Cover to Cover
1 Corinthians 7:1-24
The family is God’s plan. God told men and women to leave their parents and cleave to each other in marriage. God told us to be fruitful, to have lots of children, and to fill the earth. God loves our families. In this passage, Paul makes it clear that he is speaking his own opinion here, not the Lord’s. Paul encourages single people, if possible, not to marry so that they can focus on the kingdom, and some do. Paul was not against marriage. Paul knew that as a team in ministry and in life, we can be tremendously effective, like Priscilla and Aquilla, a ministry couple the Apostle Paul relied on heavily. Who we marry is the second most important decision we make in life, after our decision to follow Christ. That partner is someone we yoke ourselves together with, and they greatly influence how we fulfill or don’t fulfill God’s plan for our lives.
Paul also writes that if someone is married, they should stay married, even if that spouse is an unbeliever. Our family is our first ministry, and it comes before anyone else we know or anything else we do. When we marry, we can’t control how that person will act, think, or feel. We can’t predict what decisions or experiences we will face in our marriage. Marriage is not a wedding event; it’s a journey of growth and development. If a marriage does end in divorce, let’s not doubt the character of God or the ability of God. Our Father is merciful and forgiving. Our God excels at healing and restoration. Whatever our relationship status, let’s continue to pursue what God has for our lives together, building each other up as we walk each other home.
When we work hard at something, we usually do so because we expect there will be results following. In Psalm 126 the Lord gives a promise to those who “sow in tears,’ and that promise is that we will “reap in joy.” When you invest in serving the Lord and serving others, there will be results! In fact, it is a spiritual law, a way the kingdom works – if we want results, look for a place we can sow. When we sow, we will reap. It’s how God works.