What are your dreams for the future?
There is a lot of confusion about sex and relationships in our day, and it was the same when Paul was around. Some people were saying that sex was a terrible thing to be avoided at all costs. And others were sleeping around all over the place, doing things they really shouldn’t have been doing. It was a huge mess. Somehow, sex had become this thing which people were using to create an impression of holiness by not doing. But we all know, that when we’re told not to think about pink elephants, that is exactly what we start to think about. Did anyone just lose “the game?” Sadly, the pink elephants were abuses and people having sex in the wrong places, and people getting hurt as a result.
So, Paul says people should be able to get married and sex should be a natural part of that. He tells the church that they both singleness and marriage are a gift from God.
Back when Paul was writing, they thought Jesus was about to come back (we’re still waiting…so maybe things weren’t quite so urgent!) Because of that, he encouraged people to live as if Jesus could be coming back any minute – and so things like marriage and love were less important. People who are married are often more settled, and a family becomes a responsibility (a good one though!) that ties people down. Suddenly mission and travelling and church building would get harder if everyone went off and started families.
Marriage is a gift. It shouldn’t be rushed into or rushed out of. Singleness is also a gift, although often considered a less welcome one. But it gives much more freedom and opportunities to have adventures. Neither one is greater than the other.
Lord God, thank you for the person you have called me to be. Thank you that you have good gifts in store for me. Help me to be wise in my relationships. Amen.
Who can you encourage today?