Matters of the Heart
Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
It’s a Good Thing
I Corinthians 7
Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations?
2-6 …It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.
Rules of Engagement
10-11 And if you are married, stay married. This is the Master’s command, not mine. If a wife should leave her husband, she must either remain single or else come back and make things right with him. And a husband has no right to get rid of his wife.
Proverbs 24:3-4 It takes wisdom to build a house,
and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.
Paul uses the “Gift of Marriage” the same as “Spiritual Gifts” I Cor 12
Infidelity and Abuse
Matthew 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
Work It Out
Matthew 19:8 He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
Single but Not Single
12-14 For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God.
15-16 On the other hand, if the unbelieving spouse walks out, you’ve got to let him or her go. You don’t have to hold on desperately. God has called us to make the best of it, as peacefully as we can. You never know, wife: The way you handle this might bring your husband not only back to you but to God. You never know, husband: The way you handle this might bring your wife not only back to you but to God.
I Peter 3:1-2 1In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
What Defines You?
17 And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches.
Change Your Heart, Don’t Change Partners
Marriage Doesn’t Define You
Self Help is not a Biblical Principle
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
We are Never to Seek Change at the Expense of God’s Will
29-31 I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.