2 Samuel 18:1-19:10
1 Corinthians 7:1-24
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Focus Verses: 1 Corinthians 7:1-5
1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Remaining unmarried is a good thing, but it is not advisable for people with strong sexual needs and desires. People must be realistic about their sexuality and the temptations they will face in a sexually immoral culture.
Marriage is the God-given context for sexual activity. It is the sacred context for the fulfillment of sexual needs. Husbands and wives must take sexual intimacy very seriously—caring for each other and considering themselves to be one flesh.
Husbands and wives may, by mutual consent, agree to refrain from sexual activity if it serves a higher spiritual purpose, but even that must be approached as a temporary situation. A healthy sexual relationship in marriage strengthens the relationship and serves as a deterrent to sexual immorality.
Response and Action:
I am a married person. I must treat my wife with loving respect and care. Our marriage is a sacred and committed context for sexuality. Even within marriage, there may be times where spiritual formation and ministry needs may require a season of sexual abstinence. This must be mutually agreed upon. My wife and I belong to each other. Our healthy intimacy strengthens our belonging and safeguards against sexual immorality and temptation.
Lord God, I thank you for the gift of marriage. Help me to love, cherish, and honor my wife. Thank you for this special relationship, and thank you for making it a sanctuary for loving intimacy in a world filled with sexual sin. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Ephesians 5:3
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.
The Mystery of Marriage: Meditations on the Miracle
by Mike Mason