Principles for Marriage
7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 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.
6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 7:1–9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Sharing
Marriage is about sharing. It is about giving up control and trusting another to care with you. When two people can share a mission and vision it can be a wonderful and powerful example that can transform lives around them. It can be a witness to the kind of relationship Christ has with the church.
But when selfishness enters into a marriage it can become life-taking instead of life-making. It can become a witness of everything wrong with the world instead of everything right. Worse yet, it becomes contagious and begins to affect the relationships around them.
Paul understood that marriage is not a right, it is a calling. He explains this a little later in the chapter, but he wanted the Corinthian Christians to know that, whether they were married or not, their first and most important relationship was to God. If you are fulfilling your calling to serve God by being married, then you should be married… but if you serve him better not being married, than you should do that. Far too many of us skip down to verse 9 about it being better to be married than to burn with passion. Paul does not say this as a law from God, but rather as a “concession” - much in the same way that Jesus said that divorce was not part of God’s plan, but because of the hardness of people’s hearts (concession) he allowed it under a small number of circumstances. Using marriage as a means to slake your own struggles with lust or loneliness will lead to a selfish marriage that will eventually become a prison for both people involved. Marriage should not be entered into lightly.
Reflection: How is God calling you to exercise self-control to maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships? What is God calling you to share?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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