Reflecting on I Corinthians 7: 32-35
We’re going to four weddings this year! That’s four more than we have attended in the past several years. We’re thrilled that the children of our dear friends have found the person with whom they long to commit their lives. Each engagement represents a radical departure from the cultural imperative ― especially for young men― to run from commitment, to date every single person on Match until they’re sure they’ve secured the best deal, and to delay commitment until every possible whim has been satisfied.
How boring. There is no greater adventure than a great marriage, and if you are blessed to find that great love, get married already. You can do all the things the tv commercials say you have to do― skydiving, trekking in Nepal, extreme kayaking in British Columbia― together, and if you survive you’ll have the rest of your lives to brag about it.
For all his talk about the virtues of the single life for the advance of the gospel, I wonder what St. Paul would say to the marriage-averse younger generations today. Since the unmarried 20-year-old Jewish male in Paul’s day was considered “cursed,” Paul was being extremely counter-cultural in suggesting that men and women not marry so as to “adhere to the Lord without distraction”.
It’s possible that when St. Paul wrote that first letter to the church at Corinth (today’s second reading) he was still expecting the imminent return of Jesus. In anticipation of that world-altering moment, he advised that those who were single remain single.
Ironically, that’s exactly the same advice the culture gives today two thousand years later. Hmm. How’s that workin’ for us?
How do you view marriage and its call to holiness?