In 1 Corinthians 7:9, Paul says, “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
A couple of years ago I was talking to a young woman who was facing divorce. I made a mistake in talking with her. I had become so focused on “do it God’s way and everything will be fine,” that I was thrown aback when I asked her, “If you had said no to sex before marriage, would you have married at all?” Most women pause when I ask them this and say, “No. He would not have stuck around long enough to marry.” Usually they immediately see the flaw in what they’ve just said. Yeah… Now there are kids involved and the marriage still failed.
But this time when I asked the question, her response was, “We didn’t have sex before we married.” I sat there a bit dismayed and unsure how to go forward. I’d never run across that predicament before. My next question was, “Did you rush into marriage in order to have sex?” She thoughtfully said, “Yeah. Probably.”
So what does Paul mean when he says it is better to marry than to burn with passion? How many unhappy marriages are there because this scripture was not taken in the correct context? Paul isn’t saying, “Hurry up and get married because if you keep flirting with the sexual side of your relationship, you’re probably going to sin.” Remember, he’s urging people to put serving God first and not desire to be married. That is the point to the whole message. Put God first! If you’re rushing into marriage, are you placing God first? It may feel like it, but perhaps you’re actually circumventing God. It’s possible that you’re taking His will out of the equation and rushing to the pastor.
Paul is urging everyone to put God first; to serve Him first. Even when you are married, God should be the head of the union, yes? If sex was the sole reason for marrying, then God was definitely left out of the equation. So yes… there are some (not many) who married as virgins or abstained from sex during the relationship and still wound up totally disappointed and trapped in an unhappy marriage.
The reason I bring this story to you? I just want to raise awareness that sex may be the icing on the cake of a good marriage, but it’s not the cake. What if one of you ends up in a wreck and unable to have sex? What if one of you has a stroke? Will the other one stick around? There’s a good chance that if sex was the driving force behind the marriage… the answer may be no.
Food for thought (no pun intended…) The icing on the cake is anything extra wonderful that God brings to the marriage. This is why He HAS to be the head of the union. His will must be sought daily. And He loves you enough to sacrifice His life for you. When you honor Him in your decisions, He will use that and what a joy and an honor to be used by the Creator of the Universe, Abba Father!