I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning…” vss. 29-30a1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Paul had spent about 18 months working and teaching in Corinth and was well acquainted with the people who were a part of the congregation there. So later on, when he hears reports from there, he writes them letters in which he responds to a variety of their concerns. His insights on the gospel and the work of the Spirit are inspired and helpful, but he also offers his own opinion on other matters, and it’s here that some roll their eyes! He’s not married but thinks he knows all about what goes on in a marriage. Since he believes the return of the Lord is imminent he advises folks to avoid marriage if they can, and if they are married, to act as though they aren’t. He wants people to be free of the anxieties and the desires that are a part of relationships, and to even put aside feelings of sadness or joy. Now while it is true that marriage can provide its share of burdens, it can also be a source of incredible pleasure and joy. Good marriages are the key to stability in communities and our most intimate source of companionship. There may have been a reason for Paul to advise as he did, but not everything he wrote is gospel.
Thought for the Day: When is it best not to be married?