Being True to Your Marriage/Relationship - 1 Corinthians 7:1-11

Being True to Your Marriage/Relationship

We often hear that the divorce rate within the church is higher than outside the church. It is a sad statistic considering that we know God’s calling within marriages. There are likely myriad reason why this happens, but often times, it boils down to sin. 

What are you doing in your marriage or relationship that is meeting the needs of your significant other? 

1 Corinthians 7:1-11
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

In this chapter, Paul starts addressing specific questions asked of him by the Corinthian church. Paul tells the Corinthians that God created us to be together as man and woman. He notes that a single life is not wrong but good, but it isn’t necessarily better than a married life. God has plans for all of us, and we must be submissive and obedient to His plans in our life.

God created us intending to have sexual relations to be fruitful and multiply, but we are to reserve this for marriage. As Paul previously instructed us, we are to treat our bodies as a temple and fully submit to God and not our fleshly desires. Paul encourages married couples to engage in sexual relations as God created. If not, the sexual desires could lead to sin and adultery. As a married couple, Paul says that it is the marital duty to meet the needs because married is a union between two people, and they each belong to the other.

Paul identifies these areas because they can lead to destructive relationships. Sexual desire can potentially ruin marriages and families and even be destructive within the church. We are called to yield to each other in our marriages and yield to the Lord, both individually and as a couple. When we are living in unison as a married couple, and when we love each other as we should, then our relationship and desires will be met and satisfied. It is up to us as Christian spouses to ensure we are not leaving any room for the other to seek fulfillment elsewhere outside of the marriage.

For single Christians, God has a will and plan for everyone. While Paul was writing this letter, he was not married and noted the advantages of marriage and not being married. However, Paul states that if your sexual desire is leading you to sin, then it may be better to marry. Although, we are still to marry for the right reasons and ensure that God is the center of the relationship. Don’t marry someone just for sex. Marry the one God calls you to marry and complements your walk with Christ.
As married Christians, we are to do our best to reconcile any differences within our married. We should do all that we can to forgive and reconcile. We are all sinners and make mistakes. Some are harder to overcome than others. But let divorce be the last option if possible.

God created us to be fruitful and multiply. But He also encourages us to be united in marriage because it is an incredible blessing to spend your life with a fellow Christian. However, we must give our spouses the affection they deserve and require. Meet their needs with love, and it will prevent potential promiscuity and fornication outside of marriage. For single Christians, trust that God has a plan in your life. Don’t be led by sexual desires but be led by your heart and the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to guide you to the one He calls for your life.
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