Having been a working woman a good portion of my life, I have at times been fragmented in my devotion to my “first love” (the Lord and His work). Caring for a home and family was sandwiched between my duties as a public school teacher and being a preacher’s wife. More recently I have determined to love my husband the way the Lord would have me to. One passage of scripture that has always made me wonder is 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.
“But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction” (1 Cor. 7:32-35).
Since I renewed my commitment to please my husband, the temptations have multiplied. I knew it would be that way; Satan cannot simply sit by and allow Christians to do the right thing without snares and entanglement (2 Tim. 3:12). What are the things of the world that are necessary to please a husband?
- healthy meals
- clothes washed and ironed
- a clean place to sleep and work
- a home presentable for company
- a “business” partner
- someone to be a guard at home
- mother to his children
- a traveling companion
- physical needs satisfied (1 Cor. 7:1-5)
- etc., etc. (more examples?)
Although I did not mention in the list above, one of the most important “wife duties” is to show reverence or “respect” for the husband (Eph.5:33). This can be manifested in numerous ways. It is often overlooked as important from a wife’s perspective, yet it sums up Paul’s inspired words about husband-wife relationships. Women should not be surprised how important this is from a man’s perspective.
Notice the last statement in 1 Corinthians 7:35. This is given for our profit THAT we do not have a snare cast on us. In other words, thinking of the things of the world (normal duties of life) could cast a snare on us, but that is not why he has given us this duty. It is SO THAT or BECAUSE that which is beautiful (being married) should not cause us to be distracted from attending upon the Lord.
So how does Satan snare us even when the Word is there to keep us from being entangled? We can love our husband and serve him for the Lord, or we can love cooking, washing and ironing clothes, keeping a spotless house, and so forth. When love of the service becomes more important than the ONE we are serving, we are ensnared.