Day 159 – Paul’s Call to Chastity

Today’s reading: 1 Cor 7:25-40

In today’s reading Paul endorses chastity in the most emphatic terms possible.  In just fourteen verses he endorsed chastity in one way or another ten times.  He says if one is not married they should not seek marriage.  He says that those who have wives should live as if they have none.  He says that those that are unmarried can be concerned about the affairs of the Lord, whereas those that are married have a divided attention.  He says that “he who refrains from marriage will do better.”  In fact, he endorses chastity so strongly that he literally has to write that marriage is OK if you must and that marriage is not a sin, just to keep from confusing everyone.

We, in our present day society, have fallen so far from this standard that it seems almost impossible to us.  However, as Christians, we should consider seriously how true chastity would change our society and the world.  Sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, and divorce all would be positively affected by a chaste society.  Critics will say that the standard is impossible to meet and that people would still engage in sexual relations on the sly.  Fair enough, but should be base our moral and ethical choices on the fact that people have a certain likelihood of failure and sin.  Paul calls us to seek something higher.

Tomorrow: 1 Cor 8

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