First Corinthians 7.32
1. The fact of the matter is, some of you are married and some of you are not married. As well, some of you have married and some of you will never marry. And also, some of you should marry and some of you should not marry.
2. May I suggest to you that it should not matter whether or not you want to marry? What should matter to you rather than whether or not you want to marry is whether or not God has equipped you for life as a married person or for life as a single person.
3. If God has equipped you for life as a married person then you can create havoc in your own life and in the lives of others by not marrying, tempting yourself in ways God did not intend. As well, if you have not been equipped by God for marriage, then you stand a good chance of wrecking the lives of others as well as your own life should you marry.
4. Of course, most people who marry or who donít marry have little or no concern for the damage they cause to others by their selfishness choices, either to marry or not to marry. But I come to you from the perspective of Godís Word, and assuming you have a desire to honor and glorify God with your life, which is bought with a price, "therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Godís," First Corinthians 6.20.
5. My text for this morning is First Corinthians 7.32. When you find it please stand with me to read Godís Word: "But I would have you without carefulness."
6. I believe this to be Paulís inspired motive for writing the entire 7th chapter of First Corinthians. He simply wants to eliminate as much of the anxiety that can be found in the Christian life and ministry as he can.
7. My friend, thatís my motive this morning. I just want you have as delightful and as enjoyable a Christian life as possible. After all, life is hard and there is suffering along the way. So why bring anxiety down on yourself when itís not needful?
8. Some of you are not married, but you will someday marry. Some of you are not married and you will never marry. Some of you are married but will not always be married. Others of you are married, but you should not have gotten married.
9. This morning, let me briefly review the single Christian life in terms of only one consideration, "without carefulness." For some people, serving God single means their life is remarkably free from the worries, the concerns, the strife, and fussing and fighting, the contention, the heartbreaks, and other difficulties so often associated with married life.
10. Are there downsides to being a single Christian? Of course there are downsides. Holiday seasons are lonely. Fear of growing old without a mate or without children to take care of you. And there are many other things real or imagined that the single Christian believes he is doing without by being single.
11. Single Christians frequently think they miss intimacy by being single, though most marriages are marriages which completely lack intimacy. Single Christians also imagine that married Christians grow old with a companion, though in our own Church we have Betty Still and Jane Johnson to illustrate the fallacy of that thinking.
12. But enough on that. Let me lay out before you three considerations associated with life as a single servant of God:
1A. First, YOUR FOCUS
1B. Look At Paulís Preference, First Corinthians 7.7: "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that."
2B. Look At Paulís Practice, Philippians 3.13-14: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
3B. My, What Focus Paul Had. Would He Have Had Such Focus Had He Been Married? Weíll Never Know. For Some Christians The Uncertainty Of Marriage Is Not Worth The Risk, Therefore They Refuse To Marry So That They Might Serve God Unreservedly And Without Distraction, Like Paul.
2A. Next, YOUR FAITHFULNESS
1B. Consider The Spousal Requirements And Resistance To Faithfulness
First Corinthians 7.3-4: "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."
First Corinthians 7.33: "But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife."
Proverbs 21.9: "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."
2B. Now Consider The Realization Of The Apostle Paul With Regard To Faithfulness
First Corinthians 7.25: "Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful."
First Corinthians 7.32: "He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord."
3B. Being Married Is A Factor To Be Considered In Connection With Your Faithfulness As A Servant Of God. But Itís Not A Factor With The Single Christian.
3A. Finally, YOUR FAMILY
1B. Family Can Be A Wonderful Thing
Proverbs 18.22: "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD."
2B. Family Can Also Be A Terrible Thing
Matthew 10.36: "And a manís foes shall be they of his own household."
3B. For Some Christians The Possible Impediments To Serving God That Can Unexpectedly Come From Your Family Simply Isnít Worth The Risk. Serving God Is Just Too Important To Allow A Family To Interfere With, So They Avoid Marriage, Thereby Avoiding A Family.
1. Far be it from me to direct any adult Christian to marry or not to marry, so long as Scriptural guidelines are followed.
2. As well, it is far more likely that one who has been married should marry than not to marry, so long as the Scriptural caveats are observed.
3. The sole purpose of our study this morning is to provoke you who are single into considering the possibility that your single status might best remain as it is.
4. Particularly if your primary concern is to honor and glorify God with your life, to represent Christ as fervently as you know how, you need to be careful in the extreme when you consider marriage.
5. If you should not remain single then it would be wrong for you to remain single. But if it would be better for the cause of Christ and for your own lifeís work to remain single then you should not marry.
6. As well, we as a Church need to mature to the point that we realize how very foolish it is for anyone to engage in match making, how naive it is to presume to know Godís will for someone elseís life, and to recognize the damage that meddlesome people can do when they try to encourage others to do what they have done just because they have done it.
7. Letís be careful as a congregation not to make assumptions about Godís will for other peopleís lives. Amen?