Saturday, 9 August 2014
There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:34
In the same manner as there is a difference between the unmarried and the married man (concerning focus on the Lord and proper allegiances to Him), there is also a difference in the case of women. Paul notes that “There is a difference between a wife and a virgin (meaning a female virgin). He is not at all speaking about the physical difference, but the same difference noted among men from the previous two verses as he next explains.
“The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord.” When a believer is unmarried, they have a much better opportunity to keep their minds and thoughts on the Lord. Their actions will be directed towards Him alone, and their spiritual life will be filled with Him as well. Because of this, “she may be holy both in body and in spirit.” Regardless of the surroundings, even in a time of certain distress, her actions will be directed toward Him. On the other hand, Paul notes the contrast which is found in a married woman by beginning with “but.”
“But she who is married cares about the things of the world – how she may please her husband.” When a woman marries, she is bound to her husband and will naturally set her affections on him. In a time of distress, this may be even more so. The cares of their marriage, the thought of losing him, and the separations which might arise may consume her mental and emotional strength and even debilitate her physically. When this occurs, she is no longer focusing on the Lord as much as the virgin would be.
Having said this, Paul is not in any way saying to not marry. Nor is he saying that there is anything wrong with marriage. He is speaking to those in Corinth at a time when there is a “present distress” as verse 26 noted. This distress, whatever it may have been, could only increase the troubles and trials associated with a marriage.
A good example of the divided allegiances that result in such an instance is found in the sisters Martha and Mary. One was worried about many things when Jesus was in the house. At the same time, Mary was content to sit and listen to Jesus. The account is found in Luke 10 and is a great example of what Paul is relaying concerning this issue of marriage even though it isn’t specifically speaking of marriage. Martha, like the married woman, was concerned with many things and her priorities reflected that –
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42
Life application: What is your priority? Are you following Christ, reading His word, and listening to the prompting of the Spirit in your life? Or, are you being distracted by many things and allowing them to shut His presence out of this one life He has granted you before you stand before Him? Make sure to spend this valuable time wisely. Spend it with Christ.
Time is fleeting Lord and the days go so fast
And yet there is so much for me to do
But when the sun is setting and the day is past
I look back and see I spent too little time with You
And so I commit to spending more time with You on the morrow
Surely I will do better when the sun rises anew
But at the end of the next day, again I’m filled with sorrow
I failed again, O Lord, to spent precious time with You
O God, give me a wise and discerning heart
Grant me the resolve to open Your word as I should do
And to walk with You and talk with You, yes help me to start
To spend my quickly fleeting life in sincere fellowship with You
Heavenly Father, my days are rushing forward and the time that is gone I cannot get back. And yet, so little of it has been spent in the pursuit of You. Help me to set my priorities aright and to pursue the knowledge of You now. I desire to stand before You approved and commended for the years I have lived. Help me in this Lord. I ask this that You will be glorified. Amen.