Long Commute

1 Corinthians 7:1-7
The husband should fulfill
his wife’s sexual needs,
and the wife should fulfill
her husband’s needs

Michael Hanley traded an 8-minute commute to
work for an 8-hour one. When his autoworker
job in Wisconsin was phased out, he stayed
with the company and took the only position available—
in Kansas. His weekly round-trip commute is now
more than 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles). He’s gone
from his family each workweek, seeing them only on
the weekends. But he chose to stay with the company
because of the good wages, a retirement package he’s
working toward, and medical benefits. Being apart from
his wife, however, has been brutal.

The apostle Paul recognized how important it is
for husbands and wives to spend time together. He
knew that distance can make the heart wander—not
necessarily cause it to grow fonder. And so he told the
married believers in Corinth, “Do not deprive each other
of sexual relations” (1 Corinthians 7:5). He supported this
instruction with two points about sex: (1) Husbands and
wives should fulfill each other’s needs for intimacy (v.3);
(2) When the two wed, their bodies were no longer their
own—but were to be shared by their spouse (v.4). It’s
essential, however, that we live out these truths in gentle
and tender ways (Ephesians 5:28-29; 1 Peter 3:7). Sex
in marriage is meant to be selfless, not selfish.

Husbands and wives have the God-given gift of sex
as something to be enjoyed (Proverbs 5:18-19). But
sometimes we drift apart emotionally . . . and physically. It might not be a long
commute that keeps us apart, but things like the lack of loving communication,
being unhealthily busy, and not being affectionate throughout the day.

God desires for us to “remain faithful” to our spouses (Hebrews 13:4). To do
so requires that we keep the stuff of life from coming between us and them. If
we don’t, the results can be brutal. —Tom Felten

Note that Paul also
lifts up singleness as a
God-glorifying way to
live (1 Cor. 7:7). Check
out verses 32 to 35 for
the unique ways the
single person can
glorify God.

If you’re married, what
is keeping you and your
spouse from a healthy
intimate relationship?
How does God want you
to change?

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