Monday, February 23, 2009

1 Corinthians, chapter 7

I'm not really sure what to make of this latest chapter. In it, Paul talks about what we should do when it comes to marriage. It makes some very valid points, but he also argues against the institution of marriage in a way. He thinks that marriage is fine if you are already married or seeking marriage, but he also advises people not to be married because of the distractions it can bring. Still, he makes it a point to focus on having the Lord as the main purpose in one's life.

17Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. 20Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. – 1 Corinthians 7:17-20

Keeping God's commands is what counts. The simplicity of that statement is beautiful. In six words Paul sums up the entire human position. Ultimately, many of decisions and actions don't matter as long as they are in line with what God wants for us. For some, God does want them to remain unmarried and devoted solely to him. For others, he intends marriage. As long as these decisions do not supersede our relationship with Christ we can fulfill the purpose that we are put on this earth for. I love my wife, but I know I cannot possibly put her above my devotion to Christ.

As we see from this chapter, the bond of marriage can be used as a tool to further strengthen our relationship with Christ. A believing spouse is someone that we can study with, pray with, worship with, and use as encouragement. As one strengthens the other that strength is returned. It is the old "two heads are better than one" tactic. Conversely, if a spouse does not believe it can quickly become a burden for the believing partner.

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