1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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. 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. 6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
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. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Corinthians 7:1–9)
What do we follow? Our culture or the Bible? It’s easy (and we know it’s right) to say, “I follow the Bible.” But that only lasts until something, or someone, comes along that we want more than following the Bible. Nowhere is this more true than in our relationships.
I remember a gal I knew in college. When I first met her she was wearing a set of dog-tags. They weren’t military dog-tags, they were dog-tags that stated her intention to remain pure for marriage. Looking back, I realize that the gal must have known that she needed reminded to avoid temptation. Not a bad thing at all. But despite her stated intention, she met a guy named Eric and her best intentions to follow the Bible went out the window to follow the culture and a guy named Eric.
The culture has a very strong pull on us. It’s easy to rationalize decisions when the culture shouts to us things like, “People have changed…everyone does it now” or “If you really love one another, how could it be wrong?”
The fact that the culture presses in on us constantly to conform is why we need to constantly be coming back to the Bible to be reminded and renewed in what God’s ways are:
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
The Corinthians were struggling with their culture just as we struggle with ours. Immorality was prevalent everywhere. What is right when it comes to intimate relations between people? The Lord gives us two options: Continue reading