ENJOY GOD’S GIFTS
Lord, you are the God who creates and re-creates, who judges and delivers, who makes all things new. I bless and praise your name.
Read 1 Corinthians 7:1–11
Concerning Married Life
7 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
- 1 Corinthians 7:8 Or widowers
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThe Lord says, ‘Be holy, because I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:45). Pray that he will use today’s Bible verses to help you grow in holiness.
Corinth is sex-fueled, as we’ve seen – in the temples, on the streets, anything goes. But some have reacted in extreme ways against this culture. They claim that ‘nothing goes’ (v 1). Paul thinks that’s throwing the baby out with the bath water – sex is a good gift from God, to be enjoyed properly. That means keeping sex and marriage together, between just one man and one woman (not lots, v 2).
Sex is equally for the pleasure of both husband and wife, and sensitivity to the wishes of the other person is vital (vs 3,4). If they wish to, both can agree to stop for a short while, but only for a really good reason (v 5).
Then Paul speaks personally: ‘For me, being single is my gift from God – I think that’s the best thing! For others, it’s being married – for them, nothing could be better’ (vs 6–9). But then there’s the issue of single people who desperately want to be married, and the married who desperately want to be single. More on the latter on Monday.
Where do these verses touch (and maybe cause pain in) your own life, and the lives of singles and marrieds in your church? Bring these struggles to the Lord, and pray that you and they will be able to stay ‘holy’ as you work things out.
Father, I pray for the health of the marriages of my family and friends. May husbands and wives serve one another in love and honor you in all things.
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