Distractions and relationships
The advantage of celibacy, as Saint Paul observes, is that the celibate is even more free to focus on the things of the Lord (which is why celibacy is required by the Church for many of its ministers).
That is not to say that married people cannot be focused on the things of the Lord – they can, they should, and they do – but that the celibate are more free.
It should be noted that in making this observation, Saint Paul is also making the point that a husband has godly obligations to his wife and that a wife has godly obligations to her husband.
It should also be noted that the context of this passage is that neither married nor celibates should envy the lifestyle of the other (26b-28) and that, as shall be quoted at the end of this post, all people should exercise a proper amount of detachment from the things of this world (29-31).
This passage should remind those who are married to be properly focused on their spouse and not to be distracted by the things of this world for their own sake.
It should remind those who are celibate that they should be absolutely focused on the Lord: not to be tempted by materialistic “compensations” for “loneliness” or to venture too far into the gray area between healthy relationships and those that are too much like dating, “going steady” or even like marriage.
This should also remind those who are not married or celibate to seek diligently from God the gift of discernment, so that they may walk in a godly path, whichever way they walk.
And again, all of us should be reminded to be not bound by the distractions and enslavements of the things of this world.
I tell you, brothers, the time is running out.
From now on,
let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.