Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
1 Corinthians 7:1
Paul is answering questions put to him about marriage. Paul was unmarried and recommended that this was the best way to be.
1 Corinthians 7:7-8 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
The reason for this is a legitimate desire for Christ.
1 Corinthians 7:32-34 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
So, Paul’s concern and recommendation is justified; it is a distraction from serving the Lord and in consequence of being married there will be at times trouble in the flesh.
1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
This is one of those truths that rub many the wrong way. The reason for marriage is sex: “to avoid fornication”.
1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
Benevolence: compassion, kindness, generosity
- Disposition to do good
- An inclination to do kind or charitable acts
- An act intending or showing kindness and good will
Regardless of the underlying reason for marriage it comes with the duty to love one another.
1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
You have become one flesh. No one other than your spouse has any right to you body nor do you have the right to give your body to anyone else. Real love is when you, in accordance with God’s commandment, command your heart to love your spouse unconditionally: in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, till death do you part.
1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Do not deny you spouse the use of your body, sex, accept for a short time of prayer and fasting and only with the consent of your spouse. To do so opens the door to Satan to use your desire and lack of restrain to push you to sin: cheat and fornicate, pornography, etc.
The life Paul lived is not for everyone.
1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
I will add one more thing as I have seen many confounded by it.
1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
We only have to look at Mary and Joseph for the understanding of this.
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mary and Joseph were espoused, that is married in every way but sex. She travel with him and most likely kept house, did his cooking and cleaning, and he supported her. Who knows how long they had been this way or how much longer they could have gone. She was his virgin.
I leave off her in the hope that I have help a little in your understanding of the topic of marriage.