I Corinthians 7-8 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He gave us the gift of marriage, help included

Every time I read I Corinthians 7, I think of the story of Tony and Marguerite.  Married with five children, Marguerite came to know the Lord in a personal way; but at the time, Tony did not appreciate nor accept this new expression of Marguerite’s faith.  As the years went on, Marguerite remained faithful to the Lord, and she remained faithful to Tony with two more children added to their full house.  Oh how she longed for her husband to take on the roll as the spiritual head of their home.

There were many days when Tony did not make her feel very special in their relationship; and where others may have packed up the kids and left, Marguerite hung in there and prayed for Tony every day for 30 years.  Then one day when he was facing surgery, Marguerite had the privilege of leading him to a personal relationship with the Lord, and 30 years became just a small blip on the radar screen of life.  My dear parents remained married until Dad died some years later, and what a joy for me to see him read his Bible every day, pray for me every day and usher me to my seat in church when I was able to visit.  Thanks, mom, for hanging in there – great is your reward in heaven! 

@ I Corinthians 7
“And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage…Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?” (13-14,16)  See what I mean?  Tony and Marguerite!

In I Corinthians 7, Paul was answering questions that were asked by the church in Corinth regarding marriage.  Because of the challenges of marriage, the impending persecution and his calling, Paul suggested remaining single over marriage, but understanding the normal drives that face men and women alike, Paul gave some guidance on married life.  It’s a strain to think of Paul as a marriage counselor, single at the time and an apostle to boot, but his advice was right on target for his day and for our day as well.

Paul’s counsel for marriage is this:

  • It is a gift from God to satisfy our natural desires in a blessed union. (3-5)
  • It is a mission to secure the salvation of our loved ones. (16)
  • It is a forever commitment, “Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you…remain as you were when God first called you.”
  • And it is a challenge, “But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided…a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.” (33-34)

No doubt about it, marriage has always been a challenge, but even more so today.  I’m saddened by the number of individuals who leave their marriages because of the way they feel, throwing away the gift, the mission and the commitment and unwilling to take on the challenge.  Marguerite rose to the challenge, denying how she sometimes felt. Because of it, her husband is with her in heaven today.  During the rough times, she would just go out into the market place and win a soul or two for Jesus and that joy kept her satisfied and fulfilled through the years.  It was a win/win situation for everyone who knew her, including me! 

Moving Forward: Praying for our marriages today, that we will cherish the gift, accept our mission, stay true to our commitment and rise to the challenge. 

Tomorrow @ Genesis 44-47