I Corinthians 7:1-11
A man married a very beautiful girl. The man admired her
beauty and loved her very much. After a few months, his wife
found out she was suffering with a skin disease that would
gradually cause her to lose her beauty. Knowing this she
started thinking to herself, what if I become ugly, my
husband may stop loving me.
Meanwhile, her husband went out of town for work, on his
way back home he was in an accident. He lost sight in both
In spite of all this they continued to live happily.
After some time the wife lost all of her beauty due to her skin
disease. But her blind husband could not see it. He kept
loving her like he always did.
One day his wife died. Now the husband was sad and alone.
He decided to leave the city.
Before he left his neighbor asked him how he would live
without the support of his wife since he was blind. He said,
“I’m not blind. I was just pretending to be blind
because when my wife found out about her skin disease I
realized how scared and bothered by it she was. If my wife
had known that I could see her ugliness, it would have hurt
her more than her illness. She was a good wife and I loved
her. That is why for all these years I pretended to be blind.
Today we are looking at the first 11 verses of the 7th chapter of
This section of the letter Paul addresses questions he has
received from the church about different situations. This chapter
deals with a few specific questions about marriage. This is by no
means Paul’s entire theology on marriage. Remember, we have
to examine the Scripture in its entirety.
When a topic was addressed by Jesus, Paul applied that teaching
to the questions. When there was no specific teaching, Paul
states clearly how he would respond. Remember, all of Scripture
is breathed out by God and useful for teaching.
Let’s be mindful once again of our context.
The locals in Corinth worshiped Aphrodite, who was the Greek
goddess of love, lust, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation.
In I Corinthians 6 Paul argued against being with a temple
prostitute because God has explained very clearly in His word His
expectations for marriage: one woman, one man, and the two will
become one flesh.
Also, there were two unbiblical doctrines that had infiltrated the
The first doctrine taught that the body is evil so therefore it doesn’t
matter what you do with your body. The spirit is what matters.
People who believed this teaching had no problem with
fornication or being with the temple prostitutes.
The second doctrine also taught that the body was evil, but the
response was totally opposite from the first group. This group
advocated for refraining from acting on all physical desires.
They would not have sexual relations even inside the bounds of
Now that we are caught up let’s go ahead and look at our text.
1 Corinthians 7:1-11
Regarding Sexual Immorality
Paul quotes one of the questions back to the saints at Corinth in
the first verse. “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations
with a woman.”
Paul understands that there is a great temptation to sexual
immorality. In the last chapter he told them to flee from sexual
God gave us natural desire for the opposite sex. He gave us
that desire for our pleasure as well as for the purpose of being
fruitful and multiplying.
Now he writes that each man should have his own wife and each
woman her own husband. One man: one woman.
Again going back to God’s definition of marriage from Genesis.
But also, if a man or woman is going to be tempted to sin
sexually, it is good for them to be married.
So, to answer the question is it good for man not to have sexual
relations with a woman – yes if they are not married, but if they are
married, it is good for them to become one just as God intended.
As Paul continues, he emphasizes the fact that a husband and
wife should be intimate with one another. He writes that the
husband and wife do not have authority over their own bodies.
They should not deprive one another. The urge is natural and
given by God. Paul says that only for a limited time should they
deprive one another, and then only for the purpose of being
devoted to prayer. Interesting that the trade off for one act of
intimacy is replaced with another one.
Paul is also concerned that married couples who abstain from
sexual intimacy might be tempted due to lack of self control.
In Paul’s mind were definitely thoughts of the temple prostitutes.
Today, he would have written about avoiding porn and office
Paul switches gears a bit in verse 6 stating that he wished
everyone were single like him. He is able to give his whole life to
serving the Lord. He can go anywhere God calls him without
regard for how it might affect anyone else.
He then addresses singles and widows telling them that it is good
for them to remain single. But if they are unable to exercise self
control it is better for them to marry.
The bottom line is to honor God’s design for sexual purity.
Flee sexual immorality. If you are tempted, get married.
The last verses we will look at this morning are vv.10-11.
The church at Corinth also asked Paul about divorce.
Paul reminds them of Jesus’ teaching on divorce.
Husbands and wives should honor their covenant and remain
married. Jesus only allowed for divorce in the case of infidelity,
but the hope is that forgiveness and reconciliation would be
Paul also said that a woman could remarry if her husband passed
away, but only to another believer. I Cor 7:39.
For many, (including some Christians) marriage has become an
arrangement that is temporary as long as it is beneficial to both
God never intended marriage to be a temporary contract, He
desired for it to be a lifelong covenant where each spouse puts
the needs of the other above their own.
The subtitle of Gary Thomas’ book Sacred Marriage is “What if
God designed marriage to make us Holy more than to make us
The closer you are to God, the better you will love your spouse.
For those of you that are married
Love Your Spouse Well – put them first and love them as Paul
wrote in his letter to the church at Ephesus. Husbands, love your
wife as Christ loved the church. Wives, submit to your own
husbands, as to the Lord.
For those who are single or widows
Be Content with your Life – God’s timing is perfect and He may
just want to use you in an incredible way in the kingdom. Always
be watching out for opportunities to serve Him and love others.