“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (v17). The Corinthians were wondering if singleness was more holy than being married (v1). Paul corrected them, explaining that marriage was God’s gift (v7) which included obligations (v3-5). On the other hand, Paul also affirmed the holiness of the unmarried state (v7-8), rejecting the false teaching that single people were immature or incomplete. Knowing that persecution was coming (v29-31), Paul himself advocated singleness.
Paul’s point was to encourage “undivided devotion to the Lord” (v35). Our goal is not to live up to the expectations of society, but to be obedient to God’s calling.