Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Practical reason for Marriage

1 Cor. 7:1-7 (ESV)
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." [2] But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. [3] The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. [4] 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. [5] 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.
Paul here gives a very practical and pragmatic reason for getting married, to avoid fornication. It seems as if Paul knows that it is just not reasonable to expect the majority of people to be celibate. God created us to be fruitful and multiply. But Paul also knows that fornication, prostitution, adultery etc. are dangerous sins to be avoided. Marriage is the answer Paul gives. He doesn’t hold out unrealistic expectations that men and women are going to avoid fornication etc. if they don’t have the God given outlet of marriage. Neither do I think his advice to high school age children to hold off on marriage until they had finished a PHD, purchased a house, and had three cars at the age of forty.
Obviously, one has to make up one’s own mind as to when it is best to get married, and to whom. I wouldn’t want to recommend marriage for the sake of marriage alone. But I think our society has somehow gotten very unrealistic concerning when is proper to get married. Is it any wonder that we have a high pregnancy rate amongst unmarried mothers? Do we really stop and wonder about the pain it causes to go through life with out knowing one’s father? Are we surprised that 25% of high school age girls have some STD? and that that percentage rises to 50% of African American girls? (I haven’t heard the story on the males. I tend to believe it may be higher.)

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