Summary: Paul gives six reasons for remaining single: (1) the pressure of the system (vv. 25–27); (2) the problems of the flesh (v. 28); (3) the passing of the world (vv. 29–31); (4) the preoccupations of marriage (32–35); (5) the promises of bethrothed (vv. 36–38
This week you may have seen the story of Maria Headley. Like many people, playwright Maria Headley had had her fill of terrible dates. Discouraged and looking for love, she decided the time had come for her to eliminate her own (clearly not adequately discriminating) taste from the equation. Instead -- as she vowed to her roommates one frustrated morning -- she would date every person who asked her out for an entire year, regardless of circumstances. It would be her Year of Yes.
Over the next 12 months, Maria ended up dating most of NYC: a homeless guy who thought he was Jimi Hendrix, a subway conductor, a mommy-obsessed millionaire, a woman who asked her to have her baby, a 70-year-old salsa dancer, a Colombian Cowboy/Handyman, Her high school nemesis, whom she’d spent seven years rejecting, and THE MIME: A man in the Marceau Mold who proposed with hand gestures and more.
In Her words, the Year of Yes is the story of how one woman went looking for a new kind of love...and found a new kind of life.
The people in Corinth had some interesting ideas about being single as well. Written from Ephesus during the Apostle Paul’s third missionary journey from 53-57 AD, 1 Corinthians 7 commences the second part or division of this Epistle, or, “the discussion of those points which had been submitted to the apostle in a letter from the church at Corinth, for his instruction and advice. A strategic commercial center, Corinth was one of the largest cities in the Roman world and one of the most corrupt (Acts 18:1). Full of false teachers, immature believers and people of all kind of ideas, the Christians in Corinth got into a lot of difficult situations considering Marriage and singleness.
Not much is different today. Everyone seems to have an opinion on marriage and singleness. The discussion from friends and family, the talk shows and tabloids, the efforts in single bars to books in secular bookstores seem endless, and being single is almost regarded as being odd and a problem to be rectified. Weather we are single or married, how we view the single affects our parenting, mentoring, friendships, but most importantly the role that single people have in God’s kingdom. Is Singleness a problem we do our best to solve for people or is it an opportunity for a special group of people to serve in God’s kingdom in a unique way?
Continuing to answer the questions about which the Corinthians had written him (7:1), Paul gives six reasons for remaining single: (1) the pressure of the system (vv. 25–27); (2) the problems of the flesh (v. 28); (3) the passing of the world (vv. 29–31); (4) the preoccupations of marriage (32–35); (5) the promises of bethrothed (vv. 36–38); and (6) the permanency of marriage (vv. 39–40).
1) THE PRESSURE OF THE SYSTEM (7:25–27)
The principle here is that it is good … to remain as [one] is, and those in view are virgins, including both women and men (a man).
Again (cf. v. 12) Paul points out that Jesus gave no direct teaching on the goodness of singleness (I have no command of the Lord), although He alludes to it in Matt. 19:12. Yet the apostle’s teaching is no less divine and authoritative.