1 Corinthians 7:32-24, Why We Shouldn’t Marry

I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs–how he can please the Lord.  But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world–how she can please her husband. 

//In both of my books, Revelation and John’s Gospel, I make an off-hand mention of Paul’s suggestion that it’s better not to marry. I’ve had questions about this, so maybe I can address this issue in a Dubious Disciple post.

The reason Paul’s readers were not to marry was because, according to him, his readers were living on the cusp of a new age. As Paul explains,

But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; –1 Corinthians 7:28-29

Paul was absolutely convinced of the immediate return of Christ! He was apparently wrong, but his conviction on this matter is very clear. Paul, in a vision, had seen the risen Christ, which to him was irreproachable proof that the general resurrection had begun … with Christ as the first to resurrect. People were rising from the dead, and the new world was just around the corner. Don’t bother getting married, guys and gals, there’s no time to bother with that, it’ll just distract you from preparing for the new age.

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2 Comments

  1. Anthony Williams

    I believe your assessment of this is not accurate. the Scriptures indicate that a married man’s first devotion is to his wife and the second half of his devotion is to the Lord. Paul’s message here was not to the masses this was to fellow disciples and followers of the Way. We are to raise that energy up our spines instead of out of our phallic.
    always in love
    Shalom Hotep & Namaste

  2. Lee Harmon

    We agree on the audience of Paul’s message, Anthony. But I’m not clear on how you see your spine/phallic dichotomy fitting into Paul’s primary concern: The time is short! Quit loading yourself up with everyday concerns!

    Are you saying Paul says there’s no time for sex? :)

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