1 Corinthians chapter 7

Undivided Attention

“Now I say this for your profit; not to make things hard for you, but because of what is right, and so that you may be able to give all your attention to the things of the Lord. – Vs 35 BBE

Distractions. We all have them. They’re a normal part of life and they’re all around us. Especially when it comes to pursuing a deeper relationship with God. I mean, have you ever sat down to spend some time reading your Bible, only to find that your mind wanders off in a thousand different directions? You can’t concentrate on what you’re reading. You keep thinking about things you need to do that day. Every little noise distracts you. Things in the room that would normally be of little or no interest to you suddenly seem to have some kind of gravitation pull that slowly pulls your mind away from what you’re doing

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes – family, friends, work, entertainment, noise, worries, cares, bills, dreams, the newspaper, television, etc. Paul even seems to say that being married can be a distraction. That’s a tough one to understand considering all that the Bible has to say about the God-ordained institution of marriage. I think Paul was for marriage, but he was more for the Corinthians each being sold-out followers of Jesus Christ. So he encouraged them that “whatever situation you were in when you became a believer, stay there in your new relationship with God” (Vs 25 NLT). If you were unmarried when you came to Christ, stay that way. Don’t let getting married become your obsession. But if you find yourself lacking in self-control and overcome by sexual desire, then get married (Vs 9). If you were married when you came to Christ, stay that way. Don’t seek to get out of it. Instead, honor each other and pursue Christ-likeness together.

Then Paul says something really interesting. It’s in verse 29: “Now let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short, so husbands should not let marriage be their major concern” (NLT). It’s as if Paul is saying that due to the nature of the times in which we live, we should prioritize our lives in such as a way that even being married does not become a distraction when it comes to our devotion to God. And let’s face it, the cares and concerns of married life CAN become a distraction if we let them. Paul wants his readers to be free from concern. But that’s not always easy.Why? Because “… a married man can’t do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife” (Vs 33  NLT). But if his wife shares his passion for the things of God then he doesn’t have to spend his time trying to please her. If he shares his wife’s passion for spiritual growth and inner transformation, then she won’t have to distract herself with trying to keep him pleased. That is why we are called to oneness in marriage. We are to be unified in our desire for God and our pursuit of spiritual things. In marriage, we can and should share a common love for the things of God and experience undistracted devotion to the Lord. We  should encourage each other to put God first. If my wife is up having her time in the Word and I have to make my own breakfast, so be it. If I need to take care of the kids one night a week so she can attend a Bible study, I should be more than happy to do so. My greatest desire for her should be her spiritual maturity. And the same should be true of her for me.

Yet we find ourselves distracted by so many things: Work, kids, soccer and piano practice, volunteer opportunities, housework, yard work, paying the bills, watching TV, reading books, etc. And our interests become divided (Vs 34). We lose sight of what is really important. The things of God.

Father, I find myself so easily distracted. I feel like every little shiny thing that gets dangled in front of me distracts me and turns my attention away from You. I thank You that You have blessed me with a beautiful, godly wife and wonderful children. May we grow in our unity and common desire to put You first in all things. Forgive me for letting the things of this world draw me away from You. Show me how to lead my wife and kids into sharing a common devotion for You. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org