Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:2
Our second verse of chapter 7 shows us that Paul was certainly responding to a direct question in the previous verse. There he said, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” The concept of “marriage” is connected to “touch a woman.” In other words, to remain celibate is a good thing and he had no problem with such a lifestyle. He himself remained unmarried.
However, there is also a reason for marriage instead of celibacy which he now explains by beginning with “nevertheless.” His words now are set in contrast to what he just said. The idea is, “Remaining celibate is fine, but on the other hand…” And the reason is immediately given which is “because of sexual immorality.”
Someone who decides to remain celibate is just as likely to be tempted as he is able to refrain. If he is tempted and fails, he will then be engaged in “sexual immorality” because sex is confined to the bonds of marriage. Therefore, being celibate is a noble goal, but it is not the norm and it is bound, in many cases, to result in sin rather than devotion to the principle for which it was intended.
And so, because of the propensity for falling into sexual immorality, “let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.” Paul is indicating that being married is preferable to falling into sexual immorality. Although marriage increases problems and trials in many ways, it is a better option than engaging in illicit behavior which thus defiles the body of Christ (as he spoke about in detail in chapter 6).
It is rather unfortunate that some denominations within the church failed to heed these words of Paul and instead mandated that their clergy remain unmarried. This is for several important reasons –
1) It binds those who are in such positions to something which is contrary to nature.
2) It leads to exactly what Paul notes today, sexual immorality.
3) Christianity is disgraced by the actions of those who have so conducted themselves in these vile practices.
4) It is unbiblical.
Once sexual immorality sets into such an environment, it leads to greater perversion as sexual misconduct becomes entrenched in the clergy. And sadly, the greater sexual perversion is directed to those who are easily controlled and manipulated. It has become a horrifying result of the misuse of what God intended for His people and it has so tarnished some denominations that those outside of the church view Christianity with eyes of contempt.
Life application: God created woman for man and it is normal and healthy for them to be married. No other sexual relations are authorized by the Bible except those of a man and a woman who are married to each other.
Heavenly Father, there are things which You have mandated in Your word which are held in contempt today. Among the most prevalent is that sex is to be limited to a man and a woman who are united to one another in marriage. This precept is looked down on, shunned, and belittled by the world, but Your word asks us to be in the world but not of the world. Help us to be obedient to You above all else and never to act in a manner contrary to Your word. Amen.