Lessons About Marriage
1 Cor. 7:1-5
From the topic about sexual immorality, Paul now talks about marriage. The Corinthians have twisted mentality about sex so Paul must teach them what is really right. Chapter 5 tells us they failed to rebuke a church member who is committing fornication with his father’s wife. Chapter 6 informs us how bad fornication is. In verse 1, it is evident that the Corinthians wrote to Paul asking advice about marriage. “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me:” What was Paul’s answer to them? What does the Word of God say about sex and marriage?
Illustration 1: Marriage is Meant to be Practical
Marriage is not romanticized in the creation account. Its ideal purpose is not one of sweet feeling, tender words, poetical affections or physical satisfactions—not “love” as the world defines love in all its nasal songs and its popular shallow stories. Marriage is meant to be flatly practical. One human alone is help-LESS, unable. But “Two are better than one,” says Ecclesiastes, “Because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift the other.” Marriage makes the job of survival possible. And the fact that a spouse is termed a “helper” declares marriage was never an end in itself, but a preparation. We’ve accomplished no great thing, yet, in getting married. We have completed a relationship (though many a fool assumes that the hard work’s done with the wedding and turns attention to other interests). Rather, we’ve established the terms by which we now will go to work. – Walter Wangerin, Jr. Source unknown
Illustration 2: Henry Ford
More and more people seem to forget Henry Ford’s sage advice when asked on his 50th wedding anniversary for his rule for marital bliss and longevity. He replied, “Just the same as in the automobile business, stick to one model.” Christian Clippings, p. 27
A. “The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separatethem. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children” (Webster).
B. Malachi explains that marriage is more than the sexual union; it is a covenant before God and man (Mal. 2:14), and it is this covenant that God blesses by making the two one (Mal. 2:15).
C. Marriage was the first institution ordained by God after the creation of man (Gen. 2:18-25), and it is the bedrock of the human society. Anything which corrupts marriage and the home is a direct threat to society as a whole. This is one reason why sexual immorality and homosexuality are great crimes which were punishable by death under the Mosaic law (Lev. 20).
D. From Genesis we see that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman before God for the purpose of creating a new family unit (Gen. 2:22-24). The marriage union is holy and the sexual relationship within this union is holy (Heb. 13:4). One of the proper and God-ordained purposes of marriage is the satisfaction of the sexual drive (1 Cor. 7:2-5). WOLE by D. Cloud
II. “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” (1 Cor. 7:1 -2)
A. “Touch a woman” here is another word for sexual intercourse or sexual intimacy.
B. To avoid sexual immorality, it is good for a man and a woman to get married.
C. One of the chief purposes of marriage is to avoid fornication (1 Cor. 7:1-2), but this is not the only purpose of marriage. Genesis teaches that marriage is also for companionship (Gen. 2:18) and procreation (Gen. 1:27-28). 1 Cor. 7:1-2 teaches us that a third reason for marriage is to promote morality and to help men and women avoid temptation.
D. From here we can see that:
1. It is good not to have sex, that is to be single and celibate. However, the celibate state is not better than marriage, nor is it the best state for everybody
2. Sexual desires are not evil – all of us, both man and woman have sexual desires.They are not wrong. It is given to us by the Lord. It is good to understand that sexual desires are not wrong as long as they are used according to the Lord’s willWord of God.
3. Marriage is God’s only provision for sexual fulfilment.
4. Sexual expression outside marriage is evil – when sexual desires are expressed outside marriage, then both man and woman have entered into sinful relationship. Any “touch” that stimulates the sexual desires outside marriage is sinful. This prohibition is not just for young people but also for divorced peopleand for any situation where the partners are not legally married.
5. We see that polygamy is not allowed (1 Cor. 7:2). There is to be one husband
and one wife. Though there were cases of polygamy in the Old Testament, even
among the saints, this was never God’s will. He set the divine standard for
marriage in the very beginning, when He brought together one man and one
woman (Gen. 2:20-22). The Lord Jesus pointed back to this original standard
when He taught on the subject of marriage (Mat. 19:3- 8).
Illustration 3: Majority of Men are Faithful
A large majority of men—married and single—say they wouldn’t have an affair, even if they were certain their loved one would never find out, says a Gallup poll commissioned by Self magazine, in the June (1992) issue. Of 500 men surveyed, 67% of married men and 60% of unmarried men say an
affair is absolutely out of the question. Only 5% of married men and 11% of unmarried men would do it (the rest said maybe). Also, 95% of married men say they wouldn’t drop their partner for a trophy wife if they became extremely successful or wealthy. U.S.A. Today, May 26, 1992
III. Duties of Husbands and wife (1 Cor 7: 3 -5)
A. The husband and wife are to care for and satisfy one another and are not to defraud one another (1 Cor. 7:3-5). “Due benevolence” (v. 3) refers to fulfilling a solemnobligation. The wife does not have the right over her own body, and the husband does not have the right over his own body. The word “power” (v. 4) is translated from the Greek word “exousiazo” and means authority. A husband and a wife surrender that right at the marriage altar. Thereafter, they are not to live forthemselves only but for their spouses also.
B. The only time when marriage partners should abstain from the sexual relationship is for the purpose of fasting and prayer (1 Cor. 7:5).
1. Sexual abstinence can be a part of fasting. The marriage partners can make a
decision not only to forego food but also to forego their marital intimacy for a
2. How is a decision to fast and pray to be accomplished in a marriage?
a. It is to be by consent. The husband and wife should be in close
communication with one another in the most intimate physical and spiritual
matters. See 1 Pet. 3:7, “as being heirs together of the grace of life.” The
decision to abstain from the intimacy of the marital relationship is not to be
made by one of the parties only but by both in agreement. The husband or
wife cannot say to the spouse, I cannot have relations with you today or this
week or this month because I am fasting and praying. It should be a decision
made in agreement.
b. It is to be “for a time.” It is not to be a permanent agreement or condition
but is to be for a time. “Persons expose themselves to great danger by
attempting to perform what is above their strength, and at the same time
not bound upon them by any law of God. If they abstain from lawful
enjoyments, they may be ensnared into unlawful ones. The remedies God
hath provided against sinful inclinations are certainly best” (Matthew
c. When marriage partners defraud one another, they lay themselves open to
satanic temptations (1 Cor. 7:5).
To avoid fornication, it is good for a man and a woman to get married. Sexual desires are not evil and marriage is only God’s provision for sexual fulfilment. There are duties for husbands and wife that were written in the Bible which we have to follow. Will you follow God’s Word to protect and preserve your marriage?