Should a Christian get married, based on 1 Corinthians 7:9, because he has a problem with sexual lust?

Burn with lust

First of all, most guys have a problem with sexual lust from their teens on. However, if it’s totally out of control (an obsession, probably due to prior involvement with pornography or sexual experiences), then it would be better to get married (so as to have a legitimate means of fulfilling those sexual desires) than to be in the continuous sin of burning lust.

The word “burn” in 1 Corinthians 7:9 is the Greek word “purousthai” (which is in the present, middle, infinitive form) meaning:  “sexual passion” since it’s used as a metaphor (Dr. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol. 4, p. 126); “continuance in unsatisfied desire” (Dr. M. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 2, p. 772); “glowing with heat emotionally” since it’s used as a metaphor (Drs. Vine, Unger, and White, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, New Testament, p. 151); “inflamed with lust” (Dr. W. Perschbacher, The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 360, #4448). Being in the continuous present tense, it means continuous unsatisfied sexual desire” rather than merely an occasional problem of impure thinking. So, if you merely have a problem with occasional lustful thoughts, don’t feel like this verse is telling you that you have to get married. Why? Because occasional lustful thoughts are far different than what this passage is dealing with (which is a continuous burning with lust all the time).

Second, Christians should be able to control their passions since God gave us that ability through the Holy Spirit’s fruit of self-control (Gal. 5:22-23 with 1 Cor. 6:19).

Third, since God has told us to be holy (1 Pet. 1:14-15), to set our minds on things above (Col. 3:2), to dwell on pure things (Phil. 4:8), and to renew our minds (Rom. 12:2), then we should be capable of doing this since God is at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13; 4:13).

Fourth, even if a Christian doesn’t have the gift of singleness (i.e., not having the desire to get married), he can still choose to remain single for the sake of the kingdom of God, as it states in Matt. 19:12 (that is, to more devotedly serve God with less distractions, as marital responsibilities are many and distracting, 1 Cor. 7:32-35).

Fifth, it would be selfish (which is not loving, 1 Cor. 13:5) to get married for the primary reason of simply fulfilling your sexual desires. The woman/wife would then merely be being used as a sex object rather than for the biblical reason of being a helper to her husband (Gen. 2:18, 20) in his God-given responsibilities (which is where God intended her to find her fulfillment, if married).

Sixth, nearly all men who are married find that being married has not helped them to refrain from lusting, and for some men, being married has even increased their lusting. So, getting married is not the solution for dealing with lustful thoughts. Instead, being filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), changing your thought-patterns (Rom. 12:2) by dwelling on things that are good, lovely, and pure (Phil. 4:8), and exercising self-control as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23), as an act of your will (Phil. 2:12; Col. 3:2) are the best ingredients for dealing with lust.

You can be single and satisfied and serve God more devotedly and undistractedly (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).

 

Let us know what you think.