What the Bible Says About Marriage: Pt. 4
This week's scripture comes from a reader request, and I must admit, it is challenging! It got me thinking and I hope it will do the same for you.
1 Corinthians 7:36-40
36 But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. 37 But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry.
38 So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better. 39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord.
40 But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.
When I first read the passage I didn't really get it, so I went back and read a few verses before it. Paul is talking about the urgency to do the Lord's work, and basically how a wife or husband might get in the way of focusing on God's work. This is why we must keep our priorities in order when we have a family.
If you back up even further in Chapter 7, Paul is answering a question the Corinthians had about sexual relations. He tells us it is good to abstain from sexual relations, but if you can't, you should get married so that the husband and wife can fulfill each others'.....I can't believe I'm writing this right now!! ;) You get the point.
So back to the scripture above, the first few verses give us a clear picture of where our priorities should be whether we are married or not. It also acknowledges the fact that we have passionate physical desires and if we can't restrain them, marriage is the best option.
Once married, we are bound to each other until one of us dies. It's important to note that the widowed shouldn't feel guilty about remarrying as long as the other loves God. In Paul's opinion, it would be better to stay single and do the work of God.
I think this is probably another passage that gets misinterpreted often by not reading the chapter in it's entirety. Again, I am no Bible scholar, these are just my thoughts.
Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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