Paul discusses issues and concerns about marriage, celibacy, divorce and widows.
13. Chapter 7 concerns God’s gifts of marriage and celibacy.
Marriage is not required: it is OK to be single and there are some benefits to being single (more time to devote to kingdom work)
Marriage is one husband one wife, man and woman
The two become one, in all ways – and that is a good and God ordained thing (not immoral)
Time apart from each other (in any way) is by mutual consent and only for devotion to prayer and only for a short duration
Except for unfaithfulness, no divorce
b. Unspoken: choose spouse wisely and prayerfully
Do not divorce over issues of belief
If unbelieving spouse is willing to stay – then stay together
If unbelieving spouse decides to leave – let them leave
It is not up to the believing spouse to choose to leave the marriage
c. Marriage is sanctioned and sanctified by God, but not required. Paul emphasizes that it is a significant commitment and, as such, it requires time and energy that can be devoted to mission work. That does not mean that it is wrong, it also doesn’t mean that it is required of all.
14. There is nothing casual about marriage. Take your time. Be prayerful. Enter it for the right reasons. Plan and prepare for the marriage not just the wedding. For those who are married – be joined together as a body in Christ – building on each others strengths and supporting each others weaknesses.
My wife is far more than my best friend – although she is that. She is an amazing woman of God. Someone who accepts my support and comfort, while at the same time praying for me and supporting me. I understand the blessing of raising a family together and understanding first hand what it means to be a Father and Husband – which gives me such a greater appreciation of my heavenly father and the bridegroom of the church. I also recognize that by marrying me, my wife has made a significant commitment of time and energy to minister to me. Could she have spent that time and energy reaching out to many other people? Would that have been a good thing in terms of spreading the gospel? Of course to both – but that doesn’t mean that she should have done that instead. God has given us to each other because that is His plan for our lives.