Old Testament Reading: Leviticus 15 & 16
Psalms Reading: Psalm 54
New Testament Reading: 1 Corinthians 7
“Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire”
These are the words of Johnny Cash in his iconic song, Ring of Fire, that hold true for many, as many people have a desire for some form of romantic love that can lead to sexual intimacy. Our society has a pretty wide range of views on what practices are acceptable or not to fulfill that desire for sexual intimacy. Paul states that, “It is because of the temptation to sexual immorality that a man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband,” (1 Corinthians 7:2 ESV). Marriage is the solution to the desire of sexual intimacy in Paul’s eyes.
Throughout scripture, it is a very constant concept that sexual intimacy is to be experienced between a husband and wife – nothing more, nothing less. Paul urges married couples not to deprive each other, so that our lack of self-control doesn’t lead to sexual immorality. I encourage both husbands and wives to fulfill their spouses’ sexual desires to help steer them clear of sexual immorality. If you need some extra inspiration and motivation, you can read through Song of Solomon.
For those who are not married but burn with passion, I pray that you are able to exhibit self-control. Remember the words of Paul in the previous chapter as well: “Flee from sexual immorality,” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Paul does not encourage you to stand firm in the fight against the temptation to sexual immorality. Rather, Paul encourages you to FLEE! Be aware of your triggers and run away from them!
For those who are not married and aren’t “bound by wild desire”, I encourage you with the words of Paul: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am,” (1 Corinthians 7:8 ESV). The unmarried person does not need to fret about how to please their spouse. They can spend all of this attention that many spend on pleasing their spouses, and the unmarried can devote it all to God. What a blessing!
Whatever camp you find yourself in, whether you are married, single with passion, or single with no passion, I hope you are able to dig nuggets of invaluable information from this chapter about marriage. When in doubt, you can turn to 1 Corinthians 7 for questions about biblical principles regarding marriage and the absence of marriage.
- What is your current situation? What can you do now to make the most of your situation? How will you strive to please God in your situation?
- Married or unmarried, how can you flee from sexual immorality?
- What do we learn about God in our Bible reading today?