The Bible is Godís word and it is perfect. But Christian leaders cannot usually give advice that is correct in every situation. They must advise Christians how to live at the present time and in their present circumstances. So like Paul, they must be careful to distinguish between Godís word and their own opinions.
Of course Paul approved of marriage. God established marriage as the proper relationship between and husband and wife, so of course it is good. But there can be circumstances where it is not wise to marry. Paul believed that such circumstances then existed in Corinth.
The troubles that already affected Christians elsewhere would soon affect the Christians in Corinth, too. Their enemies would cruelly attack them. The government would oppose them. Many of them would lose their jobs, their homes and their possessions. Some of them would have to die because of their relationship with Christ.
When peopleís lives may be short, they should not normally accept more responsibilities. They should concentrate on the things that really matter to them. For a Christian, nothing should matter more than his relationship with Christ. Married people have serious and important responsibilities towards their husbands or wives. It would be difficult to look after a husband or wife during the troubles that would soon happen.
In other circumstances, Paul would have given different advice. But he would still have insisted that marriage is a serious matter. People must think very carefully about their lives, their relationship with God, and their new responsibilities before they decide to marry.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.