7
1 Corinthians 7:1-7
Married people should not deprive their spouses of sexual relations, except under special conditions.
Now I will reply to the things that you wrote to me about.
It is good for people not to get married. But because many people are committing sexual immorality, which God detests, every man should have his own wife with whom he can have sexual relations, and every woman should have her own husband with whom she can have sexual relations. Every man must continue having sexual relations [EUP] with his wife, and every woman must continue having sexual relations with her husband. A man's wife does not have the right over her own body to be the only one to decide about having sexual relations with her husband. Instead, her husband also has a right to decide about that. Similarly, a woman's husband does not have the right over his own body to be the only one to decide about having sexual relations with his wife. Instead, his wife also has a right to decide about that. You may refuse to have sexual relations with each other [EUP] only if you both first agree to do that for a short time, in order that you may both have more time to pray. Then after that, begin having sexual relations again [EUP] in order that Satan will not be able to persuade you to have sex with someone else because you are unable to control your sexual desires.
I am telling you these things to say that God allows you to get married, but he does not say that you must get married. I myself wish that all people would stay unmarried/single, as I am. But God has enabled each person to live in different ways. He has enabled some people to live without getting married, and he has enabled other people to get married.
1 Corinthians 7:8-16
It is all right to get married, but it is wrong to get divorced. However, you should not force an unbelieving spouse to keep living with you.
Now I want to say this to you unmarried people and to you whose spouses have died: It would be good for you to remain unmarried as I am. But if you cannot control your sexual desires [EUP], you should get married. It is better to be married so that you can satisfy your sexual desires with your spouse than to constantly have a strong desire [EUP] for sexual relations.
10 And now I will give a command for believers who are married. This is not a command from me alone; it also comes from the Lord Jesus. You married women must not ◄separate from/divorce► your husbands! 11 But if any of you do that, you must remain unmarried, or else you should be reconciled with your husband and live with him again. Similarly, men must not ◄separate from/divorce► their wives.
12 Now I say this to the rest of you, to those who became believers after they were married. This is what I am saying, not what the Lord has commanded. If someone has a wife who is not a believer, if she is willing to keep living with him, he must not divorce her. 13 Similarly, if a woman has a husband who is not a believer, if he is willing to keep living with her, she must not divorce him. 14  I say that because God has set apart every woman's unbelieving husband for himself because of his wife being a believer, and God has set apart every man's unbelieving wife for himself because of her husband being a believer. If that were not true, God would consider their children unacceptable. But, the fact is that God does consider them acceptable to him.
15 However, if a woman's husband who is not a believer or a man's wife who is not a believer wants to leave, let him or her do so. If that happens, the husband or wife who is a believer should not force the other one to stay. God has chosen us in order that we may live peacefully. 16  You women believers should allow your unbelieving spouses to leave you if they want to, because ◄there is no way that you can be sure that God will save your husband if you stay together./how can you be sure that God will save your husband if you stay together?► [RHQ] (OR, perhaps God will save your husband if you stay together.) Similarly, you men who are believers, ◄there is no way that you can be sure that God will save your wives if you stay together/how can you be sure that God will save your wives if you stay together?► [RHQ] (OR, perhaps God will save your wives if you stay together.)
1 Corinthians 7:17-24
In general, each person should remain in the status that he had before he became a believer.
17 However, each person should continue in the status that the Lord gave him, the status that he had when the Lord called him to belong to him. That is the rule that I tell people in all the congregations where I speak. 18 If a man had already been circumcised [RHQ] when he became a Christian, he should not try to pretend that he is not circumcised. If a man had not been circumcised [RHQ] before he became a Christian, he should not become circumcised. 19  You should not try to change your status that way, because it means nothing to God whether someone is circumcised or not. What is important is that we obey what God has commanded. 20  Generally, each person should remain in the status that he had when he became a Christian. 21 If one of you was a slave when you(sg) became a Christian [RHQ], do not be concerned about it. However, if you get an opportunity to be free, do what you need to do to become free! 22  Do not worry about your previously being a slave, because those who were slaves before they became Christians, the Lord has freed them from Satan's control. Similarly, those who were not slaves before they became Christians, it is as though [MET] they are Christ's slaves because they must do what he tells them to do [MET]. 23  Christ paid a price to buy you when he died for you. So do not act as if you are evil people's slaves by doing the evil things that they tell you to do. 24 My fellow believers, I repeat that in general each believer, being in fellowship with God, should continue in the status that he had before he became a Christian.
1 Corinthians 7:25-28
It is not sinful to get married, but married people will have a lot of problems.
25 Now I will answer your question about women who have never married. There is nothing that the Lord has commanded me to write about them, but I am writing this to tell you what I think is best, because the Lord Jesus has mercifully enabled what I say to be reliable. 26 There are a lot of distressing events happening now (OR, that will soon happen), so I think that it is better for people to remain in the status that they now have. 27 If any of you men are married [RHQ], do not try to divorce your wife. If any of you are unmarried [RHQ], do not seek a wife. 28 But if any of you men get married, you have not committed a sin by doing that. Likewise, if an unmarried woman gets married, she has not committed a sin by doing that. However, those who get married will have many troubles, so I am urging you to remain unmarried in order that you may not experience such troubles.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
We believers should not devote our time to the affairs of this life.
29 My fellow believers, this is what I mean: There is not much time left before Christ returns. So, from now on those men who are married should devote themselves to serving the Lord as much as they would if they were not married. 30 Those who are sad should devote themselves to serving the Lord as much as they would if they were not sad. Those who are rejoicing should devote themselves to serving the Lord as much as they would if they were not joyful. 31 Those who are buying things should devote themselves to serving the Lord as much as they would if they did not possess those things. Because this world as it exists now will soon be gone, those who are actively involved in the affairs of this life should not devote all their time to be involved in those things.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
It is better to remain unmarried because married people are more concerned about pleasing their spouses than about how to please the Lord.
32  Another reason why I encourage you to remain unmarried is that I desire that none of you be anxious about the everyday affairs of this life. Unmarried men are able to be primarily concerned about serving the Lord Jesus and trying to please him. 33 But married men are often greatly concerned about the affairs of this life. Specifically, they are concerned about pleasing their wives. 34 So their thinking is divided. Unmarried women are able to be concerned about serving the Lord. They want to set apart their minds and their bodies for the Lord. But married women are often concerned about the affairs of this life. Specifically, they are concerned about how to please their husbands. 35 I am telling you this for your own good. I am not saying it in order to restrict you. Instead, I am saying it in order that you may do what is proper and be able to serve the Lord without being distracted {things distracting you}.
1 Corinthians 7:36-38
It is better for a man to decide that his daughter should remain unmarried than that she should get married, but either decision is all right.
36  Some of you men have asked about your unmarried daughters. I suggest that if any man thinks that he may be treating his daughter unfairly by keeping her from marrying, and if it is already past the right time for her to get married, and if he thinks that she ought to be married, he should do what he wants to do. He should let her get married. He will not be sinning by doing that. 37 But if a man feels absolutely sure that it is better that his daughter not get married, and if nothing is forcing her to get married, and if he is free to do what he decides to do on the matter, if he decides that his daughter should not get married, he is doing what is right in keeping her from marrying. 38 So any man who decides that his daughter should get married is doing what is good, but if he decides that she should not get married, he is doing something even better. (OR, Some of you men have asked about the women to whom you are engaged to marry. If any man thinks that he may be treating that woman unfairly by not marrying her, and if it is already past the right time for her to get married, and if he wants to marry her very much, he should do what he wants to do. He should marry her. He will not be sinning by doing that. But if a man feels absolutely sure that it is better for him not to get married, and if nothing is forcing them to get married, if he is free to make his own decision on the matter, if he decides not to get married, he is doing what is right. So any man who decides that he should get married to the woman he is engaged to is doing what is good, but if he decides that he should not get married, he is doing something even better.)
1 Corinthians 7:39-40
Women whose husbands have died are free to get remarried, but only to believers. However, they will probably remain happier if they do not marry again.
39 Women must remain married to their husbands while their husbands are still alive. But if a woman's husband dies, she is free to marry any unmarried man whom she wants to marry, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 However, I think that she will be happier if she does not marry again. And I believe that the Spirit of God is directing me as I say that.