Today’s reading confirms for me that Paul is not married. I do believe I have read that in commentaries as well. It sounds like he sees marriage, while not sinful, as a proverbial “noose” and if married you are limited in your freedoms, particularly your freedom to follow God. If he is married, and because he is such a soldier for God, he feels like he is doing his wife an injustice, and therefore that is why he says it is better not to marry.
If married, you can be too focused on your spouse’s needs, etc., that you are not “all in” for God. Paul states several times that it is not a sin to be married or get married. In fact, there are other places in the Bible where marriage is explained as holy. This whole section starts by him giving the disclaimer that he does not have the word from God, but it is for unmarried women. His dialogue quickly changes to involve more.
I’d like to think that the main point here is not to focus on the world or things of the world, for they too quickly pass away (v. 31). That we need to focus on doing the work of the Lord the best we know how, and if that focus is limited by a marriage partner, that is the problem. We should not only unite with someone we love, but one who shares our love of the Savior and our devotion to serve Him and do His work. Together, working for God, the team is stronger than an individual on their own, that would be my thinking anyway.
So much of the preceding verses here in this chapter have cautioned against marriage, separation, being with non-believers, etc. It makes sense to me that if yoked with another believer wanting to focus on doing the work of the Lord, that that is a strong yoke, and that is what we should be seeking. So if we want to be married, we need to seek a Godly man to share our life with. I did just that…it just took me a do-over to get it done.
How are you feeling after reading the rest of this chapter? Feel free to comment below. Perhaps you are feeling energized and empowered to do a better job as a follower of Christ? Perhaps a bit dismayed at how you’ve fallen away and into some bad habits? Perhaps confused and not sure how to balance it all? Let these verses speak to your heart and ignite some action, whatever that may be.
Let’s pray. Lord I come to you feeling a little overwhelmed. While I am married to a man full of integrity and love for you, sometimes I don’t feel like we are doing enough to further your kingdom. Open up opportunities for us to minister to those around us. Help us to see with your eyes the needs and help fill them. Thank you for this servant heart, and I continue to grow closer to you myself, use my life as a testament to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.