Archive for August, 2011
1 Corinthians 7:8-9: A message to singles & widows:
Paul laid down the general principles for marriage in the previous verses now he chooses to speak to various situations, starting with instructions to the single people and widows (widowers).
v.8-9, Paul’s single focus was on honouring God in service to him in his Kingdom. With that in mind Paul says “those who aren’t married and to widows [widowers]–it’s better to stay unmarried.” He wants those believers in Corinth to be single-minded in their service to God and he believes marriage would just be another distraction. However if they “cannot control themselves, they should marry..” Paul is simply saying if the sexual immorality all around them (which was common in the city of Corinth) was tempting them and they had problems with self-control, then get married. “…for it is better to marry than to burn with passion” Paul wanted the believers to know is better for them to marry then be forced into a life of celibacy where their natural uncontrollable desires would lead them to sin. It is one thing to have the gift of celibacy, but it is another to be forced to be celibate without the grace to live this lifestyle.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? I don’t think Paul is telling us in order to avoid the sin of fornication we should get married. And that sexual pressure is the best motive for getting married. No, definitely not. Unfortunately many young believers get married for this very reason. I think Paul is telling us to practice self-control in all areas of our life, not just sexual desires.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? I have many areas of my life I need to practice self-control. So I am going to ask God each day to help with self-control. I know it is easier to do whatever I want and go on sinning but to honour God I need to practice self-control.
God, please help me to be self-controlled in my actions, words and thoughts, when my natural uncontrollable desires lead me to sin.
As you know we have been using a naughty chair to discipline Faith, and now Shawn. So the naughty chair Faith uses has changed from a fluffy chair that is at floor level to one of our kitchen chairs. All our kitchen chairs have felt protectors on the bottom of the legs to protect the hardwood floors (this is important to remember for the rest of the story…haha).
Faith has been on the naughty chair more often than she was when we didn’t have Shawn in our home. Sibling rivarly, you know how it goes.
So Shawn has started to “help” with Faith’s discipline. Everytime Faith is done sitting on the naughty chair Shawn goes over to the chair and glides it across the floor and pushes it under our kitchen table. He’s very concerned about putting things back to where they belong–he’s a bit of a neat freak, like his Daddy. haha.
The other day Faith and Shawn were playing and out of the blue Faith hit Shawn with her snack cup, so we took the cup away from her. As we were talking to Faith, Shawn got up off the floor and proceeded to take the chair out from under the kitchen table and pushed it into the hallway so Faith could sit on it. We had to tell him Faith was not going to sitting on the naughty chair this time. He was so cute, he stood in the hallway with his arms up in the air as if to say “what’s going on?” (Sorry, no pictures, it all happened so fast).
I’m sure I am going to have more naughty chair stories in the future.
Unfortunately the last 4 weeks we have had a number of complications on the basement reno. Both of the men on the crew working on our house have either quit or been let go for whatever reason. So the reno was put on hold for a few days before the foreman could get back to our job and assess what he needed to do to continue and complete the job. He told us he will complete the job on his own.
Thankfully in the last few weeks he has been able to get a lot accomplished (still no pics). He has finished all the touch-up work and sanding of all the walls. Also he has completed all the painting in all the rooms including the bedroom–finally. Last week he spent most of his time deciphering the mess of our wiring as the electrician who did the work did a poor job, so the foreman had to go back over the work done and correct some of the wiring issues. But finally the wiring is all correct now and many of the light switches and fixtures are in the walls and ceilings and more importantly working. Yeah!
We are hoping this whole reno will be done by the end of August but we aren’t holding our breath.
1 Corinthians 7:1-7: To Marry or not to marry?
Up to this point Paul has been dealing with the sins reported to be present in the Corinthian church, but now he takes some time to answer many of the questions that were written to him. Starting with celibacy.
v.1-2, Paul starts this chapter by answering one of the Corinthian’s questions regarding living a celibate life. The question posed is celibacy more spiritual than marriage? Paul says “it is good to abstain from sexual relations” or it is good for a man or woman to have the gift of celibacy, but it is not better than marriage. And not everyone has the gift of celibacy. But he told the believers to not enforce celibacy on themselves or each other and deprive themselves of marriage. That would set them up for failure because there is “so much sexual immorality” all around them. As we know from my earlier posts the city of Corinth was full of sexual immorality even their worship of gods and goddesses was full of it. Paul advices if anyone does not have the gift of celibacy“each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” Paul says if you don’t have the gift of celibacy, then marry and you can fulfill your sexual desires in a God-honouring marriage. Weirsbe put it this way “one of the purposes of marriage is to avoid fornication.”
v.3-4, Paul says “husbands should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.” The reason he says this is because the Corinthian believers, who were surrounded by sexual temptation, had gone to the extreme in abstaining from sex altogether–even in their marriages! They saw the sexual immorality around them and decided that ALL sex was immoral and evil. Even though celibacy should be the rule for those who have chosen to be single for the rest of their life, it should not have any place in a marriage relationship. “The wife [should] give authority over her body to her husband, and the husband [should] give authority over his body to his wife.” Notice how it doesn’t just say, only the wife should do this, it says both and it also doesn’t say to anyone you feel like it, no it’s says only your wife or husband. This is totally opposite of what they world tells us. The key to this verse is that Paul is saying the unity given to a married couple through their sexual relationship makes them no longer independent beings, they have become “one flesh” (Gen 2:24).
v.5, Married couples have the responsibility to care for each other and they should not “deprive each other of sexual relations” but should fulfill each other’s needs and desires. There is an exception as to when spouses can deprive one another of sexual intimacy…that is if they “both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so [they] can give yourselves more completely to prayer.” But Paul warns that this should not be a habit, only for a limited time. Some people abstain from other things as well, like watching TV, using Facebook or even eating to devote themselves completely to prayer. But again, you must “come back together again.” Otherwise, they would leave themselves open for Satan’s temptations with sexual immorality because of “lack of self-control.”
v.6-7, “I say this as a concession, not as a command.” Paul is referring to the fact that marriage is desirable, according to God’s plan, and natural for most people, however it is NOT MANDATORY. God has given no command that reads “thou shalt marry.” So whether you marry or not does not make you obedient or disobedient, either marital status are permissible. However Paul finishes this section with he preference “I wish everyone were single [celibate], just as I am.” However he recognizes that not everyone has the gift of celibacy…”each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? There is a lot packed into these short seven verses, but the thing that strikes me the most is that when I married my wife we become one flesh. I knew this, but I didn’t really get the idea that my body is now her’s as well and her’s mine. That means that I need to honour God by honouring my wife–both sexually and spiritually. We are no longer independent of each other, we are one.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? From this day forward I am going to honour De-Ann in every way. I need to respect her choices and her decisions and do everything I can to support her in her life. I want to be a God-honouring husband.