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   Biblical View on Marriage(1) - Biblical View on Marriage (1)    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 25-38


[1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 25-38]

[7-9] "Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. [8] But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. [9] But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion』
[25-38]Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. [26] I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. [27] Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. [28] But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. [29] But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; [30] and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; [31] and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. [32] But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; [33] but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, [34] and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. [35] This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord. [36] But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. [37] But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. [38] So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.』


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As the end draws near, the world is increasingly filled with sins, evil, and darkness. Lawlessness prevails and love cools down.
People neither endure nor sacrifice themselves, but they are impatient, betray each other, and follow pleasure.
We frequently hear the news about immoral things that we never would have heard just 40 or 50 years ago.
People are getting stained by more sins and darkness so that we aren't as shocked anymore to hear such news about wicked things.
One of the things that reflect this age the best is the change in the view about love between a man and woman and about marriage.
The world has become very sexually immoral and corrupt.
They follow their lusts defiling themselves, but they think it is love.
As boys and girls begin to date each other at earlier and earlier ages, they don't hold to chastity. Even if they get pregnant, they just kill their own babies in abortions.
Many people get married easily and easily get divorced. They just do not think about the pain it causes their children.
Some even consider the formalities of marriage too inconvenient, so they just meet somebody and live together, and they break up easily.
But children of God must not follow such a trend of darkness.
We have to keep our bodies and hearts holy and pure as God desires of us.
Our purpose shouldn't be just drinking and eating on this earth, but we have to put our hope in the kingdom of Heaven.
Today, I will talk to you about the Biblical view on marriage.
Not only those who are single but also those who have already gotten married and started families should understand this clearly.
In doing so, in the name of the Lord I urge you to live valuable lives in the Lord and a beautiful life in the sight of people.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the beginning, God created man in His own image.
God created a man and a woman and let them become one body and form a family by multiplying and increasing in number.
In the providence of human cultivation, through which He wanted to gain true children, God let them give birth to many children and spread out on the Earth.
So, people think it's natural to find a spouse and get married when men and women reach adulthood.
They husband and wife who have become one body have to live together fearing God and cultivating truthful and spiritual love.
But what God is really pleased with is different from these general thoughts.
Today's passage in the first part of 1 Corinthians 7:7, we can find the will of God on this matter.
It says, "Yet I (i.e. the apostle Paul) wish that all men were even as I myself am." Paul said he wanted everyone to be devoted to the Lord without getting married.
Then in 1 Corinthians 7:26 he said, "I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is."
Unlike the Old Testament times, after Jesus came, the New Testament times have been a time of distress.
That is to say that since the Lord's Second Coming is near, all the believers should have their focus on the Lord who is coming again.
And the apostle Paul actually lived only for the Lord without getting married.
That is why he could freely go everywhere to preach the gospel.
But you shouldn't misunderstand this.
It doesn't mean they could get married in the Old Testament, and people shouldn't get married in the New Testament because the Lord's coming is near!
Whether in the Old Testament or New Testament times, it is all right to get married in the Lord, but if you want to live for the Lord without getting married, this is a situation that is more blessed.
Of course many patriarchs got married and gave birth to children in the providence of Human Cultivation.
Patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had to get married and gave birth to children so the nation of Israel could be formed.
Also in the case of Moses, he was so busy looking after the lives of so many people his life was overstressed.
Since Moses needed somebody with a good heart who could serve and give comfort to him, God prepared just the right woman for him.
However, the Bible doesn't say anywhere that the prophets like Elijah or Elisha were married.
They had no need to marry.
Since they were unmarried they were completely free to accomplish the works of God.
Also, in the case of John the Baptist, he laid down his whole life before God in dedication to preparing the way for Jesus.
Jesus said that this man, John the Baptist, was "the greatest of all men born of woman".
In the case of Jesus' disciple, the Apostle Peter, the Bible records that he had a wife.
1 Corinthians 9:5 says "Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?"
Reading this verse, you can see that some other apostles in addition to Peter were also married.
But if these apostles had met the Lord Jesus and chosen to completely dedicate their lives as apostles at an earlier point in their lives, they probably would not have taken wives.
How about the prophetess Anna?
She became a widow seven years after she married.
She lost her husband at a young age, so she could have also remarried.
But because she loved God, she chose to live alone and remain in the Temple for a long time rather than searching for a new husband.
She spent 84 years in the Temple fasting and praying without getting married again.
Because she was such a woman, she received the grace to recognize the baby Jesus who came as the Savior.
Likewise, many people think it's natural to get married, but the Bible doesn't necessarily teach that is the case.
Those of you who haven't carefully read the Bible, and some of those among you who are attending this service via media broadcast might feel that this message is somewhat odd.
But this is not according to my word, but the word of God written in the Bible.
It is the will of God which the apostle Paul wrote in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, today few pastors would deliver this kind of message.
It's because, there aren't very many believers who love the Lord to the extent they are able to accept and practice the contents of such a message.
Matthew 19:11-12 says, "But He said to them, "Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it."
'Eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven' are those who dedicate themselves like the apostle Paul remaining single.
It is the most blessed way for the believers only if they can choose to remain single, but not everybody can receive this word.
If you do not have all your hope only in New Jerusalem or if you cannot live only for God, then you might find it difficult to listen to this message.
But if you are filled with the hope of New Jerusalem, long for holiness with faith, then you will certainly be able to receive this word.
As Jesus said, "He who is able to accept this, let him accept it," you can joyfully accept this word and choose the more blessed way.
You clearly learned about the kingdom of heaven and earnestly long for New Jerusalem.
If you can just exchange it for New Jerusalem you won't spare anything precious in this world.
And in actuality, there are many of you who have chosen this way.
Of course, I'm not saying you should carelessly make a vow that you would offer your whole life to the Lord without getting married.
If you can keep a vow, it is such a great blessing.
But if you change your mind and do not keep it, it only brings to you great trials.
If you don't have the confidence about your heart, rather than making a careless vow, you have to cultivate a true heart with longing and praying.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, from now let us more specifically delve into why the Bible says it's better not to get married.
The first reason is that, as recorded in today's passage verse 28, being married may lead to problems for them.
1 Corinthians 7:28 "But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you."
Long ago, when daughters married and went to a distant place, the parents couldn't be comforted.
They would miss their daughter, and they would worry whether their daughter would be loved by her in-laws or if she had some hardships.
Paul cared for the believers with the same kind of heart as parents' who have to send their daughters off for marriage.
He was worried about the troubles of marriage, and that is why he suggested it was better for them not to get married.
Then, why did he say there was trouble in marriage? First, it's because fleshly love changes.
When they date each other, they seek other's benefit first, and they think their love will last forever. Since their dates love them so much, they think they will be just as happy once they get married.
But the reality is different. Fleshly love will surely change as time goes.
When two people who have different personalities, education and who were raised in different environments for many years get married, they will certainly have conflicts.
Of course, in the beginning, even bad points may appear as good points.
But as time goes, as the fervor of their love cools down, they begin to see more of the bad points more clearly.
Before marriage, if the other person spilled something while eating, or if he/she does not put things back where they belong, they can understand everything.
But as they begin their lives together, spilling food seems annoying now. If they don't put the things in the right place even after multiple numbers of requests to tidy up things, they get frustrated.
When dating, they try to do what the other person wants and to show only good points to their date.
But after marriage, they want their spouse to do what they want. They stop trying to show only goodness.
They don't consider their spouse's feelings and hurt them with unkind words.
Some even become violent or verbally abuse their spouses. So, not only wives are beaten up but there are many husbands who are also abused.
Before, people used to say that boredom in married life would come several years after the wedding.
But nowadays, it is not several years after the wedding but at times they turn into enemies even during their honeymoon.
In some cases, the man follows the woman for many years telling her many sweet things.
He pleads with a woman saying he cannot live without her. He might even threaten her saying he will die if she doesn't marry him.
Finally they get married, but he begins to mistreat his wife from the day of the wedding.
He changes his mind after he gets what he wanted.
This is the fleshly love; a change of heart and mind in a moment even after loving the person for so many years.
You must never believe it when somebody says he/she fell in love at first sight.
This is the same as saying that he/she has lust for you just by looking at your appearance, but not caring about your inner self at all.
In 2 Samuel chapter 13, we find an incident which clearly shows the perishing, fleshly love.
A prince called 'Amnon' loved his half sister, Princess Tamar, so much that he even got sick.
When Amnon's friend came to know about this, he instructed him to call Tamar to Amnon's house.
Amnon brought Tamar to his house according to the plan, and he slept with her by force.
Tamar asked him not to do it because he could take her as a wife if he just asked his father.
Amnon didn't listen to her but just followed his lust. Then what happened next?
2 Samuel 13:15 says, "Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her."
He loved her so much even to the extent to get sick, but after he had her body, he came to hate her so much.
Tamar was crying out of shame and so Amnon drove her away through his servants.
How wretched a heart this is! Of course, this case of Amnon is extreme.
But, the essence is the same. Fleshly love changes.
Even though you love somebody so much when you date each other, as time passes, your love cools down, and you may even come to hate that person for various reasons.
Those who have relatively good hearts will try to have some harmony and live together.
A cable TV network did a research project with wives.
The question was, "Would you get married to your husband again if you could choose whether to marry again or not?"
What do you think the result was?
Only 4% said they would marry their husband again.
All the rest said they would marry another man or they would just live alone without getting married.
Some of them said they would just date somebody without marrying him. Some others said they wouldn't get married again because they hate their husband's family members.
Like in this case, when people have difficulties in married life, the cause is not always with the husband or the wife themselves.
If they don't like the parents or the family members of their spouse, it is also something very difficult.
If the members of both the families oppose their wedding, they think they can overcome anything if their love is firm enough. But after the wedding they suffer so much.
Even though the husband and wife don't have a problem, there are quite a few couples who get divorced because of the relationships with the in-laws.
Brothers and sisters, until now, I explained that there is distress in marriage because fleshly love changes.
But these difficulties are not only for the secular people. Believers also have similar problems.

If you marry and live with one or the others families, then there are bound to be conflicts.
Of course, believers who know the truth will try to put the blame on themselves even when they find some bad points from one another.
They try to change themselves and have spiritual love.
But because they have not accomplished the spirit in them yet, they will go through the trials to the extent that they have flesh. But still, when there are such physical problems, you can endure with each other.
But the bigger problem is when each person is very different in spirituality. The most common example is the wives who are being persecuted by unbelieving husbands.
When the wife accepts the Lord and begins to attend the church, some husbands stop giving their wives living expenses, or they even beat or verbally abuse their wives.
Suppose they have similar measure of faith when they get married. But if one spouse becomes enthusiastic in faith, they might have problems from that point on.
For example, the wife wants to attend only the Sunday morning service. But the husband begins to attend all worship services and nightly prayer meetings and leads a very ardent Christian life.
So, the wife feels somewhat disappointed by her husband's lack of attention and gives him a hard time.
Of course, if the husband wisely loves and serves his wife, then the wife can also change quickly.
But if the husband is not wise enough, or if the wife has inconsiderate heart, then the husband will suffer for a longer time.
When the wife has a higher level of faith than the husband, the wife will also suffer.
Even if both the husband and wife have some measure of faith, each one's life is restricted by the other anyway.
For example, the husband wants to give a great amount of offering for his devotional service.
Or, he received some great grace of God and now he wants to become an overseas missionary.
But can he do that as he wants?
Before the marriage, he could give even his whole life as he wished, but the situation is very different now.
He first has to think about the situation of the family, and he also has to consult with his wife.
It'd be good if the wife follows the will of the husband, but otherwise the wife will suffer and the peace of the family would be broken.
Also, as God said husband and wife are one body, they are one spiritually also. Thus, many times they receive the same trial of their spouse.
For example, the wife has prepared the vessel to receive blessings, but the husband is not right in the sight of God, and they both suffer together.
Sometimes, the wife has faith and has a good heart, but she suffers from a disease because she is connected with her husband by a spiritual cord.
I also feel very sorry as a shepherd when I see these believers.
It'd be good if they have the freedom in their life in faith, but the situations don't allow them freedom.
Those who have experienced these troubles may thoroughly realize what is really good in faith.
They would probably think, 'If I had had the faith of today before I got married, then I would have lived only for the Lord.'
They also think, 'I won't let my children suffer this way,' or when they see single, unmarried young people, they say it is something blessed not to get married.