BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 18, Day 5: 1 Corinthians 7

Summary of passage:  Paul says it’s good for a man not to marry.  But if you do each man should have one wife and each wife one husband.  The husband should fulfills his marital duties to his wife and the wife to her husband.  The wife’s body does not belong to just herself but to her husband as well and vice versa.  Therefore, do not deprive each other except by mutual consent so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of control.  He wishes all to be unmarried but each has a different gift from God.

The unmarried and widows should stay unmarried but it’s better to marry than to burn with passion.

A wife must not separate from her husband but if she does she must not marry again or she must reconcile.  A husband must not divorce his wife.

Any one in a marriage with an unbeliever should stay married if the other is willing for you may be the one to save the other.  However, if the unbeliever leaves let them for they are not bound like believers are.  Also, the unbeliever is sanctified through the other and their children will be holy as well.

Every one should stay in the role God has called them.  Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

Paul wishes virgins would remain so and not marry for in marriage you will face many troubles in life.  Time is short and marriage divides a person’s attention from the Lord for you must please your spouse.  An unmarried person is only concerned with the Lord and can be devoted to Him in every way, undivided.

Paul clarifies that marriage is not a sin it’s just better to be single.

If a spouse dies, one can marry again but Paul advises against it so he or she can be devoted solely to the Lord.

Questions:

13a)  Each man should have one wife and each wife one husband.  the husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife and the wife to her husband.  The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband and vice versa.  Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent so Satan will not tempt you.

A wife must not separate from her husband but if she does she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.  A husband must not divorce his wife (Jesus says in Matthew 19:9 that any man who divorces his wife except for marital unfaithfulness and marries another commits adultery).  The same is try of the wife (Mark 10:12).

b)  Both man and wife should if at all possible stay with the unbelieving spouse for through the other the unbelieving has been sanctified.  Also, your children will be clean.  But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so for he is not bound in the marriage vow like a believer.

c)  Jesus said those who have received a word not to marry because they want to devote themselves to the kingdom of heaven should not.  But not everyone can or even should do this.  Paul believes people should not marry because marriage causes many troubles in life.  He believes life is short and as all married people know marriage is a lot of work.  It takes away from time devoted to the Lord.  An unmarried person is concerned only about the Lord’s affairs and how he or she can please the Lord.  A married person must also worry about pleasing their spouse so his or her interests are divided.  Paul believes in living in undivided devotion to the Lord (like he does).

Paul believes a widow who could marry again should not because she or he would be happier staying single and devoted wholly to the Lord and not have divided attentions.

14)  I think telling people who are married or engaged to get married that they should remain single would be fruitless.  So what I get out of these passages is the commandment by Jesus that one should not divorce unless there is infidelity.  So many divorces these days are due to “irreconcilable differences” which is another word for laziness and selfishness.

I would impress upon engaged couples that marriage is for life unless you die or you cheat.  Period.  Think hard before you get married.  Don’t take it lightly.  Don’t rush into it.  Do pre-marrital counseling.  Make sure of your choice because it is a life-long one.

Conclusions:  Marriage is work and it does take time.  No question Paul is right.  I like how Jesus puts it that people are called to remain celibate and unmarried.  Because as we all know God created marriage and man and woman to be together, not apart.  Mankind is a social creature just like horses and herd animals.  He’s not meant to be alone.

I think this is true for widows as well.  When your life partner dies, there is a void left that will probably never be filled but finding someone else can ease the pain and heartache and possibly fill the void.

So many people these days take marriage lightly that I wish more would be said in society about these passages and what marriage was meant to be.

I do like Paul’s advice not to deprive your spouse of each other.  This is so prevalent in today’s marriage that it does cause many infidelities.  We all need intimate contact with our spouse and when this is withheld I believe the other person starts to wilt like a flower does with no water.  It is a NEED, not a want and some people believe this.  God created man and woman to be together, physically.

Many good marriages are broken up because the spouse is neglected and starts to look elsewhere for affection he or she should be getting at home.  I wish this were highlighted as well more in our society.  Once the passion of first love wears off it is not okay to shut down.

A flower must be tended in order to bloom.  So must a marriage and this means each partner in the marriage (who are one now) must be tended for the flower will not bloom if one half is wilting.

Clarification points:  Verses 1-7:  Paul is addressing here sex within a marriage.  The Corinthians were asking if they should abstain from sex within a marriage and Paul says absolutely not in Verse 2.  Sexual immorality is what Paul is referring to here and it was very rampant in Corinth in the first century AD (some things never change, do they?).  People were worried and wanted to know God’s take on the matter which Paul answers here.

The word concession tripped me up in verse 6.  Concession means to grant so Paul is saying he is granting a temporary reprieve from abstaining from sex in a marriage but only for a short time for prayer.  They they are to come together again.

Verse 14.  This does not mean that the unbelieving spouse is saved simply by being married to a Christian.  Paul is saying that because the unbeliever is so close to a Christian he or she has special work.

Verse 14:  I found the part about the kids relieving.  This is saying because you are a believer your kids are automatically believers until they are of an age to do this themselves.  I have wondered about this in terms of little kids who die early and whether or not they go to Heaven.  Now I know the believers’ children are there.  This applies to me as well.  Something I worry about just in case God does take my kids early.

Verse 15:  I also did not know that God’s institution of marriage does not apply to unbelievers. This was fascinating.  That if you do marry an unbeliever and he or she leaves you may marry again because the spouse is not under the same covenant.  Yet the believer should keep the faith in the marriage up until that point.

Verse 17:  A great reminder to walk with God right now where He has placed you.  Quit waiting till you find the perfect spouse or anything else in life and live the life God has called you to RIGHT NOW.  Paul is right when he says life is short. Don’t waste another minute!

Verse 19:  Keeping God’s command is what counts!  I think this gets lost in the rest of the text so I wanted to highlight it.  This is the overarching command in our lives no matter what else.