Single or Married

Happy Monday! Last week we spent time reviewing 1 Corinthians chapter seven. In many Bible translations the chapter is titled Instruction on Marriage. Paul the author of 1 and 2 Corinthians addressed the issue in 40 verses. Today we will finish the chapter. Enjoy today’s reading.

32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him.33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.

36 But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. 37 But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. 38 So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord.[j] 40 But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.” – 1 Corinthians 7:32-40 NLT

Often, I reflect on the lives of my single friends who are widows, divorcees or have never married and I think about the times that they share their personal stories on their relationship with God. I am encouraged by their devotion time, prayer lives and activities in the church. I love their ability to rise in the morning or retire in the evening with focus and dedication to the Lord. I love the freedom that they have to serve the Lord.

However, I also understand Paul’s comments on marriage. I appreciate the fact that he points out both the responsibility of a married couple as well as the couples relationship with God. Knowing first hand, as a wife and a mother the necessity of putting God first while balancing all the other demands in life is essential. The catch phrase happy wife, happy life for me begins with my relationship with God. The Holy Spirits presence in my life definitely improves the atmosphere in my home, marriage and life. I am more attuned to the times when I am running empty, I know when I need to pray hard for my kids and my spouse, I know my responsibility for imparting godly wisdom and bringing them up in the way that they should go. While serving at full capacity while married may have its limits, serving God in marriage as a godly spouse, as a godly parent is a great responsibility that should never be taken for granted.

Sisters and brothers, Paul has given us godly counsel and instruction for marriage and being single. The Bible is filled with timeless words to instruct and encourage us as we seek God in our marital status (e.g., single, married, widowed or divorced). God’s word is a sure foundation for life. Keep seeking the word for all your circumstances and lean into prayer asking the Lord to direct your steps, your decisions and relationships.

Father God, thank you for the life you have given each us. Lord, your will for our lives is important to us and we need your presence in our lives daily. Lord, forgive us for the times when we lived our lives apart from you. Forgive us for the times when we fell short in our singleness, marriages, and in rearing the children you put into our lives. Lord, we know we are not perfect, but in you we know that you can and will direct us and guide us in the ways that we can serve you and others. Lord, equip us with understanding, fill us with your Holy Spirit and fulfill your purpose in us. Lord, we lift up every single man and woman who is reading this today and ask that you work in their hearts and minds. Lord, surround them with your love, relieve them from loneliness, comfort them and give them peace. Lord, be with those who are married and strengthen their relationship as a couple and their relationship with you. Lord, grow them closer to you each day. Protect them from the strategies of the enemy and fortify their love for you and for one another. Lord, as we go through the day be with us as a nation. Heal the brokenness around the world. Work in our lives so that we can make a difference in lives. Continue to transform us into godly women and men. In Jesus name, amen.

Keep praying! Keep Trusting God in the Process! Keep believing!

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Photo Credit: Walter Richie

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Copyright© 2019 Mary E. White Ministries

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