1 Corinthians 7:33-36

In 1 Corinthians 7:33-36 Paul continues his teaching to the Corinthian church around marriage. Remember that they asked some questions which Paul has been answering through this part of his letter to the church. “But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.” Paul does not say this to condemn the married person; in fact, Paul is saying this is how it should be for the married person. There is something wrong if a married man does not pay attention for how he may please his wife, and something is wrong if a married woman does not care about how she may please her husband.

Paul’s reason for explaining these things is not to forbid marriage, but to put it into an eternal perspective. He isn’t putting a leash on anyone; he merely shares from his own heart and experience. For Paul, the most important thing in life was not romantic love, but pleasing God. For him, he could please God better as single, but another may please God better as married, all according to our calling. “And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit.” For one who is engaged is also focused on things other than the Lord, as they should be. “But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.”

Paul again is not laying down the law saying marriage is to be avoided. That’s not the message at all. Though Paul insists he does not want his teaching here to be regarded as a noose around anyone’s neck, this has happened in the church. “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” Different faiths treat marriage in different ways. The Roman Catholic church insists on celibacy for their priests. And in some Protestant churches, members struggle to trust a person who is single. Paul’s teaching is that we need to listen to God’s lead around marriage for us individually.

Paul again makes the distinction that marriage is a personal choice – not something that is dictated by scripture. He believes is it easier for a single person to serve God without distraction or being pulled in other directions, but he also recognizes that many are impacted strongly by love and in those cases should marry as to overcome the challenge of potential moral impurity. “If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry – it is no sin.” Remember again that marriage was God’s design clear back to the Garden of Eden and is definitely not wrong. It is an individual choice each must make.

One response to this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: