Date Jesus!

From Tim Dilena ( copied from his facebook status)
This is follow up to yesterday’s post on singleness and the unmarried. I need to clear up something.
This is not at all meant to be offensive or single out anyone but to bring clarity.

This may not feel good but let’s try to really interpret the phrase…..”better to marry than to burn”
(a KJV phrase)
It gets thrown around a lot so I think we have to go after it.

Here it is in the NASB
I Cor 7
8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they do not have self- control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Many people see “burning” as the reason to get married
Let’s be clear here what Paul is saying in I Corinthians 7.
BURNING WITH PASSION is another way of saying “NO SELF CONTROL”….Don’t get upset just read it in verse 9
“but if they do not have self control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

This is not the best reason to get married. In fact, it can be a bad reason to get married.
Because you are giving yourself away that you forfeited pursuing self control over burning. And now we have immaturity getting married.

Can you imagine the young man on one knee…..”will you be my wife” and then in parenthesis he is thinking “be my wife because I have no self control and I am burning with passion”
Doesn’t sound right does it?
How would the young lady feel?

The burning clause of I Cor 7 is not complimentary….it is speaking , I believe, to immaturity.

How can you say that Pastor Tim?

Okay , here we go….get ready!

What is self control?
It is a fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self- control….

I believe all the fruit mentioned here needs to be in every Christian.
You can’t say I am into love but not interested in patience. God wants us to have all the fruit in our life.
I also believe that all the fruit mentioned here is described by an amazing image…..and that is the word FRUIT.
That means it can be present in seedling form, bud form, immature form or fully ripe form….but those forms all come from growth. Growth takes time, pruning, cultivating, pesticides, trimming, etc.
Growth does come.

In the end, I think those that burn have not grown.
Say that slowly…..THOSE THAT BURN HAVE NOT GROWN.
Those that get married because “I need to get married”, “I’m not cut out to be single”, “I burn with passion” are because we have not pursued to grow in the fruit of the Spirit; especially the fruit of self control.

I just don’t think the Bible would say that singleness is preferable but the reason why some of you can’t is because you are burning.
That can’t be right.
What Paul is saying is that when you stop pursuing Biblical growth in the Spirit (growing in the Galatian 5 fruits) you will think then I have no option but marriage.

Then you have a person without self control getting married. Does marriage stop the burning….no. Self Control stops it. You will have to pursue self control at some time. Better as a single person to pursue it then as a married person.

Pursuing spiritual growth like the fruit of the Spirit I think is a lot more contextual with what I posted yesterday that the purpose of the single person is to secure undistracted devotion to Jesus (verse 35).

When you pursue Christlikeness then you are becoming like The One that had all the fruit of the Spirit in it’s mature form.

Final word for my single friends…..
Pursue self control, the fruit of the Spirit.
Don’t succumb to burning with passion as a no way out thing but marriage.
That is just not true.
There is always a way out with God.
God makes every provision for victory.

God would not say in I Cor 7 that singlessness is the best way but too bad the burning people can’t do it, you all got to get married.
It’s just not true……the burning people have stopped growing.

So the best way to grow while your single and unmarried…..DATE JESUS!!!

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One comment

  1. I like your post. Guess I’m dating the Holy Spirit right now, don’t have a girlfriend. It is a wonderful relationship.

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