18Marriage provides God's way to satisfy these natural sexual desires and to strengthen the partners against temptation. Married couples have the responsibility to care for each other, therefore, husbands and wives should not withhold themselves sexually from one another, but should fulfill each other's needs and desires. If you are married, don't seek to be single. If you are single, don't seek to be married. Spiritually, our bodies belong to God when we become Christians because Jesus Christ bought us by paying the price to release us from sin. Physically, our bodies belong to our spouses because God designed marriage so that, through union of husband and wife, the two become one. Both marriage and singleness are gifts from God. One is not morally better than the other and both are valuable to accomplishing God's purposes. Sexual pressure is not the best motive for getting married, but it is better to marry the right person than to burn with passion. God's ideal is for marriages to stay together even when one spouse is not a believer. The Christian spouse should try to win the other to Christ. It would be easy to rationalize leaving, however, Paul makes a strong case for staying with the unbelieving spouse and being a positive influence on the marriage. God regards the marriage as sanctified by the presence of one Christian spouse. The Christian spouse must try to get along with the unbelieving Christian spouse. Marriage is not only sacred, it is the closest intimacy which a man and a woman sustain to each other while robed in the flesh! There are certain privileges which marriage allows that are not right when participated in elsewhere. So many marriages are a mess because the spouses are not paying to each other what they owe. We are not to be concerned with our rights. No one should ever say, "She is not paying me what she owes me". As a matter of fact, a believer doesn't have rights. He simply has responsibilities. This puts the emphasis on the rights of the other partner. If we can grasp the general obligation in marriage we will have a blessed marriage. We don't have rights, we have debts. The Bible is written to tell us what our responsibilities are, not to let us know what our rights are. No one can force someone to do what the Bible says; each person is to make sure that he is living it out. We always seem to want to tell others how the Bible says they are to treat us, instead of applying its teaching in our own lives.
Though Pope’s philosophical ambitions result in a rather incoherent epistle, the poem demonstrates a masterful use of the heroic couplet. Some of the most quoted lines from Pope’s works actually appear in this poem. For example, the quotation “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: / Man never is, but always to be blest” appears in the problematic first epistle (95-6). Pope’s skill with verse thus far outweighs his philosophical aspirations, and it is fortunate that he chose to write in verse rather than prose. Indeed, eighteenth-century critics saw An Essay on Man as a primarily poetic work despite its philosophical themes.