10 Aug. 1 Corinthians 7:1-16

10 Aug. Paul gives the believers advice about marriage

"Now I will discuss the things you wrote to me about [sex, marriage, divorce]."

"It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman. But because sexual sin is a danger, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband should give his wife all that he owes her as his wife. And the wife should give her husband all that she owes him as her husband."

"The wife does not have full rights over her own body; her husband shares them. And the husband does not have full rights over his own body; his wife shares them. Do not refuse to give your bodies to each other, unless you both agree to stay away from sexual relations for a time so you can give your time to prayer."

"Then come together again so Satan cannot tempt you because of a lack of self-control. I say this to give you permission to stay away from sexual relationships for a time. It is not a command to do so."

"I wish that everyone were [single] like me, but each person has his own gift from God. One has one gift, another has another gift."

"Now for those who are not married and for the widows I say this: it is good for them to stay unmarried as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry. It is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire."

"Now I give this command for the married people. (The command is not from me; it is from the Lord.) A wife should not leave her husband. But if she does leave, she must not marry again, or she should make up with her husband. Also the husband should not divorce his wife."

"For all the others I say this (I am saying this, not the Lord): if a Christian man has a wife who is not a believer, and she is happy to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer, and he is happy to live with her, she must not divorce him."

"The husband who is not a believer is made holy through his believing wife. And the wife who is not a believer is made holy through her believing husband. If this were not true, your children would not be clean, but now your children are holy."

"But if those who are not believers decide to leave, let them leave. When this happens, the Christian man or woman is free. But God called us to live in peace. Wife, you don't know; maybe you will save your husband. And husband, you don't know; maybe you will save your wife."

          (1 Corinthians 7:1-16)

 

 

At this point in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul says he's going to discuss "the things you wrote to me about" (1 Corinthians 7:1). It's intriguing to work back and guess what the questions must have been...

Is it a good idea to abstain from sex and not get married?
Is it OK to get married but then abstain from sex?
Is it OK to abstain from sex for a while?
Is it OK to divorce your wife / husband?
What if the wife / husband isn't a believer - is it OK then?

We'll never know exactly what the questions were that the Corinthians asked, but Paul answers all these questions, so it's a pretty good guess that they'd asked something along these lines!

Is it a good idea to abstain from sex and not get married? Yes, that's fine, says Paul. But because sexual sin is a danger, it would be better for most people to have a wife or a husband so they're not tempted to have unhealthy sexual relationships outside marriage.

Is it OK to get married but then abstain from sex? No, not a good idea, says Paul. Marriage is all about sharing, and that includes sexual relationships.

Well, is it OK to abstain for a while? Yes, that's OK, says Paul; but not for too long! Otherwise your partner might be tempted to look elsewhere!

So is it OK to divorce your wife / husband? Not a good idea, says Paul.

What if the wife / husband isn't a believer? Still not a good idea, says Paul; after all, you may save your partner by your witness. But if they walk away and divorce you because of your Christian commitment, then you are not to blame and you are free to remarry.

The photo (by Bill Branson) shows a happy couple walking in the park.

You can read more of Paul's advice on marriage & relationships @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/advice-on-marriage-relat…/


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