Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3338

Jump Start # 3338

1 Corinthians 7:32-34 “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: but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 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.”

 Our passage is long today, but it is an important one. Contextually, as Paul instructs, answers questions and guides us through the proper understanding of marriage, sexuality and where all of these things fall in line within the heart of a disciple, he makes the claim that it is better to be single than married. Several times in this chapter, he wishes that the disciples could be as he was, that is, single. He makes it clear that to be married is not a sin, but within our verses today, he focuses upon the object of concern. Five times, our verses today uses the word concern. The unmarried is only concerned about the Lord. The married is concerned about pleasing their mate.

  Some thoughts for us:

  First, our culture, even within the fellowship, can push marriage pretty hard on a young person. They can be made to feel that they have not fulfilled something required, because they have not married. Marriage is great. God created it. Hebrews tells us that it is to be held in honor. But a person has not done wrong if they decide not to marry. I’d much rather see someone stay single rather than be in a miserable relationship that is filled with turmoil, heartache and ends in divorce. No one wishes that upon anyone. There is not a more personal relationship than what is in marriage. Marrying someone who does not see what I see in the Lord, or is not interested in the Lord, will have major obstacles to deal with in that relationship.

  Second, if everyone followed Paul’s example and remained single, where would shepherds in the church come from? The best field of evangelism is the home. Raising those little ones to walk with Jesus is an incredible task that parents are busy with every day. I love hearing babies crying in worship and seeing little ones asking me for some M & Ms out of my office. A church with no children’s classes, no VBS is not a pretty picture.

  Third, the impression can be left that if one is married, then he naturally is distracted away from the Lord. The distracted driver is a danger to the road. The distracted tourist is an easy target for pickpockets. The distracted disciple gets his priorities out of order and Jesus gets pushed to second or even third spot in our hearts. But marriage isn’t the only thing that distracts us. Work can do that. Having a house can do that. Family can do that. Politics and sports can do that. I guess if we wanted to remove all distractions, we’d sit in an empty room, like a monk and just meditate all day. Is it the things or is it the way we allow them to take over that becomes distractions? We use the excuse, “Too busy,” too much. It’s an escape hatch to avoid teaching a Bible class. “I’m too busy.” How about serving as a shepherd? “Can’t. I’m too busy.” And, in that way, those things may be keeping us from what is most important. It’s not the yard. It’s not the job. It’s not the house. It’s the business of the kingdom that needs to come first.

 In the opposite of what Paul says, often our spouse can help us from getting distracted. My wife is good at that. She’s always inviting someone over for dinner. Always eager to drag me out of the house to go see someone. She reminds me to drop some cookies off at a house before I get to the office. Be sure and mail that card, that she has written to someone. Many times, our wonderful, spiritual wives, keep us going when we’d rather stay home and watch a ball game.

 Praying together. Worshipping together. Serving together. The husband-wife team can be a great help in our walk with the Lord. A Prisca and Aquila didn’t seem distracted. The church worshipped in their home. They are called out as Paul’s fellow workers in Romans.

The distractions are the greatest when one in the marriage is selfish and wants all the attention upon them and when that person is not a Christian, that combination makes for a real heartache for the child of God.

 Distractions—they are out there. They can interrupt our worship as we focus more on who is late, who is sitting where and who forgot to turn off their phone. They can slow down our walk with the Lord. We can pour much, too much attention into things that won’t last a decade, let alone eternity. Be aware of them. Work on them.

Stay focused…