Summary: Celebacy is an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes
A Second Home
A first grade teacher gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb. She then asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. Now, keep in mind that these are 6 year-olds who responded.
· Better to be safe than...(most of us would say “sorry,” but one of the 1st graders replied:) punch a 5th grader.
· Strike while the... bug is close.
· It’s always darkest before...Daylight Saving Time.
· Never underestimate the power of...termites.
· Don’t bite the hand that...looks dirty.
· You can’t teach an old dog new...math.
· If you lie down with dogs, you’ll...stink in the morning
· An idle mind is...the best way to relax.
· Where there’s smoke there’s...pollution.
· Happy the bride who...gets all the presents.
· A penny saved is...not much.
· Two’s company, three’s...the Musketeers.
· Don’t put off till tomorrow what...you put on to go to bed.
· Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and...you have to blow your nose.
· There are none so blind as...Stevie Wonder.
· Children should be seen and not...spanked or grounded.
· You get out of something only what you...see in the picture on the box.
· When the blind leads the blind...get out of the way.
· A miss is as good as a...Mrs.
And Paul would agree with that last statement:
· A Miss is as good as a Mrs.!
You say, “Where does Paul say that, Doug?” In 1 Corinthians chapter 7. Let’s turn there in our Bibles.
In the first six chapters of 1 Corinthians, Paul addresses problems in the church of Corinth that were brought to his attention by the household of Chloe. Then, beginning in chapter 7, Paul begins to answer questions that were sent to him by the church of Corinth. The very first issue that he deals with is the topic of marriage.
Now, in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul answers 3 questions that the Corinthians asked him about marriage.
He answers the first question in verses 1-9. And that is the question, “Is marriage the preferred state?”—is it better to be married or to be single?
He answers the second question in verses 10-24. And that is the question, “Is marriage permanent?”—are there certain circumstances or situations in life that may break the marriage bond?
The third question he answers in verses 25-40. And that is the question, “Is marriage paramount?”—is marriage the best thing that could ever happen in life?
We have already considered God’s blueprint for marriage from Genesis 2:24. And we said there were 3 key words in that verse.
The first key word is Leave. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother.” A husband and wife are to leave all other relationships so that their commitment may be fully to one another. [Hold up two ropes—one in each hand.]
The second key word is Cleave. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.” A husband and wife are to be joined together. They are to be cemented, welded, glued, or tied together in their marriage relationship. [Tie one end of the two ropes together.]
The third key word is Weave. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” The husband and wife are to knit their hearts and lives together in oneness and partnership. [Intertwine the ropes together.]
But what happens if the bond of marriage has been broken through death or divorce? [Untie the ropes.] Are those believers required to marry again? Is marriage the preferred state?—is it better to be married or to be single?
Well, Paul answers this in 1 Corinthians 7:6-9. Paul writes, “I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
In these 4 verses, Paul deals with the issue of singleness or celibacy. And he is addressing those who have been previously married, but have lost their spouse through death or divorce. And Paul shares with them 3 spiritual truths regarding celibacy. And each of these truths builds on one another. The first truth is this:
1. CELIBACY IS GOOD
Paul had already made that statement in verse 1: “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.” And now he says it again in verse 8: “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.”