The Gift of Intimacy
1 Corinthians 7:5
Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7 deals with the gift of celibacy, instructions to those who are married and issues concerning sexual relations within the context of marriage. This chapter also provides some underlying principles that are helpful for young couples seeking to get married. As we examine this chapter it is therefore important to remember that this content is given to us by God to enjoy His goodness regardless of the season of life that we may find ourselves.
I was particularly struck by verse 5 and the instructions that Paul gives to those who are married. He reminds the couple that it is important to live in such a way that you do not deprive one another from sharing intimate relations. it is however permissible to separate for a time of prayer. Paul ends verse 5 with a reminder of how weak we are in our fleshly state. Sexual temptation is strong and satan often uses the poorly managed desire to lead people into sin. God has given married couples the beautiful gift of intimacy to combat sinful sexual desires. I am also reminded that marriage is not the end to sexual temptation.
For those who are single this passage is a reminder that now is a perfect time to develop self control. Exercising restraints on sexual desires now during singleness will help protect your marriage from potential future destruction. To those married- it is not good to deprive one another. Paul uses strong words to direct this as a command. “if you are currently depriving- no longer deprive!” We typically think that men have the stronger desire so ladies stop depriving your husbands. The reality however is that women have a great desire, specifically for intimacy. Unfortunately many married couples never experience the beautiful gift of intimacy that God has given. When that desire is left unfulfilled it creates many problems and can manifest in various ways.
I am thankful that God has created the beautiful gift of intimacy for the married couple. By His grace this gift from God can also combat temptation by the enemy.
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