(1 Corinthians 7:1-16) As I read the NIV version of todays text it was a little clarifying to read that first verse. Paul, in this translation, doesn’t not say it is “better” for a man not to marry, he says it is “good” for a man not to marry. He goes on later to talk about the gift of singleness and gift of marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:7) I have struggled with this in the past as I wondered if God was calling me to a life of singleness, but Paul does not label it a calling but rather a gift. I guess it’s the idea of a gift, that for me, makes me feel that I am not meant to be single for the rest of my life. (And if you know my current circumstances, being in a relationship, and have had time to get to know me, you’d probably agree with me) I actually had a close friend, she’s like a Mom to me, tell me how she thought I would make such a good husband and father. Those words are kind of humbling really. Paul was making a point of bringing singleness and marriage onto a level playing field. At the time the church in Corinth was taking as singleness was superior to marriage.
Paul addressed sexual immorality and temptation as a big reason to get married. God obviously has many word of Scripture that talk about what marriage is all about, it is not simply reduced to Paul’s comment of just so you can fullfill your sexual desires without sinning. It would seem that the kind sexual immorality that we even see in today’s society was at work in Corinth as well. Paul does address how important marriage is in God’s eyes by talking about the subject of divorce. It would appear that at the time many new Christians were leaving their spouse after having come to faith, and this was not something that was ok. God has made provisions for divorce, but with all things that come about that is outside of God’s design there is hardship.
What has God spoken to you about the subject of singleness, marriage, and divorce? I continue to pray for God’s wisdom and truth as I ponder these subjects. Marriage is something I desire but I want to get there by God’s way, live in it as God has designed, and be counted blessed to have that gift from Him.