Summary: In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul talks about marriage and divorce. The Bible has very specific instructions in many different books and passages. This Chapter is a bit mysterious because it talks about special historical events that where happening in Corinth and
Barna research shows:
That divorce in the church is just as common as outside the church. In the church 33%, outside the church 34%. Protestant churches overall is at 25%.
The divorce rate amongst the generations is also a bit of surprise:
Seniors (73+) = 18%
Builders (53-72) = 37%
Boomers = 34%
Busters = 7% (Most of these are not old enough to marry yet).
What does this say about marriage in America? Is it old fashioned. One scholar said that long term marriage commitment isn’t good for modern day America. An author suggested that our first marriage should be a starter marriage in the same since that our first homes are starter homes.
I disagree. God disagrees. Marriage, in the context of the Bible’s design for it, is still not only good for America, but necessary!
In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul talks about marriage and divorce. The Bible has very specific instructions in many different books and passages. This Chapter is a bit mysterious because it talks about special historical events that where happening in Corinth and some questions that were raised about the particular times and how to address them. Verse 26 says “concerning the present distress” . Historians mention the great persecution that had in those days when thousands of Christians were killed and persecuted. So in this chapter we have both advices for those days mixed with spiritual principles that apply to our present time.
Today I would like to talk about five different things regarding marriage, divorce and also singleness.
1. God called us to live in peace,
2. How to affair proof your Marriage.
3. What to do in case of a divorce.
4. The Blessings of Singleness
Marriage is not a contract; it is a covenant. In a contact, the two parties remain separate (Party of the first part and party of the second part). Like salad dressing, oil and water, shaken up and mixed together, put never really one. Left alone and still, salad dressing will eventually separate into their original respective parts. In a covenant, the two become one in the same. The Marriage Covenant is a lot more like mashed potatoes. How do you make mashed potatoes? Take 2 potatoes, skinned them alive, cut them up, put them in hot water to soften their temperament, and mash them together into 1!
Most people today see marriage as a contract and this is the reason why divorce rates are so high. Let us learn together some of the principles taught by the apostle Paul in the book of Corinthians.
1. God called us to live in peace.
2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.
We can see on verses 3 and 4 that the emphasis on the passage is that there are marital duties and have clear safeguards in what relates to sexuality. In order to maintain a healthy relationship couples need self-discipline. Galatians 5:23 says that the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
As a Christian the most important thing you have to identify in your marriage is the spiritual level that both you and your spouse are in.
1Corinthians 7:12-16 12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Note that Paul starts by saying that he and not the Lord have an advice to the Church. This is not to be read as a commandment but as he says on verse 6, a concession and a godly advice.