“ 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.” (1 Corinthians 7:34)
Singleness for a woman is an awesome responsibility. Not just the physical responsibility of having to take care of herself, and in the case of widowhood or divorce, perhaps children. I am talking about the assumption in the Word of God that a woman who does not have a husband to care for and to please will give herself more fully to the things of the Lord. Verse 35 goes on to describe such a woman as being able to “attend upon the Lord without distraction.” And if you are married, you know that a husband can be very distracting. (He can also drive you to distraction!) The woman who finds herself in this less than ideal situation (singleness), must not look upon it as “freedom from,” but, rather, “freedom to.” Because she is not at this time rendering service to a man, she is completely free to lavish her love and devotion upon Jesus Christ. Otherwise, as far as God is concerned, she is wasting her singleness.
Now, shall we flip the coin over? On the other hand, this verse assumes by implication that the married woman’s service to God will revolve around her husband and his needs. Any other church or “spiritual” activity will have to fall in somewhere behind. Does it seem to you that I am portraying women as caretakers, no matter what their marital status? I meant to. You see, I am unable to read the Bible without seeing this characterization. And although I realize this is completely out of sync with today’s woman (even some Christian women), I am determined to give you “Thus saith the Lord,” to the best of my ability and let the chips fall where they may.
It has given me great pleasure to take care of my husband for 47 years, and, God willing, I am not finished yet. But should God choose to take him home to Heaven first, there will still be a Man for me to love, honor, and obey—the Man, Christ Jesus. And, by His grace, I will serve Him—without distraction—for as long as I live.