Exit Parallel Mode
 

1 Corinthians 7

7
Marriage and its ideal
1Yes, my brethren, it is a good thing for both man and woman to be above all sexual intercourse. You wrote and asked me if that were good, and I answer yes. 2-3But marriage exists to prevent fornication. It is a step towards chastity. The ideal is to rise above all physical union of the sexes. Perfect chastity is a higher condition than the married state, and the intercourse of married persons, of husband and wife, is condoned and allowed, not commanded. I would that all men had reached the condition with regard to these questions that the spirit has conferred as a gift on me; but, as it is, we must have marriage, and those that are married must follow its rules. 4Husbands and wives, you are not masters of your own bodies. Each must do as the other has a right to demand in this important matter, 5-7and if by mutual consent you abstain from it altogether for a time, giving yourselves more thoroughly to prayer, and guarding against the entry of the spirit of evil through the avenue of indulgence, that is the best rule to observe.
Constancy in the truth
8-9Now whether married or unmarried, my advice is — remain as you were when God first called you into the truth. 10-13If married, do not seek separation. Husband and wife may not both be in the faith, nevertheless if the one to whom the truth has not yet come is agreeable to remain with the other, there should be no thought of separation. 14Both will be sanctified by the presence of the truth in the household, and likewise the children also, and who knows? probably the one that has faith will save the other. 15-16But if you were unmarried or widowed when the truth first came to you, then my advice is — do not change your state. Be as I am — and live a life of total abstinence from the claims of the body in this direction. But if this is beyond you, then marry; marriage is far better than unsuccessful efforts at this form of self-mastery. Now all this is only an expression of my own opinion, but the following is a commandment to all married persons. Let neither husband nor wife seek separation; or if they must be separated, let neither marry again whilst the other lives, but let them rather, if possible, be once more reconciled. That is the Lord's expressed command and no matter of opinion.
In other matters also
17Further, in other matters besides marriage, I enjoin the same rule as that which I have just explained. 18After the truth has come to you, make no outward change in your manner of life, that is to say, in such matters as the circumcision or uncircumcision. 19-20Let it not make the slightest difference what you were before you received the truth, for in the truth these differences are seen to be nothing, so remain as you always were in this matter. For the keeping of God's commandments is all that matters. 21Similarly, if you were a slave when called, do not seek to obtain manumission, but even prefer to continue in the old calling. 22-23You know now that you are Christ's freedman and bought out of slavery at a heavy price. That freedom is everything, for those that were of free birth when called are now the slaves of Christ. Let then neither bond nor free be in spirit the slaves of men; that is all the faith demands; 24in outward respects remain as you were.
Chastity a noble thing
25Some are married when called into the faith; some have had wives, but have put them away; some are unmarried, and have never been married and have on no occasion indulged the sexual impulse, but are virgins. 26To all these I repeat the same advice. Stay as you are, as you were before God called you; 27-28and this even applies to the last class, those who have never known sexual intercourse. To these I would give no definite command, and yet even here, I will give my opinion, and I will give it with the consciousness that in this matter I have been faithful myself, or rather that God in His infinite mercy has taken pity on the weakness of my flesh, and made me by His own power firm and trustworthy in the matter. Well, my opinion is that perfect chastity, abstention from marriage and all sexual intercourse is a noble thing in a man, 29-31and the reason of that is that the world is changing, the end of the old order is near, and the doom of the physical approaches. We are called to attend to something higher than marriage and its cares. The whole outward form and manner of the universe is changing and passing away. Marriages, feastings, funerals, business and worldly matters may continue, but the time is short. Rise above them, and be as if they were not, even though you take part in them. 32I would have you without such cares; 33and you know that a married man thinks of his wife 34and cares about his business and the world for her sake, whilst the unmarried man or woman who lives a virgin life is free to dedicate that life to the Lord. 35But of course, if such an one, who has never touched a woman, elect to marry, he does so with good conscience, sinning not; only such persons, whether male or female, will find that their physical appetite puts obstacles and trials in their way, the details of which I spare you. 36Of course, if a man is not certain in his own mind, if he has lingering regrets that he has never used this important function of mortal man, let him marry by all means, he does no wrong thereby. 37But if he is certain, if he has clearly determined that to live and die a virgin is for him the best course of all, then let him keep his resolution, and he will do well by it. 38It will be the best and greatest course of all, though he who marries may rightly be congratulated on so doing. 39Lastly, a wife of course is bound to her husband for his life-time only — if he dies, she is free to marry again, but let her second choice not be one of the heathen, but one who belongs to the faith. 40But, as I said before, I believe it to be better that she marry not again, but remain a widow, and in so saying I believe that my sense in this matter is governed by the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 7

7
Principles of Marriage
1Now in response to the matters you wrote # Other mss add to me about: “It is good for a man not to have relations with # Lit not to touch a woman.” # The words in quotation marks are a principle that the Corinthians wrote to Paul about to ask for his view. 2But because sexual immorality is so common, # Lit because of immoralities # 1Th 4:3 each man should have his own wife, # Mt 1:6; 1Pt 3:1 and each woman should have her own husband. 3A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility # Rm 13:7 to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. 4A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. 5Do not deprive # Mk 10:19 one another sexually — except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to # Other mss add fasting and to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say the following # Lit say this ; some interpret the word as referring to v. 2, vv. 2-5, v. 5 (wholly or in part), or v. 6 as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift # 2Co 1:11 from God, one person in this way and another in that way.
A Word to the Unmarried
8I say to the unmarried and to widows: # Jms 1:27 It is good for them if they remain as I am. 9But if they do not have self-control, # 1Co 9:25 they should marry, for it is better to marry # 1Tm 5:14 than to burn with desire.
About Married People
10I command the married # 1Tm 5:14 — not I, but the Lord — a wife is not to leave # Or separate from, or divorce her husband. 11But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband — and a husband is not to leave his wife. # Dt 22:19 12But I (not the Lord) # Jesus did not address the situation of a marriage in the Gentile world where only one person is a believer. say to the rest: If any brother # Ac 9:30 has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not leave her. 13Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave her husband. 14For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God # Lk 11:2 by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband. # Lit the brother Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God. 15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you # Other mss read us to live in peace. 16For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
Various Situations of Life
17However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called # Col 3:15 him. # Lit called each This is what I command in all the churches. 18Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. 19Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter, but keeping God’s commands does. 20Each person should remain in the life situation # Lit in the calling in which he was called. 21Were you called while a slave? It should not be a concern to you. But if you can become free, by all means take the opportunity. # Or But even though you can become free, make the most of your position as a slave. 22For he who is called by the Lord as a slave # Rm 1:1; 2Tm 2:24 is the Lord’s freedman. # A former slave Likewise he who is called as a free man # A man who was never a slave is Christ’s slave. 23You were bought # 2Pt 2:1 at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.
About the Unmarried and Widows
25About virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I do give an opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy # Mt 5:7; Mk 5:19; Lk 1:50 is trustworthy. # Nm 12:7 26Therefore I consider this to be good because of the present distress: It is fine for a man to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28However, if you do get married, # 1Tm 5:14 you have not sinned, and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But such people will have trouble in this life, # Lit in the flesh and I am trying to spare you. 29And I say this, brothers: The time is limited, # Rm 13:11 so from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice # Php 1:18 as though they did not rejoice, 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 this world in its current form is passing away. # Mk 13:7; 1Jn 2:8
32I want you to be without concerns. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord — how he may please # 1Th 4:1 the Lord. 33But a married man is concerned about the things of the world — how he may please his wife — 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the things of the Lord, # 1Tm 5:5 so that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world — how she may please her husband. 35Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.
36But if any man thinks he is acting improperly toward his virgin, # = a man’s fiancée, or his daughter, or his Levirate wife, or a celibate companion if she is past marriageable age, # Or virgin, if his passions are strong, and so it must be, he can do what he wants. He is not sinning; they can get married. 37But he who stands firm in his heart (who is under no compulsion, but has control over his own will # Jn 1:13) and has decided in his heart to keep his own virgin, will do well. 38So then he who marries # Or marries off his virgin does well, but he who does not marry # Or marry her off will do better.
39A wife is bound # Other mss add by law as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to anyone she wants — only in the Lord. # Only a believer 40But she is happier if she remains as she is, in my opinion. And I think that I also have the Spirit of God.