As we continue looking at the first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul explains his reasons for enjoying the single life.
I would like you to be free from concern.
1 Corinthians 7:32a
The first thing he talks about is our concerns. The Greek word he uses is an interesting one. In our modern terminology, I could say that he wants us not to be overwhelmed by having too many things on our plates.
As I look around at our society, it seems that this is a big problem today. Many people spend their time trying to handle too many things. Between jobs, education, and recreational activities, we seem overloaded.
Paul goes on…
An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs — how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world — how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world — how she can please her husband.
1 Corinthians 7:32-34
This is an important truth that needs to be dealt with very seriously. It’s especially true with young Christian couples who are engaged to be married.
That’s why I require pre-marital counseling for any couple who wants me to perform their marriage. There are topics which need to be covered and understood BEFORE the marriage. This is a big one.
There’s a whole host of issues that need to be decided in my personal life. These include prayer time, Bible reading, church attendance, my personal ministry calling, tithing, and many others.
These are the Lord’s affairs that I need to be concerned with. In the same way, my future spouse has to deal with these same personal issues.
But now, as we come together, there’s a whole list of marital issues that we need to work out. On top of that, we need to take our personal walks with God and get to the point where we serve God in unity.
It’s unfortunate, but I’ve talked to couples who didn’t even begin to work through these issues until after the marriage. The problems this causes even made some couples question whether they should have gotten married at all. That’s a really dangerous place to be in.
In some marriages, it becomes worse over time. I’ve seen a person having to decide whether to do what God wanted or what the spouse wanted – but they couldn’t do both.
Paul wants the unmarried couples under his care to understand this before it’s too late to change course. Think seriously about your life together. How will your service to God fit with each other’s callings? Is it God that’s bringing you to the marriage altar? Or your own desires?
I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:35
Paul literally says that he’s not trying to put a noose around our neck. He wants us to live our best for the Lord.
I can honestly say that my devotion to God and my service to Him increased dramatically when I met and married my wife. She was God’s choice for me. However, if we had not received the Godly counsel before marriage, it would have been a rocky path.
Make sure that you receive the best counsel available before you take that big step into married life.
Question: How did pre-marital counseling prepare you for life with your spouse?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi