Marriage Magnifies Personal Problems

MacArthur commenting on 1 Corinthians 7:28:

Trouble (thlipsis) literally means “pressed together, or under pressure.” Marriage presses two people together in the closest possible ways. The two become one, but they are still two personalities, two distinct people with their own likes and dislikes, their own characteristics, emotions, temperaments, and wills. Each partner has some degree of anger, selfishness, dishonesty, pride, forgetfulness, and thoughtlessness. That is true even of the best marriages. When one partner is an unbeliever, or is immature, self–centered, temperamental, or domineering, every conflict is magnified.

Marriage involves conflicts, demands, hardships, sacrifices, and adjustments that singleness does not. Marriage is ordained of God, good, holy, and fulfilling; but it does not solve all problems. It brings more. Marriage never should be used as a way of escape, even from loneliness. Many people carry their loneliness right into marriage, and end up making another person lonely. And although it is God’s means for normal sexual fulfillment, marriage does not end temptation to lust and immorality. Paul tells those who do not have sexual self–control to “marry; for it is better to marry than to burn” (7:9). But even though there is the satisfaction of physical desire, the mind may be drawn to illicit fulfillment. Sexual sins will not be corrected by marriage. They may only be worsened by adding another person to their list of afflicted people. Through repentance and forgiveness they can, of course, be removed after a person is married—but they will not be removed by the marriage. Nor is marriage a guarantee that sexual sin will not return. There are troubles unique to singleness, but they may be exceeded by those in marriage.

MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (p. 181). Chicago: Moody Press.

© 2014, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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