Guidance For Marriage

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Guidance For Marriage
Loading
/
1 Corinthians 7:25-40

Marriage is the most intimate and most serious of human relations. It is God’s plan for the welfare of mankind. When God brought Eve to Adam, he said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave to his wife” (Genesis 2:24). The word cleave in this text means “to be super-glued, joined, welded together,” with the idea of no separation.

Today there seems to be a laxity regarding marriage that needs to be corrected. Too many consider marriage a mere convenience. Some do not even bother going through the ceremony, living together without commitment. That way when they separate, there is no divorce.

The whole concept of marriage should involve a man and a woman for life. “No fault” divorce has shattered the foundations of the home. The biblical teaching on marriage leaves no room for same-sex marriage relations.

Having said this, I must now give you GUIDANCE FOR MARRIAGE from I Corinthians 7:25-40:

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;

31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

To outline the apostle’s guidance for marriage, I bring you several CONSIDERATIONS from this text.

The first consideration of Guidance for Marriage is:

THE PRESENT DISTRESS

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;

31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

We have no surety of tomorrow. We hear of people who are here today and gone tomorrow. Paul’s day was like that, too, perhaps even more so. His day was fraught with many uncertainties. The Roman government was hostile to Christians. They were hunted down and arrested. They were brought to the arena and made to fight against wild animals. Many died in the arenas. There was trouble in the flesh, the apostle says. We are beset by frailty. Ailments come upon us from unsuspected sources. We hardly know how we make it from day to day because of trouble in the flesh.

The present distress has shortness of time. All born-again Christians who believe in the Bible have looked forward to the coming of Christ at any time. The shortness of time also may have to do with “Only one life, t’will soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.” Lifetime really is only a speck on the great line of time. We need to keep this in mind.

We need to reorder our priorities. Look how the apostle Paul saw life’s priorities in verses 30, and 31:

And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

Give yourself to the most important issues of life. Reorder your priorities and have a loose hold on the material. Barnes made the following comment:

We should partake of all our pleasures, and endure all our sufferings, with deep feeling that we have here no continuing city and no abiding place. Soon all our earthly pleasures will fade away; soon all our earthly sorrows will be ended. A conviction of the shortness of life will tend much to regulate our desires for earthly comforts and will keep us from being improperly attached to them, and it will diminish our sorrows by the prospect that they will soon end.

The second consideration of Guidance for Marriage is:

THE PERSONAL DEDICATION

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

A man has a responsibility when he gets married that he should remember. He has a responsibility to look after his wife, making sure her needs are met. There must be, of course, a proper balance, but this is a much-needed area to consider. Too many husbands put their careers first. They feel they must build their financial empires. So they work at it, and their wives are left to fend the best they can. The apostle says here that when a man is married, he looks after the things of his wife. And he should. That is personal dedication on the part of the husband.

Then Paul turns it over. A married woman should look after the needs of her husband, and how she may please her husband. This is good counsel, worthy, and necessary for partners, especially with women going into the marketplace. What is it that a woman should consider most of all when she is married? She should consider her husband. She should consider her family.

A true union is when a husband and wife are one in spirit to serve the Lord with complete dedication. A personal dedication to each other in the Lord will seek to avoid distraction by individual desires. Jesus is the model for a life of personal dedication to the Father’s will as expressed in The Pulpit Commentary:

The way of human life which the Son of God selected, and to which he adhered, was the best for the purpose of developing a model humanity. We pass over the station in which he was born because we have no discretionary power over our own birth. But we take note of this, that he grew up in a home of piety, remote from those excitements and temptations that render our modern town-bred youth so precocious. He had a quiet time among the hills and valleys around Nazareth, to let his thoughts grow large and his character acquire deliberate strength. Then, when the time was ripe for opening his prophetic mission, he kept his personal life as simple as possible and allowed no room for anxieties on his own account. He also surrounded himself with friends who were of simple habits and little worldly ambition. He taught them as they walked from one village to another or rowed their boat upon the lake, and did good everywhere without a particle of ostentation. And so he went on to the end, implicitly trusting and obeying the heavenly Father who had sent him and was always with him. Thus was he always calm and self-possessed. No dust of brooding care lay upon his heart. And, indeed, it was because he held himself so free of petty entanglements, that he could be and was so engrossed with the work which the Father gave him to do.

I challenge you with the value of a personal dedication.

The third consideration of Guidance for Marriage is:

THE PARENTAL DECISION

38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

In past years parents were more involved in the marriages of their children. Counsel was sought and given. A young man usually asked the young woman’s father for her hand in marriage.

In Paul’s day, there was even more immediate control. A father had the right to deny marriage to his daughter. In fact, in some societies today that is still true. Two friends in Africa wanted to get married but had to wait two years until the bride’s uncle would say, “Yes.” He had cared for her and helped her with her education, and such like. Actually, the uncle was not a believer, so they prayed for his salvation. After he found the Lord, the uncle gave the couple his blessing.

But the ultimate qualifying factor the apostle Paul advises is found in verse 30 “only in the Lord.” The apostle Paul was addressing the church members of Corinth. He would not have spoken that way to the heathen. But he could speak that way to the church members. The parental decision must be “only in the Lord.”

I was asked to perform our second grandson’s wedding ceremony. The first question I asked the young couple was, “Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?” They both said, “Yes.” So that marriage could be in the Lord.

The considerations Paul wrote in this text are very helpful basics. Think of:

THE PRESENT DISTRESS
THE PRESSURE OF LIFE
THE PERSONAL DEDICATION
THE PARENTAL DECISION

May the Holy Spirit use this teaching to strengthen our Christian homes!

Receive Weekly Encouragement

Sign-up to get a sermon straight to your inbox on a weekly basis!