The seventh chapter of the Apostle’s first epistle to the Corinthians is to the church of today as true religion is to AWANA, as worship is to the gospel song, an alien thing.
It contains a desire for those who are unmarried to remain so. In our day this is not a desire that is encouraged. It is strange to suggest that for anybody to remain a virgin all their life is desirable at all. Our attitude is altogether contrary.
Why do we have an attitude different from one of the very apostles of our Lord? I think we cannot conceive of having a daughter or a son in our home who gives himself to prayer and meditation for hours and for days. I say it is not a consideration; it is not one of the alternatives we regard even when we are making our most sober deliberations.
I think the reason for this absence is that we do not long for it ourselves. Yet how else can we understand the matter of verses three through five? We do not conceive of devoting ourselves for the time this situation involves to this sort of longing for God.
No longer do we seek to delight ourselves in the Lord entirely even one day of the week. If we do not do it one day of the week, we could not do it several. We have no idea of great devout longings. So we cannot conceive of a life devoted, in holy virginity, to seeking the Lord.
But what about being fruitful and multiplying? They had a great deal more of the monastery in the Middle Ages. The human race pulled through those times, for all that holy virginity was prized. A concern for any flagging enthusiasm, when it comes to the perpetuation of our species, is hardly a heavy one.
Would that we had a greater concern for holiness. Would that in our homes we so cherished the time we had to seek the Lord, so sought more, that the thought of being devoted entirely, continuing on in the house of their parents, were considered at least as one of the choices. Would parents long for their sons and daughters to be given over to such devotion, serving in their church, living with their parents, satisfied with no other success but the pursuit of God?
But we do not think a life of contemplation counts. The presence of the Lord is not so sweet or valuable. We prize cares of this world and those who are busy with those cares, more than we prize that which is comely.