1 Corinthians 7:25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.
39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
OK... here's something from the commentary.
He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord: Here, Paul simply recognizes that when a person doesn’t have family responsibilities, they are more “free” to serve God. This was the main reason Paul considered the unmarried state preferable for himself.
If any man thinks he is behaving improperly towards his virgin: The man Paul refers to is the father of a young woman or man of marrying age (his virgin). The behaving improperly has nothing to do with any kind of improper moral behavior, but with denying his daughter or son the right to marry, based on the way Paul values singleness.
Remember that in this ancient culture, a young person’s parents had the primary responsibility for arranging their marriage. So based on what Paul has already taught, should a Christian father recommend celibacy to his child?
The term virgin includes the young of both sexes.
Ugh.... I do not like the way the commentaries treat these verses at all. They seem to be stuck with current thinking but they should be considering ancient customs.
The commentaries consider women to be equal to men. In the days when Paul was writing [or dictating] these letters, women had no say. Women were not equal. Women were property. Women didn't get true liberty until they had a vote. That didn't happen until the 1920s and it still hasn't happened in some countries under some religions. Women were there to produce children... the future work force. Without women there would be no labor force. Without a labor force, the men would not be "well known". Having babies was the reason for marriage. Women were tied to the man a long time before the first sex. That way the men would not be raising someone else's kids.
On top of that, Christians were hunted and murdered. Being a Christian was a hard life. Not only did they have to hide their religion, they had to spread the love. They had to help the poor, the lonely, the widowed, the sick, in a manner that didn't raise suspicion.
Another issue was the newness of the Christian church. There were a lot of couples who were "unequally yoked".
What is a Christian woman to do with a pagan husband?
What is a Christian man to do with a pagan wife?
Today is the first Sunday of the new football season. I know football fans are "loyal" to their teams. If a man brings a Dallas fan into the home of Washington fans and introduces her as his "new love", there will be trouble in the household. Either she would have to forget Dallas or oh brother.... things will get interesting. That's what was going on in Paul's day. Only it was not just football, it was religion.
Paul wanted everyone to be equally yoked. The problem is... most households were not equally yoked. There were three groups... Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. If you put a little mule with a big ox on the same yoke, the little mule will have a hard row to hoe. That's what Paul is talking about here. If a Christian had a pagan girlfriend... it would be better for him not to be married. He might turn him in to the authorities.... or he might ignore her while working in the church.
They murdered Christians back in the days when Paul was writing [dictating] these letters. Getting married would be dangerous. How unfair all this must have seemed to the virgin men and women of the day.
If you are a virgin.... Try to keep your hands to yourself. Remember though.... masturbation was a crime at the time.
If you can't keep your hands to yourself, go ahead and get married.
If you are a virgin...