Good Morning, My Christian Reader,
One of my projects last Saturday was to work on a garage window. The house and garage were built in about 1976. The window in the back of the garage is opened manually and has an unusual and inexpensive sliding mechanism to allow the window to swing out. It has been one of the harder windows to open. I always opened it when I spray primed and painted vehicles and other projects in years past. For the last 10 years it has not been opened much. The sliding mechanism became harder and harder to open and close. When we began staining and putting polyurethane on the trim boards, I opened the window and I would prop it open with a stick that I have made for that purpose. After the trim boards were complete, I decided to take out the stick to release the window so that it would close. Well, it just stayed open. I did not mind, but it was this way for weeks. Finally one day I decided to close the window from the outside. It did not go well…I used brute strength and that was not good. I bent the mechanism…now what does one do for a 40-year-old mechanism and would I find one even if searched the hardware store for one? So being a good MacGyver, I went to work with Linda to take out the window and work at refurbishing the mechanism. It was fun!!! It took about 30-45 minutes with a workbench vice, a number of tools and a lot of patience. When it was all back together, it worked just like new. I love the wisdom that God gives to me to do small repairs like that with time and prayer!!! It is FUN!!!
1 Corinthians 7:32-36 – 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. 36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.
Subject: Considering One’s Feelings
We shall consider verses 35 and 36 in today’s devotional. First consider the context of verses 32-35 as Paul finishes his thoughts in the verses before verse 35. He is writing for the believer’s own benefit or advantage. He does not want to say something that will cause anyone to feel any restraint (restriction, noose, control) upon any person. What he does want to do is promote good (proper, presentable, attractive) order and to secure your undivided (without distraction) devotion (constantly in service) to the Lord (“devoted service to God”).
Sometimes a man like Paul or a preacher like myself can become intimidating in sharing even godly advice. We have to be careful that we do not “force” someone to do something as critical as not get married or to marry because it may seem “like the right thing to do” after interacting with another person. Absolutely, it is necessary to put the Lord Jesus Christ first in every decision. Secondly, it is critical to do something of this magnitude willingly and not under compulsion. Every time a pastor or counselor meets a person or a couple we need the help of the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and insight to help them work through their own problem just like a coach.
But, there are times we must insist that changes must be made in order to make a situation better for both people in a marriage. The very center of every decision is that Jesus Christ be glorified. One’s heart will show in his or her final decision made with a deep consideration for God in the matter(s).
Verse 36 speaks about a man who is engaged to be married to a virgin. As he considers about his relationship, the question of “behaving properly” (dishonorably, embarrassment, shamefully) toward his betrothed (virgin). If his passions for his future bride are strong (v.9 – he burns with passion…sexual arousal), let him do (imperative in the Greek – a command), let them marry! It is not a sin that he has committed. It is better to get married than fall into sin with his virgin.
I made my choice 51 years ago, (and I am glad I did)
Scripture is from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.