Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Larger Picture

[From April 30, 2013]

"It is to peace that God has called you."
(1 Corinthians 7:15b)

Sometimes just reading a verse of scripture doesn't tell the whole story.  The surrounding context is crucial.  Such is the case with 1 Corinthians 7:15 - "It is to peace that God has called you."  Great verse, right?  A simple reminder to maintain positive relationships with our neighbors.

Not so fast...
Paul says this in regards to a specific relationship: Husbands & Wives.

It's actually quite an interesting entire chapter on "marital relations," covering such topics as celibacy (for singles), sexual relations (be open for your partner's needs!), divorce (just stay together), interfaith marriage (be an example to your unbelieving spouse), etc.

The divorce discussion is quite interesting.  If both in a marriage are believers, Paul says not to get divorced.  If your spouse isn't a believer, don't initiate a divorce (I'm guessing to maintain the example of love & commitment).  But if the unbelieving spouse wants a divorce, it's okay to grant it.  That's when Paul says, "It is to peace that God has called you."

Peace.  Think about it.  Think about others' needs & desires.  Don't fight.  Don't seek revenge.  Don't "punish" the one who has hurt you.  Simply be at peace.

This could be applied not only to marriages, but to other family relationships, friendships, work relationships, etc.  As Christians, we need to be living as examples for ALL to see. 

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