The people of Corinth were interested in proper sexual behavior and had written to the Apostle Paul about it. By revelation, he answered their questions.
It is good for a man not to marry. God says it is good not to marry, and later in the chapter, He gives some reasons why that is so. Marriage brings on an added dimension of responsibilities, concerns, and challenges. The theme of staying single runs through the entire chapter. Verse 27 continues the theme and the NASB does an excellent job of translating the verse: Do not seek a wife. Of course, sexual intercourse is not the only reason to get married, and other sections of Scripture mention other reasons for marriage.
It is good for a man not to touch [aptomai] a woman. Although translating literally is usually the best practice, this is a good example of when a word or phrase is misleading if translated that way. The verse is not talking about touch in the normal course of daily activity. The whole context of the chapter is sexual behavior, so it is not unusual that we find a sexual idiom here.
The subject of sex is inherently relational, often taboo, and always exciting. Every language abounds in figurative language for sex and sexuality. In his commentary on 1 Corinthians, R.
When this verse is properly understood, it means that it is good to stay unmarried if you are able to do so, and it is always good to avoid sexual touch outside of marriage. He makes the point about not getting married, which the NIV picks up very well, and He refers to the obvious fact that a man should not be touching a woman in a sexual way if he is not married to her.
Of course, the same is true for women touching men. Touch is a very strong stimulant, and once a person gets aroused and stimulated by touch, it can be difficult for him to control his thoughts and actions.
Satan has always had plenty of sexual distractions for those men and women trying to live godly lives, and if someone is so distracted by the sexual influences around him that his service to the Lord seems difficult, then that person should marry.
The second verse in the chapter addresses that: People often think of modern times as being very immoral, but in many ways the ancient world was even more immoral than our modern world. Corinth was one of the most immoral cities of the Roman world. Hence the famous Roman proverb: His answer is clear: This brings up another important point: God created us as sexual beings, and sexual intercourse was designed by God to be a wonderful experience that promotes love, communication and intimacy.
Augustine and many Christian ascetics promoted the belief that sex is not godly unless one is trying to have children, and unfortunately that belief has persisted in various forms down to this day. Jewish rabbis point out that the human female is the only female in any species that can have sexual intercourse while pregnant, a clear indication that God intended sex to be for enjoyment, not just for children.
Marital surveys show that of all the ingredients that lead to a happy and healthy marriage, a satisfying sex life is always at or near the top of the list. It is a sin to have more than one wife or more than one husband. This must be taken to heart, especially because it is a change from the laws God gave in the Old Testament. The revelation to Christians is quite different: The next verses in Chapter 7 discuss the importance of sexual intercourse as a duty in marriage, which makes perfect sense.
In the context, the reason for getting married in the first place is to find sexual fulfillment, so it is only logical that providing sexual gratification for each other is part of marital responsibility.
Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Even under the Mosaic Law, sexual fulfillment was expected in marriage. The following verses augment the teaching on sexual purity: But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. In verse 7, Paul writes that he wishes all men were like him single , and thus could serve the Lord without a spouse and without distraction.
Verse 8 then continues the point in verse 7 about staying unmarried. The practice of staying single and celibate is not adhered to very well in our modern culture, even by Christians who should know better because of the guidance from the Word of God. The subject of sex is so lauded and glorified by the world that anyone who chooses to do without it is considered a quack of some sort. Verse 9 speaks loudly about the entire issue of sex outside of marriage.
It clearly sets forth the will of God: The Greek text is very forceful. How can a person really tell if he or she is containing himself before God? God says very clearly that if you are losing control such that you are giving in to sexual sin, then get married.
Living together without being married is very common in America now, and it has caused a well-known problem. It is practically a part of American life that single women complain that they cannot get men to commit to marriage. This is not rocket science. Study after study shows that the major reason a man lives together with a woman is the availability of sex. If he can get sex without commitment, then he often will. Sometimes I wonder whether women really understand what their agreement in the sixties to commitment-free sex did for them.
It just ensured that men could get sex readily and without strings attached, thus they had no good reason to marry and commit. Women have simply forgotten what true love is and what a real compliment is. A guy will tell a girl that he loves her and that he wants to share his life with her, that she is beautiful and that he cannot live without her.
She is very impressed and flattered. So she saddles up her stuff and brings it around to his place. But, there is only one compliment that a man can give a woman: All other compliments are just words. When he says those words, he is not just thinking about sex, but about a future of you and him together. By offering marriage, he embraces the choice to give up choice, sacrificing and forswearing the possibilities of romance with another woman for all time to come.
A Yiddish proverb encapsulates female wisdom for ages past: It is important to point out that marriage is now, and always has been, an accepted and recognized institution in society. God instituted marriage, and Adam and Eve are called husband and wife even before they were driven out of Eden Gen.
This tactic misses the mark in several ways. Of course Adam and Eve had no formal ceremony—who would be the minister and the witnesses? The situation has changed since then. Furthermore, the Bible shows that marriage customs were formalized very early. In Genesis 29, Jacob married Rachel and Leah, and there was a dowry, a feast and customs that were followed. Also, the Law of Moses made it clear that there is a big difference between a married and unmarried couple.
In the Law, if a man had sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman, he was to marry her and pay the dowry the father would normally receive Exod. Another reason Christians should not live together before marriage is that we are commanded to live as examples for others, and that means in the sexual area too: Living together before marriage paints a picture of selfishness and lack of self-control.
It is hard to see how two people living together before marriage is a good example in any way. Instead, fix your attention on God. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Endnotes  This is well known and is why so many people will jump at the chance to live together, but will not get married. Thus, it is no wonder that if and when they do get married, they carry that same lack of maturity into the marriage and have a much higher divorce rate than couples that did not live together before marriage.
Similarly, the woman can learn to give in ways that will bless the man. Love is about giving, and Christianity is about becoming more like Jesus Christ. Cohabitation before marriage has been openly practiced in America for some 30 years now, and it has been studied and surveyed in every conceivable way. The exact figures vary somewhat, which is expected due to the different demographics of the studies. The overall results, however, are the same: If they do marry, they are almost twice as likely to divorce.
Not surprisingly, studies show that when couples living together were interviewed apart, the women usually said they were in love and were going to get married, while the men said they were not. The number one reason men surveyed said they were living with a woman was the availability of sex. Studies done on marital happiness showed that couples who lived together before marriage were less fulfilled in their marriages than couples who did not, so it is not surprising that studies also show that people who cohabited before marriage are more likely to commit adultery after they are married.
Women who engaged in sex before marriage are more than twice as likely to commit adultery than those who did not. Furthermore, surveys indicate that if a couple had sex before marriage, they were percent less likely to enjoy sex after marriage than people who abstained until they were married.
Studies show that monogamous married women are more orgasmic than single women or married women with multiple partners. This is logical because monogamous married women generally feel safer, and thus more relaxed in sexual intercourse. A University of Chicago study of more than 3, people found monogamous married couples reported the highest sexual satisfaction.
Rates of domestic violence are double for couples living together without being married, with, of course, the woman being the one hurt most of the time. Women usually spend their money on the relationship, while men spend their money on themselves and things they want.