by Rev Joel Yong
1 Corinthians 7:26-28
I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.
Paul writes about those “free from a wife”.
Who is he referring to?
Other translations say “divorced from your wife.”
It is possible he was referring to the divorced or those yet to marry.
1 Corinthians 7:32-34
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
Paul was of the opinion that they should not actively pursue marriage as there are complexities that come with marriage, and he would rather, the people keep their focus upon the Lord.
Yet Paul says it’s not a sin to be married, it’s just more complicated and has more distractions as we have to be concerned about our spouses.
So dear friends, if you are married, do your part and tend to your marriage and to your spouse, but do not allow it to wrestle all attention away from matters of the Lord.
Marriage is after all, a union of 2 persons, made with commitments to care for one another through good times and through tough times. We all know people are imperfect and when put in close proximity, it’s inevitable that we test each other’s patience through friction that comes about now and then!
I repeat, it’s not a bad thing to be married, Paul is clear about it. But he is equally clear about how we ought to be mindful to stay focused on the work of the Lord, for he feels time is short.
Paul continues, writing these words:
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.