1 Corinthians 7 is one of the few chapters in the Bible that at first reading make you wonder how things like this even made it into the Bible. Like all the other similar chapters, it is proof that Scripture indeed does speak on all matters of life and provides us answers to all the important situations we face.

Read the chapter and follow the flow of logic below to make sense of what God’s will for us as revealed in 1 Corinthians 7 is.

Verse 1 starts with an introduction of the topic: sex and marriage. The basic counter-cultural premise is that it is perfectly good to be unmarried and never to have sex.

But, verses 2-5, if you really would like the pleasures of marriage, then get married. Only remember, that sexual intimacy is something given, not taken.

As far as singleness or marriage is concerned, verses 6-7 affirm that God’s choice is unique to each person. Not culture, religion, family, society,  or anything else can dictate marriage or singleness.

So, if you are unmarried, verses 8-9 remind you of what was said in the beginning. Value your singleness, but a desire for marriage is good too. Singleness is better, but marriage is good.

And if you are married, verses 10-16 call you to value your marriage. Don’t get divorced even if there is a good reason. Instead, consider how God might use your faithfulness in the marriage for the benefit of your children, spouse, and even others.

What is very important in all of this, according to verses 17-24, is not to think that your spirituality is somehow coupled with a particular marital status. Salvation and sanctification both have nothing to do with your marital status.

Verses 25-38 is again for the singles, and offers some perspective that is a little more objective than the personal passions for marriage. God says very clearly in these verses that because of the sin-cursed world we live in, it is much easier being single. But, the concession, marriage is great. Don’t make an idol out of marriage, and exploit the benefits of singleness for as long as you are unmarried.

This chapter ends in verses 39-40 back on marriage, reminding us all that marriage is “until death us do part”. Remarriage is then permitted, but only to another Christian. Simply remain unmarried is, as we expect by now, a perfectly good option too. The final statement is a reminder that this is indeed the Spirit-produced Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21).