January 24, 2011

Undivided Devotion To The Lord

1 Corintians 7:25-40 wraps this chapter with Paul advising not to marry. He says it is better to stay as you are because your focus can be on your relationship with God and not on the things of this world, or how to please your spouse. He says it's not a sin to be married, but it takes away focus and time that can be spent on God and out "interests are divided." Paul says these things over several verses, but to the point that we "may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

Without getting into details, there are time that I argue with my wife and feel like the arguments are such a waste of time. Are we in anyway sharpening each other or helping build our relationship with God? No. But I also know that the passions of my flesh would not allow me to be like Paul without sin. And he does address that too. It is not a sin to marry. Paul says, "So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better."

God did give me my wife as a partner. Last night we talked about our church service and a challenge our pastor presented, a 40 day fast. The church is planning a prayer service 40 days from Tuesday. The challenge was to give something up for 40 days as a fast, and on every Wednesday to fast from food, until the prayer service. Our pastor said he felt like he wasn't prepared for the last prayer service and he wanted to be more prepared this time. The 40 day fast was suggested as a means of preparing our hearts to "be in the presence of God" at the prayer service. My wife talked to me about what she wanted to do for the fast, and I realized I didn't even take the thought of the fast serious. I thought about what I would want to do for it, but I didn't plan on actually participating.

The point of this section of scripture for me is: it is better to be focused on God than the things of this world. To do this it is better to be focused on God than have the distraction of a spouse. But more often a spouse protects you from the lusts of the flesh and can often times point you back to God. In the words of a past pastor, a wife can be a help mate. I believe my wife is often a help mate, even when she doesn't know or realize she's being one.