Teaching on Marriage
1Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man #7.1: Prob. referring to abstinencenot to touch a woman. 2But because of sexual immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 3The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise the wife also to her husband. 4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise the husband also does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5#7.5: Or do not depriveStop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and #7.5: Lit become together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6But this I say by way of concession, not of command. 7#7.7: One early ms ForYet I wish that all #7.7: Or peoplemen were even as I myself am. However, each has his own gift from God, one in this way, and another in that.
8But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife is not to leave her husband 11(but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband is not to #7.11: Or leave his wifedivorce his wife.
12But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to live with him, he must not #7.12: Or leave herdivorce her. 13And #7.13: One early ms any woman who hasif any woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not #7.13: Or leave her husbanddivorce her husband. 14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through #7.14: Lit the brotherher believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15Yet if the unbelieving one is leaving, #7.15: Or then he must leavelet him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called #7.15: One early ms youus in peace. 16For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
17Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this way let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. 18Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. 20Each person is to remain in that #7.20: Lit callingstate in which he was called.
21Were you called as a slave? Do not let it concern you. But if you are also able to become free, take advantage of that. 22For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave, is the Lord’s freed person; likewise the one who was called as free, is Christ’s slave. 23You were bought for a price; do not become slaves of people. 24Brothers and sisters, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.
25Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I am offering direction as one who #7.25: Lit has been shown mercy by the Lord to be trustworthyby the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26I think, then, that this is good in view of the #7.26: Or impendingpresent distress, that it is good for a man #7.26: Lit so to beto remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such people as yourselves will have #7.28: Lit tribulation in the fleshtrouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29But this I say, brothers, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the present form of this world is passing away.
32But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35I say this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but #7.35: Lit for what is seemlyto promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
36But if anyone thinks that he is acting dishonorably toward his virgin, if she is #7.36: Or past pubertypast her youth and it ought to be so, let him do what he wishes, he is not sinning; let #7.36: I.e., the woman and her betrothed or fiancéthem marry. 37But the one who stands firm in his heart, #7.37: Lit having no necessityif he is not under constraint, but has authority #7.37: Lit pertaining toover his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin, he will do well. 38So then, both the one who gives his own virgin in marriage does well, and the one who does not give her in marriage will do better.
39A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband #7.39: Lit falls asleepdies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40But in my opinion she is #7.40: Or more fortunatehappier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.