1 Corinthians 7:25-35
The early apostles including Paul were convinced that Jesus' return was imminent. Much of Paul's writings need to be read with this return in mind. The passage today expressly emphasizes this point with regards to marriage. The purpose of marriage is for procreation and life companionship. If Jesus is returning soon, neither of these are needed since we will have an eternity with God. Paul's suggestion is to have your bags packed and ready to go for Jesus may come tomorrow. Mourning and rejoicing, possessions and poverty, are all fleeting conditions of this world soon to be replaced by God's kingdom on earth. In one sense this approach proved to be true for we never know when we may meet our maker for all we have is today. A Christian is always living their life in the "now and not yet". Jesus could come today, now, so we should be ready but we must plant for the future that is not yet. Marriage or singleness should never be a reason not to follow when Jesus calls. Marriage may add complications but it also gives the assurance that those complications do not have to be faced alone.
1 Corinthians 7:32 I want you to be free from anxieties.
Do we tend to read the letters of Paul as law rather than pastoral care?
How does Paul's concern change the message about marriage and singleness?
Have you ever been torn between service to family and service to God?
Would it change anything if you viewed family as a gift of God that God gave you to care for?