Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7:5
NKJV - 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
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Happy family is but an earlier Heaven! Sadly the devil has robbed families of joy and peace by offering substitutes. But God desires each family to experience happiness abundantly in every area of its life through physical intimacy as one. What you thus owe to each other, do not refuse to pay, unless by mutual consent for a time agreed upon for fasting and prayer. Then, regardless of the spiritual blessing either one has received, come together again to defeat Satan.
In my opinion, this verse is referring to depriving one's marital partner of physical intimacy -- specifically, sexual relations, which, to me, is one of the deepest ways in which a husband and wife can become "one flesh", and where marriage is the only framework approved by God in which this depth of intimacy can occur. In cases where one spouse deprives the other of this special intimacy for prolonged periods without the other's consent or agreement, this can lead (as Paul noted) to the deprived spouse being left open to the temptation of seeking sexual fufillment outside of marriage.
This Scripture is aimed at the married couple, noting "husband and wife". Paul speaks that it is better to remain celebut, but if unable, to find a wife/husband so that Satan does not lead you into sins of the flesh; sexual. It is both Biblical and consentual, between husband and wife. Neither has more power in this than the other. It is meant to guard against sin. Naturally, we took a spouse because we were attracted to them. GOD says marry, not fornicate. Paul is telling both husband AND wife here, that our bodies, through marriage, are not solely ours, but equally each other's to guard against lust, covetous, adultery, or any sexual sin. Note the last verse I quote; he is not saying it's better to marry unless you or I cannot control the sexual desires of the flesh. We can take "a break". Always thinking of the other's needs over our own. Prayer, fasting, etc, but are to come back together lest the evil one "gets a foothold". Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 KJV
The first thing we need to do when we study scripture is try to determine the context of the text. In this case, the church at Corinth had written to the "Bishop" (Paul) and asked him something pertaining to sex. The chapter begins, "Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." (1 Cor 7:1) This scripture opens my curiosity app and my imagination goes from 0 to 60 in a millisecond. What could they possibly have written to Paul and said to him that caused him to respond in this way? If I asked to have a conference with the Pastor and this was what he came up with for me, it would be the last time I went to him for advice on the matters I and my wife Faye were facing. His idea is that I would be better off if I quit having sex with her. If you stop reading there, you will confuse the whole thing that's being said here. That's what I mean about getting the right context of the text. I and my wife not having sex ain't EVER gonna be the answer! That couldn't be what Paul is trying to promote. Something was swirling around in the church about believers having sex. Sexual intercourse can seem to be sinful to some people. Many of us have a sensitive nature; our conscience has a hair trigger and is highly responsive to the cautions of sensuality. In other words, sex can be so gratifying that it has to be lewd and indecent, regardless of whether you're enjoying it as a married couple or not. To even want to engage in sexual intercourse can be viewed as sinful lust. The fact that it's a natural resource of the human anatomy, and doesn't require a license or any other unnatural attachments in order to play, doesn't help to settle it for some of us. We think it's too good to be true that God gave us something like this to enjoy. So after we confess our sins and are redeemed from death and destruction, how do we continue having sex and stay clean? Could that be the concern that the people wrote about to Paul? I think it is; if that isn't it exactly, I believe it to be pretty close! His answer is, 'This could all be settled if you just gave up sex altogether; that would be an easy solution. But it would, more likely than not, open a fresh can of worms.' Paul knew that they'd agree to give up sex, and would start slipping around having sex with whomever. Sort of like what Christians do around the issue of alcohol consumption. The church can't come to an agreement on whether the consumption of alcohol even in small amounts is sinful or not. Some denominations say it is and some say it isn't. But the ones who say it isn't a sin to consume alcohol in small amounts, don't do it out in the open. (Catholics might, but that's about it. I'll leave that right there..) So he tells the church that every man should only have sex with his own wife, and likewise the wife with her own husband (vs 3, 1 Cor 7). I don't know if I'd like the pastor instructing my wife Faye about having sex with me. I think I'd rather she respond to me than to our pastor. Scriptures like this one are for people who have an unhealthy spiritual issue affecting them in their lives. They need special instructions that many of us don't need. For instance, Exodus 20:13 declares "You must not murder." Most of us wouldn't hurt a fly! An overwhelming majority of humans are sickened to see anyone punched; seeing someone killed will cause PTSD. We ain't about to kill anyone just for the fun of it! We don't necessarily need a law to keep us from murdering people. I Tim 1:9 says, "The law wasn't intended for people who do what's right. It is for the lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders." That doesn't describe the average human. Some in the church think it does. They misunderstand the scriptures. Most people don't need to be instructed on when to have sex with their spouse.
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