Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1 Corinthians 7:32-40

To marry or not to marry... this is the question. So many folks in the world are concerned with marriage - if they've never been married so many stress and struggle to find the right person because they so desperately want that commitment and relationship in their lives. Billions of dollars are spent on dating services, speed dating, dating websites such as match.com and eharmony. And yet, clearly Paul is saying in this passage that not being married is better because then one can focus on God and not be distracted. But, is being married a distraction? Can we have a full, vibrant relationship with God if we are married? Of course... let us not forget that not only was Adam lonely in the garden as he walked with God intimately and knew God's voice and only had God in his life. God then gave Adam Eve. Let us also not forget that Jesus blessed the wedding at Cana with his presence and first miracle - thus blessing marriage as a way of life.

So, why does Paul say anything different? Maybe because in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul was addressing a group of faithful people who were so busy fighting about their differences and arguing about who was right, who was living their lives in the right, Godly way, that they were being horrible examples to the world around them. The letter to the Corinthians is really to settle disputes and to remind them of what is important. It is later in this letter (chapter 13) that is the pinnacle of Paul's direction that in all things we are to live with each other and treat each other in love - regardless of our differences.

And it really is that kind of love that everyone is looking for. The love of God that can and should be reflected in human relationships. That's why we want marriage and that is why we wait and search for the right person - because we want that close-knit intimate relationship that Adam not only had with God, but which brought him Eve. For those of us who haven't found it and are still searching, just remember that God gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37).

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