1 Corinthians 7:1-10

1 Corinthians 7:1
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Good - good (not meaning better but good in contrast to bad)
Touch - means cling or adhere to
Paul now brings another subject which is probably tied to the subject matter of chapter five. He now begins a discourse on the subject of relationships. In our day and age, the word relationship really has been stripped of its meaning. People go out and on the first date they are having sex, and if either one comes away dissatisfied, then that is the criteria for ending the relationship. In this opening verse, the Bible tells us candidly that a man should not be touching a woman. The word “touch” in this verse goes farther than a mere touch. It is speaking about clinging or adhering to a woman. (Prov 6:27 KJV) Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Many dating couples when walking together are so close, they are almost joined at the hips. Proverbs teaches us that a woman can ignite a fire in a man’s heart and when a fire is ignited, it could lead to sexual activity. This is why Paul is saying that clinging is dangerous. Even hand holding before marriage can be a precursor to sin. It doesn’t take much for the sexual fires to be aroused. When couples embrace, they are locked front to front, and that definitely will ignite passion. Christian couples need to be very careful how they walk or sit together. There should be a little space between them. Many women truly do not understand the effect they have on a man. In the old days, the women put a stop sign on themselves. Where do you think the word woman came from? WOe MAN!! I am only kidding but that is how we need to live so we do not sin against God.
1 Corinthians 7:2
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
Here is God’s answer to sin prevention in the arena of fornication. In the old days, there were arranged marriages and people got married in their teens. By the time married couples entered their twenties, they were hard working and mature, and normally had a family. Today, people are sleeping around into their 60’s and are refusing marriage. When a man or woman moves away from home without being married, one of the first things they normally do is become sexually active in their domiciles. Then both go their way and no responsibility is taken by either party. This is why sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise. Even fifty years ago you didn’t hear about so much sexual diseases because people were still marrying. God’s principle of each having their own spouse is the only way that STD’s will decline. The Christian must adhere to the principles in Scripture concerning Godly relationships. It is a serious thing when the Christian community mimics the ways of the world and it is happening. As long as churches continue to adhere to remarriage after divorce, they are giving couples a way out of their marriage. My parents were married 57 years before my mother died in 1999, and they weren‘t always hugging and kissing but their marriage was strong. My mother was 24 and my father was 23 when they married in 1941. Today those ages represent the height of immaturity in our society.
1 Corinthians 7:3
Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
Due - an obligation
Benevolence - Good will or kindness
Here the Bible lays down a ground rule in marriage. Each spouse needs to realize they have an obligation of kindness to their spouses. This is because, for some reason, we can forgive a friend who smashes our car more easily, than a spouse who doesn’t wipe their mouth after they eat. For a marriage to work, there must be kindness, and that kindness must even blanket any arguments the couple may have. In view here is also sexual intimacy within the marriage. The Christian wife should never respond with a “oh do we have to?” mindset. The husband must never respond with an overpowering attitude. The Bible is stating that each one must treat each other kindly when being intimate, and that will lead to a beautiful time as God has designed it. The “porno movie mentality” must never be introduced in the intimacies of a Christian couple.
1 Corinthians 7:4
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.
Power - Authority
There may have been a sect within the Corinthian church which advocated celibacy. Celibacy leads to temptation, fornication, and adultery. In marriage, the couple become one flesh, therefore, the whole body must be cared for. This verse tells us that both spouses are not to take authority over their own bodies but each has authority over the other’s body. They cannot, individually, do what they want to their own bodies. Let us bring it up to today. A couple gets married and all of a sudden the wife wants to get her tongue and nose pierced. Well whether she likes it or not, her husband has a say in what she can do to her body. Likewise, a husband wants to go bungee jumping but whether he likes it or not, his wife has a say in that matter. Remember a few verses back how we saw the respect that God has for the bodies that He created. The reason that He gives this bilateral authority in the marriage is for the preservation of that marriage and for the sanctification of the two bodies that His children are in. How many wives want their husband to do something stupid and vice versa? Only those spouses who don’t care about each other. Christian couples should love each other enough that they also look out for each other, which is part of the obligation they have for each other.
1 Corinthians 7:5
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Defraud - Deprive
Consent - (sumphonou) from where we get the word symphony - harmonious
Incontinency - Lack of self-control
Now this verse is teaching, based upon verse four, that each spouse should not deprive the other one of their bodies. This means that full lovemaking is to be a part of marriage. (Heb 13:4 KJV) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. There must be harmonious consent on both partners to come apart for while. Now when this verse speaks of fasting and prayer, it is speaking that within the confines of marriage, there must also be set a side time for spiritual work as well. Christian marriage is not all physical bliss but there must be time for spiritual things such as church attendance, Bible study, teaching the children, etc. Now this verse also tells us that after these spiritual activities, you may go back to being intimate again. Sometimes religious couples get so religious that they begin to think that sex is dirty, and that opens the door for Satan to tempt the deprived spouse. God is saying that He knows very well that because we are in the flesh, it has an intense enticement on us and He is saying that we are once again allowed to be intimate so Satan does not attempt to tempt and adulterate the marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:6
But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
Permission - Concession
The Bible is stating here that abstinence from sexual relations is a matter of mutual concession rather than a strict commandment. Both parties must be in agreement. Now when some read a passage like this where it seems that Paul is giving his personal opinion rather than the words of God, we must always realize that the entire Bible is God’s word and He allows passages like this because He has written the Bible with personality. Now with this verse, Paul is going to be speaking about people remaining single. In other words, marriage is not a command because a person may choose to remain single. If they remain single, they are not living in sin. If a spouse dies, the remaining spouse is free to re-marry but if they choose not to, they are not sinning.
1 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.
There are gifts of being single and gifts of being married. The argument here seems to be was Paul married? That issue is moot but the real issue at hand is no matter what your state is, single or married, how dedicated are you to the Lord’s work which has been doled out to you. When Paul was saying that he would desire all men to be like him, he was not saying that he wanted to be their leader, he was desiring that they be so dedicated to the work of the Lord, that marriage and their bodily desires would be ancillary to the Lord‘s work. He would have loved to see many more men sold out to the things of the Lord since each Christian is given a certain gift. (1 Cor 12:11 KJV) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. The word “severally” means “Individually.” The spiritual gift that you have received will be in concert with the personality God gave you.
1 Corinthians 7:8
I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
Their focus should be on the work of the Lord and not on spouse hunting which can consume an individual. Those who are unmarried and those who are widows have a wonderful opportunity to be able to do the work of the Lord on a basis where they are not tied to another individual, thus reducing the opportunities for Gospel work. If they have to care for a family, then they must concern themselves with the necessities of this life. But if you do not have those responsibilities, then beyond the basic requirements for a single person, the opportunity is expanded to do the work of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:9
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
Cannot contain - self-control
It is better to marry than to burn with lust which leads to burning in hell for sins. Here he says that those who are single or widowed and they have trouble with fleshly passion, then they should marry so they will not sin against the Lord. Paul knows that a married person can still have a good ministry for the Lord. The phrase “let them marry” is a command. In other words, if a person can’t keep their passions under control, God is commanding them to become married where the marriage bed is undefiled. God is commanding obedience in His people.
1 Corinthians 7:10
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
The marriage union is for life and a person should not divorce to go into the Lord’s work, which has happened. The wife was not to leave the husband which was a practice in the free society of Corinth. There have been many that have divorced their spouses because they believed that they were called into the ministry and their spouses did not feel the same call. One great thing about marriage, if God calls the husband into a ministry, He will prepare the wife’s heart to accept it and support her husband. God will never endorse a break up of a marriage for ministry. Those who have broken their marriage vows have called themselves into the ministry. There is to be no divorce in the marriage because of any ministry. There should be no divorce in a Christian marriage period.