Archive for November 11th, 2010

1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7 should remove all question that God created sex, marriage and the family.  It was His plan from the beginning.  He created Adam and Eve very specifically.  And Paul tackles the complexity of this issue in this chapter.  I can’t say it is crystal clear to me.  He starts the chapter with this zinger that is bound to get your attention: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman”.  If that was the entire story most of us would shut our bible and look for something else to read.  Fortunately though, the next verse starts with “but” and gives us the rest of the plan: “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband”.  Sex is God’s idea.  But it should not be our only focus.  The world has gotten way out of balance and certainly does not respect this gift the way God intended.  It is abused and mistreated and given a far less prominent place than God originally planned. 

One definite truth here is that sex is not meant to be a club, or manipulation tool, or punishment.  “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control”.  Paul gives us one reason why married couples should remain apart in this area of their marriage – prayer.  There are certainly plenty of other reasons that men or women deprive their spouses of God’s beautiful plan for sex.  It is used to punish when someone is upset.  It is used to get their spouse to do something they want.  It is forced if some don’t get their way.  That is not God’s plan.  God created husband and wife to come together as one flesh to experience joy.  Sex is not some game we should play.  It is a foundational part of marriage.

But know that is its intent.  It is not just for pleasure.  Paul writes clearly that sex is reserved for one man and one woman inside the bounds of marriage.  Unfortunately the world has bent those rules way outside the guidelines God gave us.  It is not ok to live together before marriage.  Casual sex is not God’ s plan.  Premarital sex is never in God’s will.  The boundaries are clear – yet we want to find ways to take it way outside those lines.  Sex is about giving ourselves completely to our husband or wife.  It is complete surrender of control of our body – we no longer are in charge of ourselves when we walk down the aisle and say I do.  Far too often we miss this part of the marriage covenant. 

Paul is clear that “those who marry will have worldly troubles”.  Getting married doesn’t take all the issues out of life.  In fact, it compounds them.  “The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided”.  Most of us have no idea what we are getting into when we get married.  It is what we do, right.  We fall in love, court and then get married.  Paul makes it clear that we have to work a lot harder to stay focused on God when we make that step.  It doesn’t have to be an issue – if men lead their wives and family as God intends – we can actually have the family walking and focused on God’s plans.  But too often husbands fail here and we get caught up in worldly things and God gets pushed to the side because there is so much other junk in the way.  God created sex and marriage.  It is designed very specifically.  It is intended for life.  I encourage you to read this chapter and consider all that Paul has to say.   It is not as simple as jumping into bed with someone!

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