Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth is becoming more and more interesting … and difficult for that matter! Up until now, Paul has been addressing serious issues within the church that was caused by factionalism and division as well as a failure to deal with sin in the church. Weighty issues to be sure! Issues that Paul saw as incredibly important in the life of any church! Now Paul addresses issues that were raised by people in the church. The first one is the matter of marriage.
Marriage … what a topic! Most people desire to be married. But not all people are suited to marriage nor have all people the opportunity to marry. When is it good to marry? When isn’t it? What happens when a person becomes a Christian and their spouse remains a non-Christian? And then what of sexual relationships in a marriage between a man and woman? The counsel in this chapter provided by Paul has caused much angst between couples for various reasons. I guess because marriage has both its joys and challenges! Yet, marriage matters in the life of a church, and singleness matters too.
In this difficult matter, Paul seeks to encourage Christians to live out whatever calling they have, whether married or single, for the glory of God! There will be tough circumstances … that is a given … but how the Christian handles the tough circumstances really matters.
I have had the joy of knowing a number of people who have served the Lord in amazing ways because of their faithfulness in marriage. They have played to each other’s strengths and have worked hand in hand together. They have this quality of love about them and they seem to be well satisfied sexually too. I have also been greatly encouraged by those men and women (mainly women) who have served the Lord in their singleness with great aplomb. They are strong people who have not been held back in their service of their King because of the demands of marriage and family.
Today we welcome Jason Lee to unpack this tricky section of Scripture for us.