Monday, 11 August 2014
But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry. 1 Corinthians 7:36
It is generally agreed that this verse is speaking of a man who is responsible for a virgin daughter or who otherwise has the charge and responsibility over the young woman. There is an age where she will naturally be inclined to want the company of a man, even if there is a time of distress occurring in the world. Just because there may be, it doesn’t change the natural process of her life. Eventually, she will be tempted to express those desires if she is not allowed to marry.
The one in charge of her should understand this and may eventually feel that his care of her, even if it is for her own good, may cause her to sin if he doesn’t allow her to get married. And so when she reaches or exceeds that point by becoming “past the flower of her youth,” Paul says that he may “do what he wishes” by giving her away in marriage.
It is more preferable to do this than it would be to restrict her from marriage and eventually cause her to act on her natural impulses in a sinful way. Obviously, the world is different today and parents don’t exercise the same control over their children than they once did. The custom of prearranged marriages is all but over and instead the decision is left up to the one marrying. Now however, even under the best of circumstances, parents may agree to the marriage, but there is little control exercised by them over the “who” and the “when” of it.
Regardless of this, whether it is the arranging of a marriage or simply the “nod of consent” to it, if the girl is of marrying age and his approval is given “he does not sin.” Instead Paul says that it is ok to “let them marry.” Again, all of this is based on the “present distress” which was referred to in verse 26 and has been cited as a general guideline for such an instance. For the past 2000 years, marriages have continued as normal during the time that the church awaits the return of Christ.
Life application: Marriage has been ordained by God. Likewise the urges and desires for marriage were instilled in us by God. It is better to marry than to sin against Him by engaging in sex apart from marriage. And so even in times of distress, the situation and circumstances of marriage must be carefully considered for the good of all involved.
Lord Jesus, it sure is wonderful to know You. I cannot imagine being without the hope found in the eternal life promised through Your shed blood. And so today, I simply want to thank You, to praise You, and to acknowledge Your wondrous majesty. Hallelujah and Amen.