|1 Corinthians 7:1-2,8-9 |
1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me. It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid sexual immorality, let every man have [relations with] his own wife, and let every woman have [relations with] her own husband. [In this verse, let every man "have his own wife" means "have relations with his own wife," and means "let every woman "have relations with her own husband," (for proof see the Net Bible's footnotes 1 and 2 to this verse). This verse does not mean, "let every man be married and let every woman be married;" that interpretation, which is all too common, severely conflicts with the rest of this chapter's pleas to stay unmarried if possible. Paraphrased, this verse means: if you are married, have relations with your spouse to avoid sexual immorality. In the below verses Paul says to only withdraw from relations with your spouse by common consent, and resume them after a season of prayer and fasting if you don't yet have self-control, (verse 5), which is a concession, not a command, (verse 6); for he wishes all men to be capable of not touching a woman like him, verses 1 and 7. See other scriptures that support the same.]
8 I say therefore to the unmarried people and widows: It is good for them if they remain single, as I am.
9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn [in lust].2 [Do not assume that marriage will cure your lust for sex with others in general. See the footnote below for these two verses.]
2 I say therefore to the unmarried people and widows: It is good for them if they remain single, as I am. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn [in lust]. Many people read this and assume that if they get married, their burning lust for bodies will disappear. If you ask any of the millions of married men who are addicted to porn, they will tell you that they have serious lack of control with massive lust for women in general. Even married men who have nothing to do with porn, will tell you that they cannot control their behavior.
If you are sexually active in an unmarried state, do not assume that marriage will eliminate your habits, which result from a lack of fear of God, and which fear should at least be the fear of seriously disappointing Him — if not a fear of actually piercing Him who is within you by your uncontrolled behavior; for each time you sin, you are piercing Christ within you. If you have sorrow and regret, with resolve to not repeat the same mistake again, you have godly sorrow. From the Word of the Lord within: "your godly sorrow is a soothing balm to the wounds you have inflicted on me;" if your sorrow is truly godly sorrow, that results in repentance from your sinful behavior, but the sorrow of the world produces death and no repentance.
And if you have previously been married, you are not free to mary others so long as a previous spouse is alive, (per verse 39 of this chapter). If you have previously made the mistake of remarriage, do not attempt to dissolve your current marriage, which would only make matters more chaotic and further dishonor the truth.
The fact that divorce and remarriage is not permitted until the death of a previous spouse makes your selection of a proper spouse very crucial to your future peace and happiness. So, before you assume that you need to get married, you had better wait on the Lord to guide you — not only guide you as to whether to get married or not, but also guide you as to whom you should marry and when. Only the Lord knows if marriage will be of help to your lust for bodies in general; and since your lust for the opposite sex blinds you to their true qualities, only the Lord knows who is a truly compatible spousal candidate for you. Further, the Lord forbids us marrying people outside the true faith, outside belief in the true gospel, outside the true hope. God destroyed the earth, partially because the sons of God mingled with heathen flesh: Genesis 6: the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of any of them that they chose. See Footnote 6 below.
Also, if you are already married, do not read this and for some reason mistakenly assume that you should get a divorce. Even if you are married to an unbeliever, you are to remain married as long as they choose to remain living with you, verses 12 - 15 above.
From the Word of the Lord within, "there is far too little love in the world today, and I look with favor on any love between men and women." Remember the Woman at the Well? She had five previous husbands, and was living unmarried with another man. But, Christ selected her, taught her, and then sent her out to witness and preach to the rest of the City. John 4:5-30. So, obviously he was not concerned. She was evidently in a committed relationship. Fidelity is what is important, not a ring; and not a ceremony from a "preacher" or civilian magistrate — neither of which have His authority. You cannot be unfaithful to man and faithful to God. So adults, who are living together in a committed relationship, or people who have divorced and remarried, are not living in sexual immorality, at least in the Lord's eyes. You can be his disciple if you are living together in a committed relationship, but be sure your commitment is a commitment not only of yourself, but your partner also, (a committed relationship requires both parties to be committed, not just one). Realize, when you have matured spiritually to be able to speak and act according to His commands, your lack of a publicly recognized marriage would be a stumbling block for many people, and for that reason you will probably eventually want to remove that stumbling block out of love for your fellow man. You can get formally married any time you choose, or you can wait until you hear Him tell you to formalize your relationship with a legal marriage for the eyes of the world. The early Quakers' marriages took place in their meetings without a ring and without a man marrying, which you can read about in George Fox's Letter #264. When there are meetings of the true faith established again, marriages will be similarly performed; until then, perhaps a Justice of the Peace, a Judge, or the County Clerk, (not a priest or a preacher), is the best alternative for formalizing a relationship into a legal marriage.