SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul writes about marriage and lets his readers know that some parts of this teaching are his thoughts, while others are from God. He says that God's command is that wives and husbands must not divorce or separate.
- Paul also gives some of his own wisdom, including:
- It's best for the single to remain unmarried, but if you can’t control your sexual desire you should marry.
- If you're a believer but your spouse doesn’t believe in Jesus, don’t get divorced because of it. If they're willing to remain with you, stay married. They may someday decide to follow Jesus because of your presence in their lives. But if they want a divorce, grant it because God wants us to live in peace.
- Everyone should remain in the situation they were in when they first trusted in Jesus as long as they can fully keep God’s commands.
- In verses 29-31 Paul makes the point that our time is short, and our main focus should be on God and His Kingdom, so that our lives can have eternal impact.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- In verses 1-5, we learn that when two people choose to get married they are giving their bodies (exclusively) to each other, and that they should have sex often enough to prevent division and temptation.
- Other parts of the Bible that talk about marriage and divorce are Matthew 19:1-12, Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:18-19 and 1 Peter 3:1-7.
- God's prohibition of divorce may raise the question, "Will God forgive me if I get divorced?" The answer is yes. He gives this command because He lovingly wants to spare His children the pain and suffering caused by divorce. However, if we accept Jesus' sacrifice, God forgives our sin. So if you've been divorced, that does not keep you from God's love.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Which of the principles from this chapter on being single, married, sex, and divorce apply to your life right now? How can you get help from God and a friend or two so that you live out this principle?
- Life is short, and we spend so much of it focused on and pouring ourselves into things that won't last. Where might you be wasting a lot of your time? In what ways could you start investing your time in God and His Kingdom so you can have an eternal impact with your life?