Paul wrote these words to encourage some Christians in Corinth whose husbands or wives were not Christians.
Life was not easy for many Christians in that situation. Many of their husbands and wives belonged to an evil, false religion. It was perhaps difficult for those Christians to attend the meetings at their church. They had become Christians since their marriage; their husbands or wives opposed their new beliefs.
Perhaps those Christians felt jealous of families where both the husband and wife were already Christians. They could help each other in their beliefs; they could pray together (14:35).
Paul knew that each Christianís life is different (7:17). A Christian should not be jealous of other people whose circumstances may seem better. Instead, each person should work for God in their present situation.
That was true for the person whose husband or wife was not a Christian, too. Perhaps God has allowed that person to be in that situation in order to save the husband or wife who does not believe. And God desires to use that Christian member of the family in this great work.
It is a wonderful honour that God allows his people to work for him. Through that Christianís prayers, words and actions, God can act to save their husband or wife. Perhaps that Christian would prefer to be in a better situation. But nothing is better than to do the work that God desires us to do.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.