32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 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.
36 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. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 7:32–40). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Ties
Marriage has been around a long, long time. Long before Christianity. It is even older than the Jewish religion. There is nothing uniquely Christian about getting married. There is however a unique calling of Christian marriage and I think it is actually more difficult than either being single or being married but not living for Christ.
Being married requires multi-tasking. You have to be able to please both God and your spouse, which will leave nothing for yourself. If you add children into the mix, you will probably sink into a deficit of time and energy. So, being a married, Christian, parent means you have to somehow come up with more than 24 hours a day to serve everyone in your life but yourself. It’s impossible, and I think that’s how most in that boat feel all the time.
However, I am reminded about the time the disciples made the same comment about the commitment Jesus was asking from them. He said, with people, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) That was in reference to the rich young man who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. What was so impossible about that? Jesus asked the man to sell all his possessions and come and follow Him.
That is not a far cry from the call to Christian marriage. If you cannot sell all your possessions and come and follow Jesus, you will not find the faith to live day to day in the time and energy deficit of leading a Christian family. It does not take organizational skills, leadership, or common sense… it takes faith to trust that God will take care of you, and your relationships that you will never have enough time or energy for. In that sense it is easier being single.
Reflection: Relationships change us, for better or worse. What relationships encourage you to be closer to God? What relationships distract you from God? Do you trust God enough to make time for Him so that He can provide the time and energy you need for your family relationships? How are you putting Him first in your life?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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