Keep in mind Paul is still responding to the people’s concern about refraining from having sex when he shares what’s appropriate for single people, particularly people whose spouses have died. Not burning with lust seems to be tied to not being able to control themselves. For those who find themselves in that camp, the solution is marriage. Is it safe to assume then that “lust” is one of those sexual sins we should avoid? Certainly, lust can easily lure the individual into sinful behavior that would be harmful.
Verses 10 and 11 are not my favorite having been divorced from my first husband and remarried to the man of my dreams. Paul makes a special point to say this is a “command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.” I have reconciled my abusive first marriage with God, but if you struggle feeling like these words are meant solely for you today, then talk with God about the forgiveness he offers. Reach out to me privately from our Facebook group (or by email).
What really spoke to me today were verses 12-16. Again, Paul gives a bit of a disclosure here as to the source of this wisdom. Even though it’s not “directly” from God, I have to believe that Paul’s words were inspired by God as he was being used as God’s ambassador to help this struggling congregation in Corinth.
I like how it speaks to both spouses here with the same wisdom. These are the verses that really help me feel redeemed. My first husband was not a true believer. He used Scripture to force himself and his ideas on me, but I never felt strong spiritual leadership from him. He was definitely a seeker, and even thought at one time he wanted to be a preacher. But his actions spoke a different language.
Whether or not he was a “true” believer is really between him and God. However, these verses make me feel better. I was that believing wife hoping that my example would help him with his demons. But when he chose to leave, I let him go and breathed a sigh of relief. That’s my story. What’s yours?
I’d never wish the abuse I endured on anyone, and I realize you may have had a happy marriage from the get-go or are still waiting for the right person to come along. It does me good to share it though. Over the years, my testimony has helped many women come to grips with the fears they face feeling stuck. I always pray that God can use my story for good.
I titled this reflection “Best Practices” because I do believe God wants the best for all of us. Each time a piece of wisdom is revealed in his word, this time about sex and marriage, we should be like hungry sharks and just gobble it up. God’s word is given to help us know God’s ways so we can apply them to our lives. Then we can be free to live our best lives!
Let’s pray …
Hey God! I’m so thankful for how you have moved in my life to bring me to this place. I look back and see your handprints all over my life and feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Forgive me for not always giving you the credit and for thinking my ways were better. You have brought me to this moment, and now I dedicate this day to you. Use me as you see fit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.