At every wedding, church leaders explain the benefits of married life. This passage interests us because, here, Paul must show the benefits of an unmarried life for a Christian.
Paul, who was himself unmarried, had advised unmarried Christians in Corinth not to marry. However, Paul was not making a rule for anyone to follow. He advised that because of the present circumstances in Corinth. It was a difficult time for people to marry and to start families.
To encourage those unmarried Christians, Paul explained how they were benefiting from their unmarried state.
As unmarried people, they could give themselves completely to work for God. A married man must care about his wife and his family. They have a right to his time and energy. In the same manner, a married woman must look after her husband and their children. She cannot do whatever she wants to do for God. A husband and wife must serve God in the manner that their present circumstances allow. Paul even had to give them special instructions in case they wanted to spend a few days in prayer (7:5).
But unmarried people are free to choose how they will spend their time, money and energy. They often have many less responsibilities at home than married people do. The result is that, often, unmarried people can serve God better.
Certainly, they will serve God better as unmarried people than if they chose to marry unwisely.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.