Ah, the sweet talks about relationships…to be (single) or not to be (single), that is the question!
Paul says at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 7 that he is writing in response to a question. He does not care as much about the act of sexual union as much as the relationship that it represents. It is a relationship of mutually serving the other person, rather than a focus on self. In just a few verses, I already know that I have a long way to go in my perspective on relationships!
God does not call people to adhere to an outward appearance, but a lifestyle based on His commands. Paul throughout this chapter has a sense of urgency: do not be so focused on this earth that you miss steps in preparing for God’s kingdom. The time is short. Do not focus on earthly relationships. And if you are single, consider just focusing your life on God. Some people are gifted with this self-control, and some are not. Paul wanted to spare them trouble, and promote their happiness.
It is amazing how far our culture has come, in thinking that marriage and intimate relationships will bring happiness. As I consider marriage (yes, I’m one of those single people), my focus tends to me on myself. Yet the most rewarding relationships that I have had are based on mutual giving. And I do not need to get married to be fulfilled and happy; in fact, I may be like Paul and be happier unmarried.
God, please help me gain a clearer view of relationships, as this is an area that I have struggled. Please help me to see that my focus should not be on connections on this earth, but on a friendship with You that is enhanced by other friendships. God, thank You for how You show different facets of Your beauty through different people, and please help me to praise You for it. Amen.