top of page

Biblical Reflections on Marriage - What did Paul Actually Teach About Marriage?

The apologist for “alternative forms” of marriage first butchers Jesus’ statement in Matthew 19:11-12 misinterpreting and misapplying the passage and then he tries to build on that faulty foundation using Paul’s teaching on marriage. (See for the first article in this series).

The “apologist” states,

“First, Jesus makes exceptions to the male/female marriage model in Matthew 19:11-12

“Then Paul ordains marriage for those very same people in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, right after ordaining marriage for heterosexual couples in 1 Corinthians7:1-5

“So we see Paul ordain marriage for 2 groups of unmarried people in 1 Corinthians 7:1-9.

“If the second group (vv. 8-9) are heterosexual, why are they not included in the 1st group (vv. 1-5)?”

Let’s examine these passages.

We will call this section: Divinely Given Pauline Principles For Marriage

Look at I Corinthians 7:1-9 - These verses are a unit.

1 Corinthians 7:1–9

1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

This “apologist” states, “we see Paul ordain marriage for two groups of unmarried people in 1 Corinthian 7:1-9.”

This is untrue - There are not two groups of unmarried people.

This passage is dealing with married and unmarried in the context of male/female. See again 7:1 above. Male and female are definitely the focus of this passage.

Paul said, in verse one, “It is good.” - What is good? “It is good not to touch a woman.” Paul is here stating that there are benefits to the single life, the sexually celibate life, but he qualifies that statement in verse 26 as being “for this present distress.”

Paul never advocates sex outside of marriage, and he never advocates for same-sex marriage.

Read the rest of the verses again (1 Corinthians 7:1–5). Now Look at verse 5.

Defraud means to deprive of sexual relations. In other words, God designs sexuality to be expressed in marriage, and only in marriage. If a husband or wife withholds sexual relationships for too long, the opposite party may be tempted, through lack of self-control (incontinency) to fulfill those desires in an illicit (wrong) manner.

Read verses six and seven again. What is “his proper gift of God?” The “gift” is twofold. In this context, it appears that Paul’s gift was the ability to remain single, with no need for marriage.

Paul said to the unmarried and widows - It is good to remain single (1 Corinthians 7:8). If they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry (1 Corinthians 7:9).

These verses teach that both marriage and singleness are gifts from God.

This passage has nothing to do with homosexuals or eunuchs - Paul was not a homosexual or a Eunuch. Eunuch is not a synonym for Homosexual. Remember, a eunuch is primarily a male that has been castrated.

I Corinthians 7:10 is given (still) in the context of a wife and husband (male/female).

The same-sex marriage apologist states, “Then Paul goes on to recognize same-sex divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:15 as he gives instructions for the remaining spouse of a divorce writing.”

This is not true.

I Corinthians 7:15 is (still) speaking in the context of a wife and husband (male/female).

1 Corinthians 7:15

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

I want you to notice the gendered terms throughout this passage.

i. Wife / Husband - v. 10

ii. She, her, husband, wife - v. 11

iii. brother (male), wife, she, him, her - v. 12

iv. woman, husband, he, her, him - v. 13

v. husband, wife ( spoken in the context of having children) - v. 14

vi. Then comes v. 15....and it speaks of the “Unbelieving” - v. 15.

The “unbelieving” is either the unbelieving husband or the unbelieving wife in

the context of the male-female model.

ii. wife, husband, man, wife - v.16

This passage has nothing to do with homosexuals or alternative forms of marriage.

8 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page