As a married man, Scriptures touching on marriage capture my interest. One such Scripture is 1 Corinthians 7:29 (WEB), "But I say this, brothers: the time is short, that from now on, both those who have wives may be as though they had none;" This is a striking command in view of the high value placed on marriage by the Christian faith.
What does it mean for the married to live as though not married? Other Scripture confirms that it CANNOT mean to be unfaithful, to not love and respect your spouse, to not provide for your family, or to despise marriage. The command must mean to strive to be free from the typical worldly encumbrances of married households as much as possible in order to be free to serve the Lord.
What does it mean that the time is short? Verse 31 explains, "For the mode of this world passes away." Thus the verse does not point only to the trials of the 1st century church, but of the church until this present world passes away at Christ's return. In light of eternity the time is short so do not make a home here, but in heaven.
Are we then to deny ourselves the pleasure of marital bliss? Again other Scriptures make it plain that marriage is approved, encouraged, and blessed, but not mandatory. The verse, however, reminds us that we must not make marriage and family our primary focus as long as we remain in a fallen world. Spiritual warfare and a focus on Christ are of first importance. Some have even denied themselves marriage for the sake of the Kingdom, Matthew 19:12.
How can Paul expect us to live by this standard? In Romans 8:18 Paul encourages us that our sufferings are not even comparable to the glory to be revealed in us. In 2 Corinthians 12:4 Paul describes a man, himself, who was caught into the third heaven and heard things of which it is not even permitted to speak. I believe God showed Paul something of heavenly glory, and though he could not speak to us about it directly, we can still listen to a man just like ourselves who has been to heaven. The tone of Paul's life reads in bold print saying something like, "Believe me! Jesus paid our way. He is building a mansion for us. And if you saw and heard what I saw and heard nothing would stand in your way of giving EVERYTHING to Jesus...even your marriage."