Sunday, January 29 2023

Bible Reading for: December 1

1 Corinthians 7-9

Did you know that your body is not your own? It belongs to your wife. Our desire should not be for our wives to please us but for us to please them.

Welcome to December! Can you believe it? We have been reading through the Bible for 11 months together and we now have 31 days left to the completion of this adventure! I don’t know about you, but God has certainly grown me a great deal through this process. I do hope you have experienced something similar.

In fact, I’d like to ask you to make a comment on the Brothers Of The Book website about your experience this past year. Let me and your fellow brothers in Christ hear what this experience has meant to you. Has it meant anything? Do you notice any difference in your life when you are regularly in God’s Word? Your story may just be the encouragement another brother in Christ needs to hear to motivate himself to do the same. Don’t be stingy guys! Share your thoughts!

Now I have got to think that the following verses are the favorite of most married men, or at least the most quoted by men to their wives!

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 ESV
“The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.  For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

So how long exactly can someone devote themselves to prayer? I mean, it can’t be more than a couple of hours, can it? “Honey, are you done praying? Paul says that you shouldn’t deprive me of your body so tick-tock!” Come on man! I know what you’re thinking. You are scribbling these verses down, if you haven’t already done so years ago. Paul has given us a big stick here with which to guilt our wives into marital activity! I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to print these verses out and leave them somewhere for my wife to find. (As if she is unaware of them!)

To my credit, I have never done so. As Christian men, we understand that the only proper context for sexuality is between a husband and wife. We also know that in that context, sex is a wonderful gift from God. The problem with my latching on to these verses as a way to encourage greater frequency of marital intimacy is what it says about my spiritual maturity. Let me ask you, when we want to quote those verses to our wives, what are we thinking about? Are we thinking about God? Are we thinking about our wives’ well-being? No, we’re thinking about ourselves and our own physical desires. We’re thinking about what we want, and while we’re doing that, Satan is whispering in our ears just egging us on.

“I work hard to provide for this family, and I come home and work hard on the “Honey Do List”, and pay the bills, and try to be a good father and husband, but at the end of the day, there is nothing left for me. I’m just some kind of indentured servant. Everything comes before me, the kids, the house work, church, and the in-laws. She doesn’t appreciate me. She doesn’t respect me.” Ever have those thoughts go thru your mind? What is the focus of those thoughts? Me, myself, and I. It is all self-centeredness run amok.

Fellas, we should be taking from those verses the fact that our bodies do not belong to us, they belong to our spouses. We do not have the right to defile our bodies, they are not ours to defile. These verses should be taken by us as instruction to be less self-centered not more so. Yes, it would be nice if our spouses read these verses on their own and took them to heart, but it is self-serving to attempt to be the policeman in such matters. Real happiness does not come from focusing on our own needs and desires, it comes from focusing on God’s will and the well-being of others.

Brother, we are indentured servants.

1 Corinthians 7:23 ESV
“You were bought with a price;…”

We do not belong to ourselves, and our desire for our wives should not be for our own gratification but for theirs. Let us make decisions that are in the best interest of our wives instead of ourselves. It is amazing what happens to a life that has died to self and lives to serve!

Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,
Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: 1 Corinthians 5-8
Old Testament Only: Ezekiel 28–30
New Testament Only: 1 Peter 2:13–3:7

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