Designated Time

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Two-minute read.

“Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

1 Cor. 7:5

Designated time.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians addressed marriage and singleness. Today’s verse refers to a husband and wife who choose to separate themselves from each other, practicing celibacy for a period to pray. Clarifying that the practice doesn’t come from the Lord but rather a decision the couple makes together and agrees to do. The apostle wants people to understand that God supports marriage and uses it in His creation plan, but not everyone should marry. In Paul’s estimation, singleness allows one to serve the Lord fully, without the distraction of marriage but concedes that God gives different desires to everyone.

Having lived single for most of my life, I understand Paul’s comments. During my single years, I only thought of myself and didn’t have to consider anyone else’s feelings when making decisions, which meant I had more time to serve the Lord. Now married, I must consider my husband before making any decisions, including Ron. Gratefully, he doesn’t hinder me from volunteering and serving God but supports me on the journey.

When making major decisions, Ron and I take time apart to pray and seek God, then come back together and discuss how we feel the Lord leading us. By working together, we make better decisions that consider more perspectives. Alone, I made decisions based on limited knowledge, but with Ron, I consider a broader perspective, making wiser choices.

“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:2

Prayer and fasting in marriage strengthen the bond between man, wife, and God. Making the Lord the center of our marriage gives Ron and me a threefold cord. We believe in the objective truth of God’s reality, committing our lives to live for Him and obey His commands. Therefore, when we have any decision to make, we do so through scripture. Taking time apart to seek the Lord individually helps us maintain the trifecta, keeping the cord intact. Often, when we come back together and discuss the topic, we find ourselves already in agreement because God’s word stands the test of time and gives us a solid foundation on which to build our faith.

Set a designated time to fast and pray, seeking God’s guidance. Wait expectantly for an answer. Let a short separation develop a more robust connection in marriage. Make the Lord the third cord in all your relationships.

Journal Questions:

  • How can I apply today’s devotion to my life?
  • How can I use fasting and prayer to strengthen my relationships?
  • What decision do I need to take to the Lord?


Lord, thank You for creating a threefold chord in our relationships. Forgive us for ignoring You and not considering Your word when making decisions. As we meet the challenges of the day ahead, let us turn to You before anyone else. Please help us make wise choices by applying scripture to our circumstances. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear You, today and always. IJNIP. Amen

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