1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7

New Living Translation (NLT)

Instruction on Marriage

7 Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations.[a] But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.

So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.

10 But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.[b] A wife must not leave her husband. 11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.

12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man[c]has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her.

13 And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. 14 For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband[d] brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. 15 (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife[e] is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you[f] to live in peace.)16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you? 

17 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. 19 For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.

20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.[g] 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters,[h] should remain as you were when God first called you.

25 Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you.26 Because of the present crisis,[i] I think it is best to remain as you are. 27 If you have a wife, do not seek to end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married. 28 But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you those problems.

29 But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions.31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.

32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.

36 But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. 37 But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. 38 So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord.[j] 40 But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1 Or to live a celibate life; Greek reads It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
  2. 7:10 See Matt 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18.
  3. 7:12 Greek a brother.
  4. 7:14 Greek the brother.
  5. 7:15a Greek the brother or sister.
  6. 7:15b Some manuscripts read us.
  7. 7:23 Greek don’t become slaves of people.
  8. 7:24 Greek brothers; also in 7:29.
  9. 7:26 Or the pressures of life.
  10. 7:39 Greek but only in the Lord.

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone ++

Don’t worry, I won’t be conducting bible study today. I just want you guys to reflect on the title of this post.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” – John 8:7

Some of you might already be familiar with this verse from the bible, while some are probably reading this for the first time. It doesn’t matter ‘cos I”m going to explain it anyway.

We have all sinned or done something wrong at some point in our lives. If you believe you’re pure, righteous and have never ever done a single thing wrong throughout your life, I challenge you to own up. Anyone? I doubt so. Our wrongdoings range in severity – i.e. our relationship with those we’ve hurt, the number of people hurt or affected, the damage caused, how long it took to recover from the wrong we committed, etc.

So why is it that when someone makes a mistake, we’re usually so quick to scrutinize and rebuke?

Two days ago, I came across a Facebook page humiliating and demonstrating against a young Singaporean blogger for being a third party in a relationship. She’s a very prominent online celebrity of sorts, with her very own blog, modelling for blogshops, etc.

I guess that along with fame comes the public attention. Everything you do, whether good or bad, is magnified a hundred times.

There are so many people in the world who have been the victim and/or villain in third-party relationships, but because of her status, it suddenly becomes a huge scandal for all to talk and gossip about.

Of course, I don’t condone such behavior on her part. It was wrong and she after all the attack the public has directed at her, I believe she has suffered enough punishment.

She’s human and like you and me, she makes mistakes too.

I understand that it’s our corrupt human nature to find pleasure in gossip and malicious talk. Now with the Internet, it all seems even easier to feed off each other’s attack towards a particular person. That’s our mistake.

But what do people get out of it?

I’m going to openly admit that I’ve been a ‘third party’ before. I was 16, just finished my year-end examinations, graduated from secondary school, and had a 3-month break before we could starting college. Coming from an all-girls school since I was 6, I barely had encounters with boys and of course, never dated one. I started part-time work at a restaurant and that was where and when it began.

There was a couple my age working there as well. Like me, they were on their three-month break and waiting for school term to start again. I don’t want it to sound like a blaming game, but because I’ve decided to be very honest here, I’m going to post only what is true about what happened.

This guy never made a move at work – obviously because his girlfriend was around. I, quite frankly, wasn’t attracted to him. But about 3 weeks into the job, he texted me over the weekend. He opened up and shared his feelings for me and from then on, he just kept flirting with me through text messages. Being my first time through such an encounter, I didn’t know how to react. I was secretly very happy that a guy took interest in me, but I wasn’t keen on progressing from there.

Looking back, I regret not being strong enough to reject him. I went along with his flirting by smiling and saying thank you and stuff like that. I never reciprocated but he just went on with the texting and flirting – even during work when his girlfriend wasn’t around. We worked on shifts, so there was one Valentine’s day where his gf wasn’t working but both he and I were. He bought me a necklace and wanted to spend work during that evening with me. I accepted the necklace… wrong move!

I’m not denying that I was partially to blame, but at that age of vulnerability and innocence, I didn’t know what to do.

About a month later, he told me that his girlfriend read his messages to me. She came to work the next day and shot countless stare daggers at me – every one just made me feel more and more guilty. Only then did I decide that I needed to quit my job and stop seeing him. I finally managed the courage to tell him. He agreed. It wasn’t painful for me because I never like him in the first place, but it was painful for me knowing that I betrayed the friendship I had with her.

——————–

Ever since then, I have been more firm with myself. Sometimes, emotions are beyond our control.

“Funny how the heart can be deceiving
More than just a couple times
Why do we fall in love so easy?
Even when it’s not right

Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned”

The radio played this from Pink yesterday and it suddenly hit a raw nerve in me.

Throughout my life, I have found myself falling for the wrong people. By this, I don’t mean going out with jerks and getting into relationships with assholes. By this, I actually mean falling for guys whom I know already belong to someone else.

There is psychology behind why some girls fall in love so easily..
While I wouldn’t consider myself one of them,  I certainly believe that I do so more than the average girl. I have a boyfriend now, which has definitely helped fill that gap for me.

Psychology, childhood trauma and all are not excuses for stealing boyfriends and husbands.

But like I always say, we can’t always control our emotions, but we can control our actions.

As I mentioned, I have fallen for guys whom I SHOULD NOT fall for. I can’t control the chemistry and I can’t control the emotions. Sometimes, the level of attraction is so strong and all you really want is to be with that one person. You block out everything else, you start dreaming of that person, you keep think about that person, you can’t sleep, you cry, etc.

I’ve felt that.

I’ve seen what a third party has done to my mum and dad. I know how damaging it can be to a family and even though I don’t exactly know what my mum felt then, I sensed it as a 3-year-old and watched the drama as a 11-year-old. I can’t empathise completely but I know – I just know.

I haven’t learnt to take full control of the way I feel and behave but I’m trying bit by bit. Some succumb to emotions while others have stronger will-power. It’s not a crime to love someone, but don’t let it get in the way of another’s relationship.

We all sin and if you think about it, sin always begins in our heart and mind. Sin in not something we can avoid. So we sin, now learn from it, repent and move on. Why point out the sin in others and harbor on it? Does it do you good? No.

Another verse as food for thought from Matthew 7:3:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”