Marriage And Singleness In The Church
Part 7, Interactions With The Gracious and Loving God Sermon Series
First Corinthians 7:1-22
“Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning handsprings, or eating with chopsticks. It looks easy until you try it.” Helen Rowland, quoted by Robert Keeler in The Toastmaster, Reader's Digest, June, 1994, p. 130.
There are laws of God stipulated in the Scripture. God’s sexual law prohibits incest and rape and other forms of sexual activities outside of marriage. God expects married couple to be pure in their sexual relations to each other. God planned for married couples to enjoy their sexual relations, and not to have interpersonal relationships with others that would damage marriage and dishonors God. So, here we see Paul giving several principles that would help us to remain pure in our sexual relations.
1. It is better to marry if you are consumed with passion.
The Apostle Paul writes, “Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, NIV.
· This chapter deals more about purity than marital status.
· The Greeks tolerated adultery, sex outside of marriage, and polygamy, among many other sinful behaviors.
· One of the disgusting sins found in that church was incest, which was even condemned by pagans but tolerated by the Corinthians.
· If you cannot control your sexual desire, it is better for you to be married.
· However, marriage must not be reduced to simply sexual fulfillment, as God attached many responsibilities to marriage that would honor Him.
2. Divorce must not be the first option.
“10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, NIV.
· God did not design marriage to be broken, however, due to man’s sinfulness, Moses resorted to giving justice to protect the family and the community’s peace. (See Deuteronomy 21:1-14)
· Jesus laid adultery as ground for divorce in Matthew 5:31-32.
· Another ground for divorce is when an unbeliever leaves a believer.
“15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” 1 Corinthians 7:15, NIV
· But when a believing husband leaves a believing wife, or vice-versa, and there was no 3rd party involve nor threat to life, God does not recognize divorce in this instance.
“10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.
3. To the young, do not be in a hurry to get married.
“25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” 1 Corinthians 7:25-28, NIV.
· Paul advised their children of marrying age, that since it was a very difficult time to marry, not to be in such a hurry to settle down.
· Give oneself some time to think, and pray, and see the world around you. It is better to remain single, than suffer the life-long consequences of a wrong decision.
· Ask God for wisdom and do some research on how Christian couples live in a very difficult time.