Monday, February 27, 2012
But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 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. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. (1 Corinthians 7:6-8 KJV)
Paul suggested that remaining unmarried allowed one to focus on God’s work. I know a man, serving his Lord in his homeland, who has taken that suggestion to heart. He came to Christianity as an adult. When he did so, he understood that where he was to go, what he was to do, meant a wife could be left an early widow, or become discouraged for lack of her husband’s attention. That would be damaging for both of them, as well as detrimental to his witness for Christ.
What to do? Surely God intended him to know love, have a relationship as deep as any other man. Didn’t God himself create the first marriage? Why should God require him to forgo a help meet in his life? Didn’t he deserve what others had? Aren’t the majority of missionaries married?
Paul had more to say on the subject:
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:32-33 KJV)
The man I'm thinking of considered this, he told us. If he married, he would be caring for his wife, providing her things that are of the world – such as food, shelter, his time and energy. His travels would leave a wife alone. His ministry could leave her a widow.
He chose God’s work, alone.
I met another man, slightly older, raised attending church, active in youth services, singer in the choir, enrolled in Bible College – and who dropped out of Christianity for one specific thing that is of the world. That life he chose as a young man is no longer one he lives, but he continues to explain his choice with the argument that he deserved what others had. He deserved the happiness a long-term relationship brings. He should be able to do what he pleased, when he pleased. If society didn't like it, society should change.
Accepting as fact Paul was inspired to write God’s word, which of these modern men responded to His word? Which one is believably dedicated to God’s will? Do you find one impressive?
For those have no God, could it possibly matter? Only if his witness impresses. May God bless his ministry and his goals of helping people as well as spreading God's good news of love. The lone missionary remains in my prayers.