Imagine how much work you would get done at the office if you were always worried about your spouse. Imagine if your spouse was disabled, chronically ill, or in fear for her life. It is the last category that Paul had in mind in today’s passage. Persecution and hardship were on the rise for Christians in a world that valued religious pluralism and tolerance. A religion that did not compromise its Truth to fit with the patricians, the pantheon, or popular philosophy was becoming increasingly irksome to the people of Corinth. In light of such opposition, being concerned for the well-being of one particular individual would be an added burden on life. Paul says that being unmarried will help you to maintain your concern for the Lord’s affairs.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
32I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
- What does Paul want those in the church at Corinth to be free from?
- What is an unmarried person concerned with?
- What is not the reason that Paul is giving this advice?
- How are times becoming harder, if at all, for Christians?
- How would being unmarried allow you personally to face difficult times more easily?