May 24, 2024


1 Corinthians 7:1-9 - Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.


In 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, Paul addresses questions the Corinthian church had about marriage and singleness. He affirms that marriage is good and ordained by God. Husbands and wives have a duty to fulfill each other's sexual needs in marriage. Withholding sex can open the door to temptation and should only be done by mutual agreement for a limited time for the purpose of prayer. At the same time, Paul wishes all could be single like he is, seeing advantages in singleness. But he recognizes that singleness is a gift and calling that not all have. For those who burn with passion and lack self-control, it is better to marry than to fall into sexual immorality. Both marriage and singleness are good and honorable callings. The key is to live faithfully and contentedly in whichever state God has called you to.


This passage offers profound wisdom for navigating the complexities of marriage, singleness, and sexuality in a fallen world. Paul affirms the goodness of marriage as God's provision for holy sexual fulfillment and intimacy. Husbands and wives belong to each other. Selfishly withholding sex is a failure to love. At the same time, Paul sees advantages in singleness, wishing all could be single like he is. Singleness provides freedom from the anxieties of marriage to be fully devoted to the Lord (1 Cor 7:32-35). But singleness is not for all. It is a gift and calling. Marriage is the remedy for those who burn with passion. The key is to receive one's state, whether married or single, as from the Lord. Both are honorable callings. God is not more pleased with one than the other. What matters is living with undivided devotion to the Lord in the calling he has given (1 Cor 7:17). For the married, this means loving and serving one's spouse faithfully, not selfishly depriving them. For singles, it means stewarding the advantages of singleness for the Lord while fleeing sexual immorality. In a sex-saturated culture, this passage offers much-needed wisdom. It affirms the goodness of sex within marriage while warning of the dangers of selfish deprivation. It upholds the advantages of singleness while recognizing it as a calling not all have. Most of all, it calls us to receive our state from the Lord and live faithfully for him, whether married or single. As we do, we can experience the unique joys and blessings of the calling God has given us.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of marriage and the gift of singleness. Help me to receive my state, whether married or single, as from your hand. If married, enable me to love and serve my spouse faithfully, not selfishly withholding myself but fulfilling my marital duties. If single, help me to maximize my singleness for your glory, living in purity and contentment. Protect me from sexual temptation. Help me find my ultimate fulfillment in you. Give me grace to live with undivided devotion in whichever calling you have given me. May my life, whether single or married, bring honor to your name. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Two hearts, one in Christ, Embraced in holy love's delight. Radiant with grace, their union shines, Blessed by the Light that intertwines.

Two hearts, one in Christ,
Embraced in holy love's delight.
Radiant with grace, their union shines,
Blessed by the Light that intertwines.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.