God and Relationships

1 Corinthians 7:25–40

and Relationships is a pretty big topic. First of all, we have to set our starting point. is a relational . created humanity in relationship with .

The first human was Adam. One thing to keep in mind with Adam is that according to some translators and some Jewish traditions was without gender upon initial creation. It wasn’t until the “rib” was red from Adam that the di of gender came about. This flies in the face of much of the Christian tradition, I understand, but it further emphasizes “two shall become one” and that it occurs (with the realm of Eden, before the fall) between man and woman.

This seeming aside is also important as declared that it was not good for humanity to be alone. This is peculiar in that if is in a relationship with them, then the human wasn’t alone. Even at the point of Eden (again, before the Fall), understood (even created) the situation that a human would need human fellowship. It’s odd to say that wasn’t enough, yet human history shows that there is something fundamentally different in human-to-human relationship versus human-to- relationship.

Therefore, with all of this before us, there is a tension from the beginning of man and woman, their relationship with , and their relationship with each other. The inherent need of humanity for relationship also extends, eventually, to fellow humans. desires a relationship with humanity. Humanity needs relationship with humanity (even we strong introverts).

This may seem to be a lot of preamble. Human are at the core of ’s message to the church.

We primarily focus on marriage because it is culturally (and often personally) significant. There is good reason to focus on it. There is also good reason to ignore it in these verses.

makes it clear that while he is spiritually led regarding the church and the gospel (more at the end of these verses), he also has no clear direction from the Holy Spirit (at the beginning of the verses). This means that these verses, in particular, need to be viewed in context. ’s perspective is that would be ing shortly (days, weeks, months, maybe a year or so). has an end-times view. Why, from ’s perspective, would you confuse the little remaining time in your life with that kind of intimate and focused human relationship?

writes in 2 Timothy 3:16–17, “All Scripture is inspired by , and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in , 17 so that the man of may be complete, equipped for every good work.” When we take context into consideration, we must also keep this passage in mind.

’s highest concern is the Corinthians’ (and our) relationship with through Christ. recognizes that often our human hinder our relationship with . This can be a result of trauma from childhood to the spouse who has changed (or us who changed). Even healthy may distract or interfere with a relationship with . An unhealthy relationship will hinder it even more.

Our with fellow humans really do deeply affect our relationship with . One could even go so far as to say that if your with humans are broken, so is your relationship with . Yep, that one stings.

※Reflection※

  • What human did you think of as being damaged? How might those inhibit your relationship with ?
  • What human can you think of that are good or great? How might they inhibit your relationship with ?

※Prayer※

 , we often say you are first in our lives, but the human in our lives sometimes say different. Grant us ment, healing, and to make them be what is best regarding our relationship with you. Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.