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The Bible says we should only be concerned with the things of the Lord, that we should be totally devoted to worshiping him and pleasing him. Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 seems to be saying that marriage is not a way to please the Lord or be completely devoted to him, and that it is not a "thing of the Lord" but a "thing of the world".

It seems like he is saying only unmarried people are concerned with the "things of the Lord" and pleasing the Lord, while married people are concerned with worldly things. He says that marriage can be a hindrance to devotion to Jesus, and that marriage divides you between the Lord and your spouse. This doesn't seem right to me from everything I've read in scripture about marriage. I thought marriage was a way to be devoted to God and to please the Lord, not a hindrance. I thought pleasing your spouse was a way to please the Lord, not a way to develop divided loyalties between them.

One way someone described this passage to me was that an unmarried person is only concerned about the things of the Lord and pleasing him, but a married person has to be concerned with the things of the Lord but also the things of the world (pleasing their spouse, family, etc) and that these things can be a distraction from undivided devotion to the Lord. This still doesn't seem right to me because, like I said, I thought marriage, pleasing your spouse, and taking care of your family were a thing of the Lord themselves, and a way to please the Lord and be devoted to him, not a distraction or hindrance from that.

So, is singleness actually better than marriage? Is that what Paul is saying in this passage?

Any help understanding this passage would be appreciated.

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  • Are you looking for what was originally intended in the passage? Then our Biblical Hermeneutics site may be better. If you are looking for how Christians understand it today then different Christians may have different views, and you would need to specify which group you mean. – DJClayworth Oct 26 '20 at 15:48
  • Would not give up my wife for anything! Without truly Christian marriages, how would the faith be passed on? – Ken Graham Oct 26 '20 at 17:12
  • He says that marriage can be a hindrance to devotion to Jesus, and that marriage divides you between the Lord and your spouse. This doesn't seem right to me from everything I've read in scripture about marriage. - See Matthew 19:10-12 and Luke 14:20. – Lucian Oct 26 '20 at 19:17
  • @KenGraham: Would Matthew 3:9 or Luke 3:8 answer your question ? – Lucian Oct 26 '20 at 19:25
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One explaination is to put it in the context of Paul. He was a man who devoted is life to Jesus and had the power to live life without a women. In Genesis the people are urged to leave their parents and find a partner for life.

In Pauls case was it better to stay single so he didn't has to worry about a family, but there are multiple examples in the Bible where people are encouraged to start a family.

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