Read: I Corinthians 7:1-24
Think: Paul, in great detail, discusses marriage in this chapter. As commentators remind us, Paul is writing to a church in crisis. He is also under the impression, at the time of writing to the Corinthians, that Christ is returning SOON, so he wants all members to lay everything aside for the work of the Gospel. Years later, when he writes to the Ephesians, it is clear that Christ has not returned immediately. In today’s reading, consider verses 14-16. Paul is encouraging all believers to (1) see their relationship with God as a parallel t0 the marriage relationship, (2) make their homes a place where spouses treat each other with the utmost of care (as they would treat unbelievers, in order to draw them to Christ by their words and behavior), and (3) create a safe home atmosphere in which their family is protected from the storms of life, rather than subjected to another stormy, chaotic war zone.
Act: My husband, Roger, a Marriage pastor and counselor for many decades, often reminds couples of Paul’s words, quoting I Corinthians 7:28b, “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” Why? Neither Roger nor Paul is trying to discourage couples! Both are reminding couples that the marriage relationship requires great effort! Today, consider your home. If you are married, is your home a safe place for your spouse? What would you need to do to become a better encourager, prayer warrior, a listener to him or her? Is your home a battle ground or a resting place for your children? What could you do differently to make your home a safer place for all? If you are single, do you have fond memories of your childhood home atmosphere? If so, what are the habits that your parents modeled that you admire and/or what are specific ways you can create a healthier atmosphere? Remember, a healthy home requires systems for conflict resolution, spiritual growth, and good communication! Be intentional this week.
Pray: Dear Jesus, I learn so much by reading the Bible. I am reminded of ways to think and live that are counter-cultural. Your word brings Your thoughts into my life. Give me a deep desire and constant willingness to bring You into my home—hour after hour. I love You, Lord. Amen.
Be full of faith today!