Monday, July 3, 2023 – 1 Corinthians 7:1-16

Both as a female and a newlywed, I have seen today’s Scripture taken out of context far too often. This text has been used by purity culture to shame those who have engaged in sexual intimacy outside of marriage; it has been used to harm those in the LGBTQ+ community; it has been used to diminish women’s voices and spiritual gifts; and it has been used against singles, dating and engaged in a community. This verse has been used in so many different ways – except the way that it was perhaps truly purposed.

I believe that Ben Stuart says it well when he says, “In the end, the happiest people are not those who are actively seeking a mate, but those who are actively seeking their Maker.” We currently live in a society that gets more caught up in our relationships with others, rather than our relationship with the Lord. Instead of pushing people toward healthy relationships with God, we push people toward unhealthy relationships with others.

Paul writes that we are all created with a unique purpose when it comes to our relationships. Some are created with a gift of singleness, or marriage for others. Both are holy, and both should be centered in Christ… with our actions, desires first to follow the will of God in our life.

Whether we surround ourselves with a spouse, partner, or friends it is important that we are first in community with those who support us and push us in our faith toward God. Relationships can be hard and broken… just as we are. However, if we turn our hearts and minds toward the perfecter of all things, then we can experience redemption in our life in the areas where we may not have even recognized that we need it.

I pray that as you read this text, that it no longer brings shame, or confusion to your heart… but you feel a peace that points you to Christ. Whether you are single, married, divorced… you are not distant from the Lord The true joy that surpasses happiness or grief in our lives comes from the one who loves all his children – not our relationship status.

Questions for reflection:

  1. Who are you in a continuous relationship with and how do they point you toward Christ and help you grow in your faith? If you can, take a moment and send them a note of gratitude for your relationship and encourage them.
  2. Have you ever heard this text used in a way that caused you or those around you a feeling of shame? Identify that experience and give it to the Lord asking for him to replace that experience with his truth.