Devoted to the Lord Without Distraction While Married [1 Corinthians 7]

3The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6But this I say by way of concession, not of command. 7Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.

 

The theme for this whole chapter is devotion to Christ without being distracted by the situation of your life (v. 35).  If you are married then you are called to enjoy the gift of marriage and part of that gift is sexual intimacy.  

 

Looking at the Greek words helps to understand this passage.  Fulfilling the duty to each other has the idea of giving what is due.  If you remember when God first established marriage He said that the husband and wife should leave, cleave and become one flesh (being glued together to become one).  When you look at the definition of deprive you see it is "to rob or defraud."  The idea is that if you are saying no to having sexual intimacy with your spouse you are taking something that was given to them - you are stealing a gift that belongs to another.

 

Actually, God has given your body to your spouse (v.4) and it now belongs to him/her.  Help him/her enjoy the gift of marriage by being a good steward of his/her body.  Why?  So that you will not become distracted from pure devotion to Christ.   Interesting thought, isn't it?


Ask God today to cause you to see sexual intimacy in marriage the way He sees it and to respond in His strength.

Verna McCrillis, 11/18/2008