Some have the gift of marriage and others have the gift of singleness. Today, we’ll look at the important truth that if we are married, we need to invest in the health of our marriage through physical intimacy.
‘Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command.’ (1 Corinthians 7:1-6)
Some at Corinth were denying sex to their spouse because, it seems, they had a false belief in the spirituality of abstinence. Paul corrects them and tells them to seek to serve one another sexually. Marriage is a gift from God and we invest in it in many ways:
i) We must communicate well. Make time for this and learn to ask good questions.
ii) Pray and learn from God’s word together.
iii) Spend time together (leave your phone out of it!)
iv) Be physically intimate (Which is the emphasis in today’s text)
If you are not married and you are reading this, please remember to pray for the marriages of those in your life. How as a single person could you help a married couple? If you are married, do you need to be proactive and less passive? Are you allowing your relationship to drift? perhaps you would like to discuss these two questions:
i) Am I meeting your needs sexually”?
ii) More broadly, ‘how can I better love you in our marriage?’
(Note: I’m aware that the contents of the messages and studies over the last few weeks could be challenging for some. Please do talk to a pastor in the church if you need support or have concerns).
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?
3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group
On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians. This church has been infected by false teachers who are teaching that sexual sin is okay. Some, are also teaching that to refrain from sex in marriage is a good thing. Some are teaching that divorce is also fine.
Paul corrects them. He urges them to embrace and invest in the gift of marriage or singleness that God has given.
i) PURSUE YOUR GIFT OF MARRIAGE
'The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.' (1 Corinthians 7:3)
He corrects those who are wrongly withholding sex from their spouse. He tells them that sex is a vital part of a healthy marriage (That's not to say that sickness and other good reasons may hamper our sex lives).
ii) PURSUE YOUR GIFT OF SINGLENESS
'I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.' (1 Corinthians 7:7)
He tells them that being single is a good thing and is a gift from God.
ii) FIGHT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE
'To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.' (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)