September 3, 2023
I Can Buy Myself Flowers
"Every Christian has the same primary calling or vocation: We are called to Jesus, by Jesus, and for Jesus. Our first call is to love him with our whole being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Biblical writers use many analogies to describe our relationship with God (shepherd/sheep, master/slave, parent/child), but marriage is perhaps the most comprehensive and "least inadequate." - Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Leader
Mark 2:18 NIV
Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not."
Mark 2:19-20 NIV
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast."
Jesus is the groom; the church is His Bride.
Revelation 21:2 NIV
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
"Throughout the history of the church, Christians have tended to elevate the importance of one over the other. For the first 1,500 years of the church, singleness was considered the preferred state and the best way to serve Christ. Singles sat at the front of the church. Marrieds were sent to the back. Things changed after the Reformation in 1517, when single people were sent to the back and marrieds moved to the front — at least among Protestants." - Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Leader
1 Corinthians 7:32 NIV
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.
1 Corinthians 7:33-34 NIV
But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 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.
1 Corinthians 7:35 NIV
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.
"Scripture, however, refers to both statuses as weighty, meaningful vocations." - Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Leader
Ephesians 5:25-28 NIV
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Matthew 19:11-12 NIV
Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
Born that way
Made this way by others
Make a choice for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven
Marriage is intended to be a math equation where:
1 whole person + 1 whole person = 1 New Person
1 Corinthians 7:8-9 NIV
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
"Vowed celibates. These are individuals who make lifelong vows to remain single and maintain lifelong sexual abstinence as a means of living out their commitment to Christ. They do this freely in response to a God-given gift of grace (Matthew 19:12). Today, we are perhaps most familiar with vowed celibates as nuns and priests in the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church. These celibates vow to forgo earthly marriage in order to participate more fully in the heavenly reality that is eternal union with Christ." - Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Leader
“Dedicated celibates. These are singles who have not necessarily made a lifelong vow to remain single, but who choose to remain sexually abstinent for as long as they are single. Their commitment to celibacy is an expression of their commitment to Christ. Many desire to marry or are open to the possibility. They may have not yet met the right person or are postponing marriage to pursue a career or additional education. They may be single because of divorce or the death of a spouse." - Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Leader
1 Corinthians 7:17, 24 NIV
Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches… Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 NIV
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; 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; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.