Every single day starts out with time for God in my house. Whether it’s a morning devotion, bathroom worship session, or just talking/praying – I know the importance of putting God first in your schedule.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been drawn to I Corinthians (I eventually plan to study, in depth, Paul’s letters to ALL of the 7 the churches). It’s funny how I’ve heard bits and pieces of it, but never took the time to sit down and really absorb what it speaks on. I guess it’s for the best though because I am MUCH wiser now than I was at 16 or 20. Since Last week I’ve been rereading and dissecting 1 Corinthians Chapters 7-9 in detail.
Here’s what I found out:
1. Holding out on sex/physical intimacy just because you’re mad at your husband or wife isn’t right. Paul says in chapter 7, verses 3-5, “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. This makes perfect sense! If you are mad at your spouse and hold out, you are making it easier for them to be tempted and cheat. If they do, you’ll have nobody to be mad at BUT YOURSELF! One of the God given rights of marriage is physical intimacy; so going long periods of time without it makes it challenging for two separate people to be on an accord as one. Now if you say, “Ok sweetness, let’s fast and believe God for insert blessing here and focus on God for a week.”, then that’s fine. But using intimacy as a ‘controlling’ method…NEGATIVE.
2. It’s not a godly command, but a suggestion by Paul to remain single for as long as possible. Chapter 7, verse 8 reads, “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.” Face it. Most of us want to get married one day (shoot I know I do!) ; but the truth of the matter is that we can do more for God single than we can married. NOW BEFORE YOU REACH FOR YOUR HOLY WATER, let me break down what I mean – think about being single. You can go and come as you please without having to take into account anyone else’s feelings but your own. If you don’t feel like doing anything but sleeping for your entire vacation you can do it without input from your significant other. If you don’t feel like shaving your legs or cutting your beard…no problemo. You don’t have tons of familial responsibilities so you can blow all of your money on a backpacking across the Serengeti and crisscross the country going on mission trips and visiting monasteries….it’ll be no big whoop. Now think on marriage. You don’t just get married and a life of bliss automatically follows…it takes work. You have someone else’s feelings to consider and at times you have to sacrifice some of your personal time to help support your spouse; whether it be through financial, physical, or emotional difficulty. BUT notice Paul says, if you ‘can’t control yourself enough to wait until marriage for sex or sexual relations, then you need to go on and seek out a spouse. It’s better to marry than to fornicate.
3. As Christians we are held (to a certain point) accountable for each other through our witnesses. Yes we live our own lives, but we need to make sure our witness reflects the things of God. Chapter 8, verses 4-13 speaks on this. “Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating[a] in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged,[b] if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers[c] and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
On the surface, yes this is speaking on physical food, but walk with me for a second and dig a little deeper to think on the spiritual aspect of it. If you are a Christian who is saved from your old life of sin, you basically know how you should conduct yourself as a representative of God’s kingdom. Yes, you may be strong enough to go to clubs and listen to Wayne, Nicki, Sid Vicious and all of them without being ‘pulled back into the world’; but the people who AREN’T saved are not. Whether you think it’s not fair or being too deep or whatever — CHRISTIAN NEWS FLASH — you CAN’T DO EVERYTHING everyone else is doing. Point blank. If you cuss someone up and down, I hate it for you because that is a bad witness. I have acquaintances in the church who are cohabitating with their girlfriend/boyfriend, will turn up every drink in the club and cuss like crazy; then shout a crater in the floor and speak into other people’s lives. I love those friends, I really do….but I know that they have a bad witness. If you know that drinking that drink, smoking that weed, or gossiping about that girl could potentially make a non-believer say “I can do it if they can” and stray away from God’s path – it’s best you just lay it on down and give it up. FAIR OR NOT.
There is more to break down but I’ll discuss that in another post.
TO BE CONTINUED……….
- One flesh in a marriage, What does it mean to be ? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Advancing The Kingdom: The Book of 1 Corinthians – part 3 (yourgodmoments.wordpress.com)
- Undivided Attention (cheersandprayers.wordpress.com)