The theology of 1 Cor 7

    I think we were going off course in the other thread regarding the original question, so I’m going to start a question about 1 Cor 7.

    What does 1 Cor 7 mean to you theologically?  How does it define how a couple should operate with each other sexually?

    To reply to some of the discussion in the other thread:  (None of this has anything to personally do with the other thread – it is a discussion about 1 Cor 7 specifically)

    This can be framed in different ways.  To me, the idea of defaulting to the HD spouse does not sound harsh, but another way to say it is “both spouses are having their needs met”.  Now it is harsh if somebody is leaving somebody in need, right?  This is what 1 Cor 7 specifically says and teaches and we know that it is backed up with 2 Tim 3:16.

    When I replied to the YouTube woman question who basically said the same thing, it was great, but when I replied to the previous thread about this, it was taken badly.  Why is this?  It can’t be true in one situation and false in the next.

    If I didn’t want to meet my wife’s need, that would be on me, right?

    Additionally if I did meet the need, but didn’t do it with the right heart, that would also be on me, right?

    Would it be right for me to meet her need 50% or 75% because “compromise is needed” when this is not at all what scripture teaches?  Or should I render to her what is due her just like 1 Cor 7 teaches?

    If I am keeping track of orgasms, who gets more, who gets less, would that be right?  Does that align with scripture?

    If 1 Cor 7 has shifted its meaning here, that disappoints me greatly.  It was the one place in scripture that many here would accept what it plainly says because they lived the disappointment of not doing what it says.

    I am a believer of doing what God instructs leads to blessing.

    Here are all the English translations of 1 Cor 7:5

    https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/1%20Corinthians%207:5

     

    California King Asked on January 5, 2020 in Theology of Sex .
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    13 Answer(s)

      The Christian life I know does what it says plainly. What it doesn’t do is clobber a spouse over the head with it so that they can get their way. I will never deny my wife her marital rights. Turn it around, she will deny me at times. But there can still be joy if we keep a Phillipians 2 mindset of humility and servanthood. Let our interests not be focused on ourselves but on others. Can we love as Christ loves? Yes, to a degree if we depend on Him, daily in His Word and prayer. This is part of the humility of the Christian. We tend to view independence as virtuous, but we must depend on God and realize our need to be spirit filled. Without His work in us, we will quickly chase after the flesh and selfishness.

      It’s important to communicate about unmatched drives, but at the end of the day, we do better to read and lead by example. I have tried read and force feed from the Bible and it isn’t productive and likely doesn’t come from a pure motive.

      California King Answered on January 5, 2020.

      I respect your points Hungry.

      My concern is not that grace is offered when it should be, but rather that biblical instruction is changed into something that it isn’t.  I find that when two people understand clearly what the instruction is, then they can live in truth and offer each other grace for human sinfulness.

      on January 5, 2020.
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        I am going to apologize in advance for how long this is going to be, but I want to make sure to let Scripture speak…

         

        First, this Scripture has to be interpreted by other Scripture.  I still firmly stand on the fact that we are children of God first, then we are husbands and wives.  That means all those Scriptures that guide us and teach us on how to fulfill “Love one another as I [Jesus] have loved you.” have to be taken into account and has to be used to interpret 1 Cor 7 and how we are to live as a believer in Christ, who also might be husbands and wives.  That means a husband or wife can’t neglect those other commands or guidelines and only use certain Scriptures to push their own sexual agenda.

         

        First Corinthians 7:1-7 shows each carry a duty and each have mutual authority. Then I must ask, what is “depriving”? It means to “defraud, rob, despoil”.  Is a spouse truly “robbing” the other when there is an occasional “no” or “not tonight”?  Is a man truly being “robbed” when he doesn’t get sex twice a day, or even once a day?     It also gives a reason, “because of your lack of self-control“, hopefully, as each person grows in their maturity of their spiritual walk, they will manifest more of the fruit of the Spirit, which in part is “self-control”, and they will learn to how to stand against Satan and temptation in the times their spouse cannot physically or emotionally fulfill their spouses “needs”.

         

        Paul seems to really be speaking to the immaturity of the Corinthians, which if we go back to 1 Cor. 3:1-3, we see how Paul has to speak to them, “as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ,”  If a husband, or wife, fall into the immature Christian, who has yet not learned self-control, or isn’t walking by the Spirit, so that His fruit is evident, then 1 Corinthians 7 is definitely speaking to them.   Galatians 5: 19, 22-25, ought to speak to how we actually should be walking and evidence of what we should (or shouldn’t) look like, “ 19 Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), ………22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.  25 If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit].

         

        I also have to ask, Why does the higher drive have greater authority over the lower drives body?  To lay a blanket statement that a marriage must default to the higher drives sexual “needs”, totally negates the authority and the needs of the lower-drive spouse.

         

        Rather than focus on the words said “by way of concession, not of command.”  We should look at what we are called to do to “one another”, aka our spouse.  We should each ask ourselves, as children of God, Am I….
        • loving my spouse? (Jn 13:34,35; 15:12,17; Rom 13:8; 1 Thes 3:12; 4:9; 1 Pt 1:22; 4:8;  1 Jn 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11, 12; 2 Jn 1:5)
        • at peace with my spouse? (Mk 9:50; 1 Thes 5:13)
        • devoted to by spouse in brotherly love? (Rom 12:10)
        • giving preference to my spouse in honor? (Rom 12:10)
        • not putting an obstacle or stumbling block in my spouses way? (Rom 14:13)
        • pursuing the things that make for peace and the building up of my spouse? (Rom 14:19)
        • of the same mind with my spouse according to Christ Jesus? (Rom 15:5)
        • accepting my spouse? (Rom 15:7)
        • full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to admonish my spouse? (Rom 15:14; Col 3:16)
        • through love serving my spouse? (Gal 5:13)
        • not biting nor devouring my spouse? (Gal 5:15)
        • not becoming boastful, challenging, nor envying my spouse? (Gal 5:26)
        • bearing my spouses burden? (Gal 6:2; Col 3:13)
        • with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for my spouse in love? (Eph 4:2)
        • being kind to my spouse? (Eph 4:32)
        • being tender-hearted, forgiving my spouse, just as God in Christ also has forgiven me? (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13)
        • speaking to my spouse in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with my heart to the Lord?  (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16)
        • being subject to my spouse in the fear of Christ?  (Eph 5:21)
        • not doing anything from selfishness or empty conceit? (Phil 2:3)
        • regarding my spouse as more important than myself, with humility of mind? (Phil 2:3)
        • not lying to my spouse? (Col  3:9; Eph 4:25)
        • comforting my spouse? (1 Thes 4:18)
        • encouraging my spouse? (1 Thes 5:11; Heb 3:13; 10:25)
        • building up my spouse? (1 Thes 5:11)
        • always seeking after that which is good for my spouse? (1 Thes 5:15)
        • considering how to stimulate my spouse to love and good deeds?  (Heb 10:24)

         

        Those are just a start.    If we can answer “yes” to all of those questions, then I will make the confident declaration that our interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7 really won’t matter.

        Under the stars Answered on January 5, 2020.

        But if we can’t say a “yes” to all of those questions, then our interpretation of 1 Corinthians really does matter? Shouldn’t it matter either way?

        on January 5, 2020.

        Thank you for a detailed answer.  Clearly we see things differently and that is okay, though I am going to respond to some things you posted here, I respect your position even if I disagree with it.

        First, this Scripture has to be interpreted by other Scripture.

        This I agree with, but with a caveat.  Obviously an interpretation can be affected by a translation between two languages, but truly understanding what some verses say may also require looking at other verses in the Word that are talking about the same thing (if they exist).   More specific scripture obviously speaks much more strongly and less specific scripture starts to make assumptions that may or may not be true.  Clearly the bible does not contradict itself, so if there are specific verses about something, we should assume that that speaks directly to the issue more than less generic scripture does.

        That means a husband or wife can’t neglect those other commands or guidelines
        and only use certain Scriptures to push their own sexual agenda.

        Why does the higher drive have greater authority over the lower drives body?

        Look at the way 1 Cor 7 is written.  It is not instructions for not having sex, but addressing people who were wrongfully not having sex!  Also note that it addresses the drives/needs/desires independently.  This is critical to understanding what it is saying.

                       the husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife

                       and likewise the wife to her husband

                         The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband

                       In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

        Note that they are NOT connected.  If she has a need, her husband should fulfill it.  She has authority over his body for the purpose of sex.  Then it is repeated for the husband.  This is entirely different than “if she has a need AND he has a need.”.

        Then it does address the situation of not having sex, and is also very specifically:

                        Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer

        Getting lost in the meaning of need and deprive is not looking at the entire context of all these verses.  Basically now it is saying there is one exclusion to what was just said, that exclusion is valid only when (1) BOTH agree, (2) it is only for a time, and (3) only for the purpose of devotion to prayer.  Not much of an exclusion at all if you ask me! (which I think is also a point)

        These verses detail with absolute certainly what sexual responsibility is in marriage.  There are no other verses that specifically speak to this issue the way these do.  This IS what the bible says about THIS subject.

        Does a husband or wife not wish to give their body sometimes?  We all know that is true.  Can they get their spouse to mutually agree to hold off?  That doesn’t even make it right if they do, they would have to also be doing it for the purpose of prayer for it to be right according to the Word technically.  That is how serious the bible is about this.  It minces no words laying out what is right and what the responsibility is.  It wouldn’t be written this way if God feels differently.

        Does that mean a spouse should be demanding?  I don’t think so.  I think if both know the truth and their responsibilities there is no reason or need to demand.  Each should do what is right with a giving heart!  I think that if a spouse has a need or desire, the other spouse should do the right thing and meet it.  Do I think they are in the right if they don’t want to?  Not according to scripture.  We have to ask ourselves, why is scripture so firm about this?  It didn’t have to be written this way, but yet it is.

        We should look at what we are called to do to “one another”, aka our spouse.

        Nearly all of these scripture references are not specifically in the context of marriage and I believe are talking at a relational level that is less specific (which would include ones spouse, but also generically everyone who isn’t).  For this reason, you have to assume that what they say is more applied to the less specific group of “one another” though that doesn’t mean it doesn’t also apply to your spouse.  They certainly can’t outweigh scripture that is more specific about interpersonal relationship within the family or between husband and wife.  This is exactly why Eph 5:21 does not give a wife headship over her husband; it would be completely illogical.

        I do agree that we should be patient and loving with our spouse, but I disagree strongly that these less specific to both sex and marriage verses in any way means the interpretation of 1 Cor 7 won’t matter.  1 Cor 7 matters because it is God’s Word, and it is there for a reason.

        So, my summary about sexual responsibility in marriage is basically what 1 Cor 7 teaches:

        If he has a need, his wife should give her body.  If she has a need, her husband should give his body.  To abstain, they must mutually agree, but even that isn’t right unless it is for the purpose of prayer.  It should be easy to get a mutual agreement if everyone is doing what is right, but even then it isn’t ideal (or even correct by scripture unless it is for prayer), but certainly the abstinence should be very short lived.

        on January 5, 2020.

        The point is if we are treating our spouse as we are called to generically treat others, I don’t believe there would be any deprivation to worry about. Ya’ll are making it harder than it needs to be.

        on January 5, 2020.

        I think SC that this is your experience and I understand/respect that.  There are still a lot of people here that make every effort to do these things and yet they are still deprived.  This is exactly why understanding 1 Cor 7 correctly is so important.  Surely doing the things you mention make it easier for couples to do what is right, but not doing them does not change 1 Cor 7.  What I really think is that approaching sex in marriage outside of what 1 Cor 7 teaches introduces a lot of things that are detrimental to marriage and work against both husband and wife.  If both understand and accept what 1 Cor 7 says, they are going to approach everything surrounding it in a much healthier way.

        on January 5, 2020.

        @sd, if one spouse isn’t trying to live like a child of God, do you really think the interpretation of one passage is suddenly going to make a difference?  What makes you think one spouse will care about and obey 1 Cor 7, if they don’t care about all the basic Christian teachings?

        on January 5, 2020.

        I think that is a different issue, if someone isn’t a Christian or doesn’t care about their walk with God, then there are probably a lot of things they are not doing.  The ones who just say it with their lips (Isa 29;13, Matt 15:8) will always do their own will; they will not feel the weight of doing what is right before Him.   I completely agree with you about these people, they aren’t likely to follow 1 Cor 7 or any of the scripture you posted above.

        Understanding one passage is pivotal if that one passage speaks to the item in question specifically as 1 Cor 7 does.  Nowhere else in scripture was the time taken to literally spell this out as it does here.  It is almost as if Paul in verse 1 was like, I guess since you asked I’m going to have to detail this for you though it should be common knowledge.  Even bible translations that have been culturally influenced in recent decades are unable to soften or alter the extremely specific language used and meaning, that should say something.

        on January 6, 2020.

        SC Just so you know, That list is great, and I am going to plagiarize it.

        on January 6, 2020.

        sd595,

        I don’t want to speak for SC, but I think the point she was trying to make, is that no scripture is to be taken alone, without the context of other scriptures.   I think SC did an incredible job of putting that list together.

        I understand what you are saying.  Those verses say very clearly that you are not to deprive your spouse.  All those scriptures that SC listed back that up. Here is the thing tho,  the scriptures SC posted also describe what a Christian behavior should look like,  if you are being deprived.  None of those scriptures are supposed to be a tool to get us what we want.  They tell us what we should be treating others.

        on January 6, 2020.

        Thank you Doug! It’s nice to be understood.

        on January 6, 2020.

        SC- I understand your points and where you are coming from, even if we disagree.

        Doug, I agree completely with your first paragraph and the second up until after “Here is the thing.”

        The scriptures SC posted describe what Christian behavior should look like in general, but not specifically in the context of marriage.  This is so critical to understand – scripture speaks clearly and directly for how God wishes marriage to operate.  It is important, because if we try to apply generic scripture to how say you and I should relate to how a husband and wife should relate when there is specific scripture that teaches otherwise, then we are changing marriage into something different.  The fact that Eph 5:21 is completely irreconcilable to all of the scripture about headship proves this point entirely.

        On to the issue of the bible only being an instruction for us, but not for us to give to others.  I don’t know where this idea came from, but it certainly fails the responsibility and leadership that a husband has regarding his wife and family.  It also fails Matthew 18 on calling out sin in the church.  Additionally, 2 Tim 3:16 says all scripture is good for teaching and rebuke.  Much of the NT is rebuke and instruction.  Jesus rebukes His bride the church in Revelation.  A husband is told to wash his wife in the Word.  Again, this is one of those things where there is no specific scripture to come against what the bible specifically says to do.  It should be done in love and with patience, and I would add that not doing it is a failure of ones responsibility.

        on January 6, 2020.
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          What it means to US is that we both believe in rendering marital due to one another. What we also believe and practice according to scripture is grace. Many many things factor into the sexual union between husband and wife. Health issues, conflicts, undue hardships, etc…they are all dealt with an attitude of grace and mercy and love (thankfully), not with an explicit direction of headship and submission (which we both work out on our own–the mandate given explicitly by the Lord to each of us, not to demand that from each other, IOW i am given the directive to submit, not demand my husband fulfill his role).  What does 1 Cor 7 have to do w/headship and submission? It clearly says one to another. The NT is also profoundly grace-filled. Jesus had every right to stone the woman caught in adultery but he offered grace in addition to telling her to go and sin no more.

          And also how is husbands treat your wife in an understanding way twisted around to point to headship? It is a mandate to the husband FOR the wife. We take everything in context, don’t pull a scripture out of place.

          I can read between the lines, sd, and it is clear you are not going to be swayed from your staunch headship role in EVERYTHING.  What are YOU trying to say about 1 Cor 7? It seems very clear to me you are erring on the side of the husband getting his conjugal rights (you qualify it with “loving”) any and every time he wants and who cares about the LD spouse?  What is with this headship/submission thing with you? I don’t think any Christian here has a problem with headship/submission as taught in scripture but you seem fixated on it and are taking it to another level, especially sexually it seems, to be quite blunt.

          What about 1 Cor 13, the great love chapter? This is written to ALL believers and you state that 1 Cor 7 POSSIBLY might be the only scripture where the wife has SOME authority…well what about all other scriptures telling us how to behave? They don’t apply specifically to the marriage union?  You and i can debate until the cows come home…you will have the last word and you believe what you believe and it is clear you are trying to sway others to your view.  Fine but expect some push back

          On the floor Answered on January 6, 2020.

          A husband living with his wife in an understanding way is living with her the way the bible instructs.  Often this verse is used to try to eliminate headship by saying it isn’t understanding for a wife to have to submit to her husband, but that is false.  I agree that the two don’t really have anything to do with each other other than the way people try to use it.

          I think 1 Cor 7 is THE teaching about sexual responsibility in marriage.  I think you are taking what I said earlier out of context or thinking it was something that it was not – I said I think it fits into headship because what it tells the wife to do, the husband can already ask for because his wife should submit to his desires anyway.  That was all I meant by that.

          We can both present our views respectfully.  Yes, I’d like to others to consider what scripture says instead of dismissing it because they don’t like it, it is hard, or think they know better.

          on January 6, 2020.
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            Why is it there? First in context it is for the Corinthians. What are the conditions? Corinth was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. A hub of immortality, Paul addresses sexual sin in the church in chapters 5 and again in the latter part of chapter 6. In chapter 7, Paul follows these points to address issues that they had written him for clarification (see verse 1). Paul points to marital relations as an alternative to avoid temptation to sexual immorality. Verse 2-5 display an equality between the sexes in the most intimate area of the marriage relationship that was most likely unheard of at the time. To end verse 5, we see that the reason Satan is able to tempt anyone in this area is because of a lack of self control. This again enforced the immaturity of the faith of the Corinthians. I think it parallels many of us in our culture, and I have seen this immaturity in myself as well. That is why it is important to be dependent on God and walk in the spirit, and pray that we might display the fruit of the spirit. When we do so, we won’t be so focused on self to even notice that our spouse isn’t keeping up with our demands. This is a much more important spiritual problem that we face than a spouse who we determine isn’t obeying this text. But if we match the immaturity of the Corinthians and we just can’t help ourselves, take it as literal as you’d like in applying it.

            What does it mean to me? We are sinners, we are prone to wander, we are easily led astray. I also read it for myself. It is a command for me. I can’t read it for my wife. For the record I did try that once and never again! I’ll let God speak to her through His word without my interference.

            How has it shaped my marriage? When I feel deprived but I know that all DW needs is a good back rub, I can give and do not grudgingly but in obedience to Christ. I can get lost in the joy of meeting my wife’s needs. When I have the right mindset, I can forget about myself at times. It’s not always easy or natural but I do believe it has a direct correlation to how well I depend on Jesus at any given time. John 15 makes it clear that apart from Him we can do nothing. So when we live our lives in bitterness and nothing is happening as far as spiritual fruit we display, we know why. If all the law can be fulfilled with the commandment to love one another, that would include this text. I know that my wife loves me. She gives of herself the best way that she can. Does it match the frequency that I desire? No it doesn’t. How does love deal with it? I try to meet her needs including the tasks that may stand in the way, take time for her when it’s not about sex, listen to her, care about her feelings, complement her and cherish her, do things she enjoys, and realize that this is a real woman, not a porn star or a fantasy. Many of us come out of equally immoral backgrounds as the Corinthians, and that I think is why this verse is so alluring for us. It justifies our lack of self control. We use it to put the emphasis on what our spouse isn’t doing instead of seeing the equality in the passage and recognize our need to show spiritual fruit.

            California King Answered on January 6, 2020.

            Thanks for the detailed post Hungry.

            She gives of herself the best way that she can

            I think this is very important.

            Perhaps there is miscommunication about my statement of the HD spouse setting the frequency.  If you are mutually agreeing not to do more because you know it is for the best, then this is good.

            on January 6, 2020.
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              I have much to say and have deleted most of what I have written in this reply. Ultimately, however, I have only this:

              The therapist on the Ted Talk video that was linked in an earlier post approached this subject with an attitude of love and understanding toward both parties. That is the reason why she is positively received, both here and in YouTube comments. She shows empathy. She shows the fruit of the Spirit. She makes me wonder if she is a Christian because she shows the love that we are supposed to show for each other.

              When you are dealing with people who are hurting, it will always be better to do so with the fruit of the Spirit in mind. To a large degree, people hurt because someone at some point has not shown them those considerations. And they desperately need it if they are to be helped to a place of healing.

              I can see why the differences in response are confusing to you. You are, in effect, saying the same thing. It’s the approach that causes the discrepancy. It took me years and a stint of walking with the least of these to learn this. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. And people who are just trying to hang onto what they have do better with kind words. It allows them to take the risk of opening themselves up to growth. I’ve spoken of servant leadership before. This is part of it. And it yields better results.

              Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on January 5, 2020.

              With what you did say, it’s very well said.

              on January 5, 2020.

              If I had to bet, I’d bet she is a Christian.  A lot of things she says directly and between the lines push towards that.

              I don’t think she was empathetic – she basically just told everyone to “just do it”.  She softened that a bit with it is the loving thing to do to your spouse, and I agree with her completely.  What she suggests is basically 1 Cor 7 in a nutshell.

              So why assume she has the right heart and I do not?  Even choosing a neutral topic where male and female can actually be exchanged, my intentions are still assumed to be an agenda though a wife can benefit from the sound teaching of 1 Cor 7 just as much as her husband.

              on January 5, 2020.

              @Dovegrey, do you think some of the issue (what you call a lack of empathy) is the impression of a lack of love? “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  (1 Jn 3:16)  That’s what I keep coming back to today.  There seems to be a lack of willing to lay down ones life because there’s so much concern at making sure “wives” stay in their place of  submission, so that a man can stay in his place of authority or “the head”…. forgetting all the while, what Christ’s demonstration of love truly is.  At least to me, it comes across that the husband is due that love from the wife, but a wife is not due it from her husband because he “is the authority”, he “is the head”, or maybe even because he “is the higher drive”.  :/

              on January 6, 2020.

              SC- Do you think that a husband laying down his life (and be loving) means that scripture like (1 Cor 7 or headship) should be ignored or becomes ineffective/moot?

              on January 6, 2020.

              Simply, no.

              As I have said over and over, it’s about taking it all as a whole.  It’s about being full of grace as one full of truth, as Jesus was.  It’s about taking those instructions in the context of the whole gospel and new covenant.  If we live as we are called to as children of God. If we “love one another as [Jesus] has loved [us]”, living as husband and/or wife will fall into its proper place, because there’s no room for our “selves” (speaking of our sin and flesh, not our fearfully and wonderfully unique beings we are created to be.)  Where as you seem to say, or give the impression, instructions to husbands and wives overrule, or negate, what we are called to live, as Christians in general.  Or to use your words to Doug, with a twist, it seems your view of headship (the impression women/wives are lesser than)  “is completely irreconcilable to all of the scripture”, specifically the message of the gospel and who we are in Christ, as “sons of God”….there is a very powerful reason we ALL, in Christ, are called “sons”.

              In other words, it seems like you are opposed to my stance that we are children of God first, then husbands and wives. The message I “hear” you say is, we are husbands and wives first, then we are children of God.

              I believe and place who God says I am and the position I have in Christ, first, which is equally selected by God, saved by Christ’s blood, sealed with the Holy Spirit, seated with Christ in the heavenly places, secure in God’s household, and strengthened with power through His Spirit.  I am also called, gifted and given authority in Christ.  And then I allow that to cover me in who am and  what I am to do as a wife.  What I feel from your stance, is we are supposed to view ouselves as wives first, and that is to define who we are in Christ and how we are to act, in this life, because the other benefits, the wealth, treasure, and promises are only for the next life.

              Taken from Andy Stanley, I believe the one, and maybe even only question every Christian needs to ask is, “What does love require of me?”  It’s very simple, but highly demanding.   And if anyone else is as overwhelmed by that question as I am, spurred from the “new commandment” Jesus gives (Jn 13:34), it just constantly keeps us humble and makes us realize and know our need for Christ.

              on January 6, 2020.

              @sd, I, and I am guessing others here, would love to hear the otherside of your story. It would be wonderful to hear your wife share in her own words, her view of living in this kind of marriage, with you.

              on January 6, 2020.

              She is not into this type of thing (posting), but I assure you that she is loved, knows it, and is doing very well.  I am so impressed by her and she is amazing!  Following God’s model, our marriage has never been better.  I know I am blessed and I am grateful to my Lord and my wife for it.

              I don’t think we need to be this person first and that person last – that type of thinking in my opinion would cause conflicts.  I think we just need to be the all together person that God calls us to be.  Whether you are a husband or a wife, you should do all that the bible says a husband or wife should do, no sections excluded, no teaching invalidated.

              You say I am being unloving or have the wrong tone by pointing out and teaching what scripture says, but we can’t know the truth unless we study it.  For the sake of unity, let’s just agree to disagree.

              on January 6, 2020.
              Add Comment

                I take this from a book I am hoping to publish some day.

                Word study from 1 Corinthians 7:1-7

                 The word “duty” in the original Greek language means “that which is owed.” We are obligated by this command to provide the best sex life possible to our marriage partner. It is owed to them.

                The Greek word for “authority” means, well, to exercise authority over. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Cor. 7:4 NASB). There are some Bible versions, which record this verse as, “The wife/husband “yields” or “gives” authority of his/her body to the spouse. Words like, “yields” and “gives,” are not found in the original Greek manuscripts. The original Greek implies that God grants that authority at the time of marriage. Each spouse is responsible to God for giving that which is owed to their mate. Unfortunately, these verses are sometimes used as a club instead of the love they were written to represent. Paul categorically puts human sexuality into the area of mutual submission. Don’t take that which is owed you, rather give that which is owed to your spouse. The husband has God’s authority over his wife’s body not to take, but to give to her what is owed her. The wife has God’s authority over her husband’s body, not to take, but to give him that which is owed him.

                God created us not as owners of our own or our spouse’s body. God is the final authority over you and your spouse’s body because he is its creator and the body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (Col. 1:16, 1 Cor.6:13). As with everything else the Lord gives us, we are stewards of our spouse’s bodies. God gives the authority for a wife to be steward, not the master, over her husband’s body and he gives the husband authority to be a steward, not the master over his wife’s body. Merriam-Webster’s, second definition of stewardship is, “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especiallythe careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” Stewardship is not about taking anything, it is about giving. We are given authority for and entrusted by God to meet the sexual needs of our spouse’s body. We have God’s authority to give to our spouse that which is owed him/her. That is the duty he is talking about.

                If either spouse feels sinned against by frequent sexual refusal, remind yourself of Philippians 2:3-5, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” It is not the responsibility of either spouse to demand. Christ stands at the door and knocks. Out of love he invites, he does not force anyone into his kingdom; “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” So, invite your spouse to love you in every sense of the word. Ask God if sin in your life may be interfering with your sex life. If that isn’t enough, seek counseling, and help from leaders in your church.

                Twin bed Answered on January 6, 2020.
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                  Now notice something else in 1 Corinthians 7:3–5. This is very important. In verse 4 Paul says that the man and the woman have rights over each other’s body. When the two become one flesh, their bodies are at each other’s disposal. Each has the right to lay claim to the other’s body for sexual gratification. But what we really need to see is what Paul commands in verses 3 and 5 in view of these mutual rights. He does not say, “Therefore stake your claim! Take your rights!” He says, “Husband, give her her rights! Wife, give him his rights!” (v. 3). And in verse 4, “Do not refuse one another.” In other words, he does not encourage the husband or wife who wants sexual gratification to seize it without concern for the other’s needs. Instead he urges both husband and wife to always be ready to give their body when the other wants it. I infer from this and from Jesus’s teaching in general that happy and fulfilling sexual relations in marriage depend on each partner aiming to give satisfaction to the other. If it is the joy of each to make the other happy, a hundred problems will be solved. Husbands, if it is your joy to bring her satisfaction, you will be sensitive to what she needs and wants. You will learn that the preparation for satisfactory sexual intercourse at 10 p.m. begins with tender words at 7 a.m. and continues through the day as kindness and respect. And when the time comes, you will not come on like a Sherman tank, but will know her pace and bring her skillfully along. Unless she gives you the signal, you will say, “Her climax, not mine, is the goal.” And you will find in the long run that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Wives, it is not always the case, but often, that your husband wants sexual relations more often than you do. Martin Luther said he found twice a week to be ample protection from the tempter. I don’t know if Katie was up for it every time or not. But if you’re not, give it anyway. I do not say to you husbands, “Take it anyway.” In fact, for her sake you may go without. The goal is to outdo one another in giving what the other wants. Both of you, make it your aim to satisfy each other as fully as possible.

                   

                  Culled from – Preparing for Marriage Resources from John Piper

                  Queen bed Answered on January 9, 2020.

                  I agree with a lot of this, but falls apart in areas.

                  I think we need to be careful about redefining or even looking at 1 Cor 7 from a different direction than what it states.  It does not at all teach the idea that one should only be concerned about their spouse’s climax, and the hidden assertion behind that is that one shouldn’t care about their own, to suggest that it is being selfish if they are.  See how quickly things get off of what it says?  What it says is that a husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife.  If she has a need, he should meet it, period.  It goes on to be even stronger than that by saying that each has authority over the other’s body in this area.  She doesn’t have to have his pleasure in mind to make this okay for her to want sex, she is not wrong to expect her husband to satisfy her in this area.  There is nothing wrong with a woman having a need and being focused on her need/pleasure and enjoying her husband’s body for it, and vice versa.

                  Also, the twice a week as ample protection from the tempter may be fine for some, but not others.  Again, it is adding to what the Word says as if to say, you don’t have to provide more than twice a week if you don’t want to.  A complete 180 degree turn from what 1 Cor 7 teaches.

                  on January 9, 2020.
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                    @sd595,  Sorry, I’m not positive what you are speaking of when you mention ” the other thread”, maybe comments have been missed.

                    Would you also clarify what you are speaking of when you say “need(s)”?

                    Under the stars Answered on January 5, 2020.

                    The thread you started about more or less – it was taking a 1 Cor 7 turn and I don’t want that to take your thread off course.  It keeps coming up in multiple questions, so I also figured that a theology of 1 Cor 7 thread would be a good discussion.

                    When I say need, I mean desire.  If either spouse has a desire for sex, then I think it should be rendered according to what 1 Cor 7 teaches.

                    on January 5, 2020.

                    Thanks for the clarification.

                    on January 5, 2020.
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                      Does anyone else have thoughts about 1 Cor 7?  Why is it there?  What does it mean to you?  How has it shaped your marriage?

                      California King Answered on January 6, 2020.
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                        Sd595, a good place to start is definitely asking  ‘why is it there?’ What specific concerns was Paul addressing? What was going on in the church at Corinth during that time? I’ve found that context is the most important part of understanding scripture, especially letters.

                        1 Cor 7 is probably the most egalitarian chapter in the Bible. It makes you wonder exactly what was going on at the time. We can guess, but there are no real answers. Some say there were extremes in the church, between promiscuity and those who believed sex was always wrong, even among husbands and wives.

                        To add onto what SC is saying, if we are not children of God first and spouses in a secondary sense, what happen when we get to heaven and are no longer taken in marriage?

                        Fell out of ... Answered on January 6, 2020.

                        I agree about the context.  1 Cor 7 is very much oddly egalitarian for the Word [the scope being married sex].  My thought is that the issue of sex is such an important need for both husband and wife.  The OT has various scripture about a sex being a need for a wife as well.  I suspect highly that they were addressing some early acesetism, but whatever the reason, scripture lays out God’s wishes about how a married couple should relate to each other sexually in crystal detail and I think we should be thankful for it.

                        The idea of let’s do this first and let’s do this second is basically saying let’s do this first and let’s forget about doing that.  As I said above, we should just do what is good, not splitting ourselves into multiple identities.  Does it make sense to ignore some of what scripture says?  We should be obedient to what the bible teaches here on earth and we will do what is good when we are in heaven when we are there.  I suspect that there will be order in heaven even if there is no marriage and I’ll be under the authority of another believer.

                        on January 6, 2020.

                        To add, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t prioritize one scripture over another, but I do think we need to be careful with the concept.  Taking a generic verse and using it to dismiss or change the meaning of a more specific verse makes no sense.  Trying to even equate them makes no sense.  Can a generic verse fit softly inside a more specific verse?  I could see that if it applies, is consistent, and doesn’t change the meaning of the more specific verse.

                        on January 6, 2020.
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