Tuesday, August 17, 2004 AD A Low Threshold for Suffering Jennie Chancey of Ladies Against Feminism addresses in this article Paul's teaching on singleness in 1 Corinthians 7. She notes that "When he wrote about remaining single in I Cor. 7, he was talking to an audience living through famine and persecution ('because of the present distress') -- not a good time to marry and start a family!"
I've seen that explanation of the passage before, and agree agree that it is the simplest reading of the passage and that it harmonizes with passages such as 1 Timothy 5:14, "I command the young women to marry, bear children, and guide the house."
What struck me about it this time (though it really has nothing to do with the context of the article) was that in our culture we have a really low threshold for suffering. So many men put off marriage (and so many couples put off having children) until, for example, getting through school or arriving at a certain career stage. But compare the inconveniences of marriage and children during such life stages with the inconveniences marriage and children during times of famine and persecution, and our society comes off looking like a bunch of whiners.
Paul was talking to people who saw delaying marriage and children as a hardship on top of a hardship. We see it as a relief from inconvenience. Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8/17/2004 06:48:00 PM
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