‘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 7:34b
What does it mean to be concerned about the Lord’s affairs? How would you explain ‘to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit?’ Two questions I posed to my daughter in reading and reflecting on this passage written in 1 Corinthians 7. Transitioning into adulthood, the challenge for the teen is learning to engage in an interactive relationship with God as a priority over pursuing intimate relationships and friendship relationships. A challenge for men and women, youth and adults.
For the adolescent the typical growth and development for them is to pursue interpersonal relationships with their peers in their desire to continue to gain independence from their parents. As I explain to parents in the monthly NFRC parenting seminars, teens are familiar with ‘parent love.’ Since birth, they have experienced the love that comes from the parent-child relationship. Now, their desire is to go out into the world and learn more about this ‘love’ they hear sung about in their music, acted out on television and in the movies. The love they begin to visualize in their own hearts and minds and hear discussed amongst their peers. Lack of ‘parent love’ only heightens their desire for this ‘love’ they seek to encounter as they go out into the world.
1 Corinthians 7:34 is simply saying that the priority purpose for the ‘single’ male, or female, is to be focused on living for God, doing what God requires to demonstrate devotion to Him in one’s personal relationship with Him. Before they learn to do this, the average teen is pursuing their concept of love through peer relationships before they ever learn to develop an intimate, personal relationship with God to learn about love according to His word that would help them better navigate through the trials and temptations of ‘looking for love’ in all the wrong places in this world.
Power from God is receiving grace, or ability from God to live in a right way before Him that fits the Biblical description of being devoted to the Lord and being concerned about His affairs. ‘For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.’ – Philippians 2:13 God helps and empowers the faithful follower to live and thrive in the context of ‘being devoted to Him in body and spirit concerned about His affairs.’ More than the subject of power, I believe this speaks to the heart of ‘living with purpose.’ Discussing this with my daughter, my thinking is that it is God’s desire that we take ownership of our understanding of what He desires of us and requires in walking by faith so we can encounter His power in a way that allows us to live and thrive.
Taking ownership of our ‘purpose in being devoted to God and concerned about His affairs,’ sharpens our focus and helps us to consistently avoid being distracted by and dissuaded from living for God. I believe it allows us, even as a teen, to experience a measure of power from God that can only be encountered through prioritizing to walk in that purpose He desires and requires of us. It is a power and lifestyle that is always accessible and available for us to encounter, but it must be pursued passionately.
- Power from God begins with prioritizing His purposes for how we live.
- Power from God begins with a passionate pursuit of a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord.
- Power from God is accessed in that passionate pursuit through prayer and intentional persistence in applying the principles of scripture.
God works in us to want to and to act in living with purpose according to Philippians 2:13. The moment we make up our mind to live with purpose, according to His will, God will enable and empower us to live and thrive. Male, or female, teen, or adult, the purpose of the person who is single is found in pursuing a personal, intimate relationship with God.
Father, bless us and help us to live with purpose, according to Your word, passionately pursuing You in walking by faith that we may exemplify being devoted to You and concerned about Your affairs.
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