Desires under control (1 Cor. 7:37)

“But whoever is firmly established

In his heart,

Being under no necessity,

But having his desires

Under control,

Has determined this

In his heart,

To keep her

As his betrothed,

He will do well.”

ὃς δὲ ἕστηκεν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ ἑδραῖος μὴ ἔχων ἀνάγκην, ἐξουσίαν δὲ ἔχει περὶ τοῦ ἰδίου θελήματος, καὶ τοῦτο κέκρικεν ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ καρδίᾳ, τηρεῖν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ παρθένον, καλῶς ποιήσει.

Paul said that whoever is firmly (ἑδραῖος) established (ὃς δὲ ἕστηκεν) in his heart (ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ), being under no necessity (μὴ ἔχων ἀνάγκην), but having his desires under control or authority over his own will (ἐξουσίαν δὲ ἔχει περὶ τοῦ ἰδίου θελήματος), has determined this in his heart (ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ καρδίᾳ), to keep her as his betrothed virgin (τηρεῖν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ παρθένον), he will do well (καλῶς ποιήσει).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἑδραῖος, that means sitting, steadfast, or firm.  Paul then posed the problem of the groom to be.  If he can establish in own heart, without outside influence, that he can keep his desires under control, he can keep his betrothed virgin bride.  Then he will do well.  Paul indicated that the good Christian man who could firmly keep his sexual wishes under control should also preserve his bride to be as a virgin.  This would be the better thing to do.  How long should an engagement be?

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