Austin 2013 109The Apostle Paul does not take issue with instructions given by Jesus regarding marriage. Instead, He is giving wise advice.  This lesson is consistent with what Jesus taught and trustworthy.

The subject that is given to the Corinthian believers is for virgins, those who have not had a sexual experience. Circumstances that make life dangerous influence Paul to advise virgins to consider a celibate life, that is, remain single. Equally, he urges the married to remain married. The common denominator is to not change. Stress levels are high enough and don’t need to be aggravated during trying times.  Marriage is difficult, so to add this to troubled times is not a wise choice.

A spiritual perspective points to how short life is. Investing in eternity should be our priority. If our interest is divided we will lose focus on what is eternally important.

True to his shepherding spirit, Paul’s primary interest is concern for the people of Corinth. The distinction is simple. If a man is married his first concern is to please his wife. The affairs of the Lord will not have the same amount of attention.

Someone who is a virgin can direct all of her interest and energies to the things of the Lord. If she is married she naturally will give her attention to pleasing her husband. There is no intent to impose a restriction with this lesson but to highlight a very good option.

Practical matters can indicate what direction someone should choose. If the urge to marry is overwhelming, then, marriage is a right choice. There is no sin when this choice is made.

Some people have a gift to remain single.  They choose not to marry.  For them that choice is right for them.  Marrying or not are both good choices.

Marriage is a durable institution, dissolved by death.  If someone loses a spouse due to death, they are free to marry again.  However, they should choose wisely and marry someone of faith.

However, once single again, the option to choose singleness is a good one.  The cares of life in difficult time allow a single person to be more efficient and effective as they live for the Lord.  It is not better but it is a very choice.

Those facing a decision to marry or remain single should do so with spiritual wisdom  How can they best serve the Lord?  This is as important to consider as the feelings of the heart.

1 corinthians 7.25-40

photo credit: brucefong photography

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