1 Corinthians 71Now concerning the things about which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2But, because of fornication, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3A husband should fulfill his obligation to his wife, and a wife should also act similarly toward her husband. 4It is not the wife, but the husband, who has power over her body. But, similarly also, it is not the husband, but the wife, who has power over his body. 5So, do not fail in your obligations to one another, except perhaps by consent, for a limited time, so that you may empty yourselves for prayer. And then, return together again, lest Satan tempt you by means of your abstinence. 6But I am saying this, neither as an indulgence, nor as a commandment. 7For I would prefer it if you were all like myself. But each person has his proper gift from God: one in this way, yet another in that way. 8But I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them, if they would remain as they are, just as I also am. 9But if they cannot restrain themselves, they should marry. For it is better to marry, than to be burned. 10But to those who have been joined in matrimony, it is not I who commands you, but the Lord: a wife is not to separate from her husband. 11But if she has separated from him, she must remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband should not divorce his wife. 12Concerning the rest, I am speaking, not the Lord. If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13And if any woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce her husband. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through the believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, whereas instead they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart. For a brother or sister cannot be made subject to servitude in this way. For God has called us to peace. 16And how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 17However, let each one walk just as the Lord has distributed to him, each one just as God has called him. And thus do I teach in all the churches. 18Has any circumcised man been called? Let him not cover his circumcision. Has any uncircumcised man been called? Let him not be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; there is only the observance of the commandments of God. 20Let each and every one remain in the same calling to which he was called. 21Are you a servant who has been called? Do not be concerned about it. But if you ever have the ability to be free, make use of it. 22For any servant who has been called in the Lord is free in the Lord. Similarly, any free person who has been called is a servant in Christ. 23You have been bought with a price. Do not be willing to become the servants of men. 24Brothers, let each one, in whatever state he was called, remain in that state with God. 25Now, concerning virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord. But I give counsel, as one who has obtained the mercy of the Lord, so as to be faithful. 26Therefore, I consider this to be good, because of the present necessity: that it is good for a man to be such as I am. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be freed. Are you free of a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28But if you take a wife, you have not sinned. And if a virgin has married, she has not sinned. Even so, such as these will have the tribulation of the flesh. But I would spare you from this. 29And so, this is what I say, brothers: The time is short. What remains of it is such that: those who have wives should be as if they had none; 30and those who weep, as though they were not weeping; and those who rejoice, as if they were not rejoicing; and those who buy, as if they possessed nothing; 31and those who use the things of this world, as if they were not using them. For the figure of this world is passing away. 32But I would prefer you to be without worry. Whoever is without a wife is worried about the things of the Lord, as to how he may please God. 33But whoever is with a wife is worried about the things of the world, as to how he may please his wife. And so, he is divided. 34And the unmarried woman and the virgin think about the things that are of the Lord, so that she may be holy in body and in spirit. But she who is married thinks about the things that are of the world, as to how she may please her husband. 35Furthermore, I am saying this for your own benefit, not in order to cast a snare over you, but toward whatever is honest and whatever may provide you with the ability to be without hindrance, so as to worship the Lord. 36But if any man considers himself to seem dishonorable, concerning a virgin who is of adult age, and so it ought to be, he may do as he wills. If he marries her, he does not sin. 37But if he has decided firmly in his heart, and he does not have any obligation, but only the power of his free will, and if he has judged this in his heart, to let her remain a virgin, he does well. 38And so, he who joins with his virgin in matrimony does well, and he who does not join with her does better. 39A woman is bound under the law for as long as her husband lives. But if her husband has died, she is free. She may marry whomever she wishes, but only in the Lord. 40But she will be more blessed, if she remains in this state, in accord with my counsel. And I think that I, too, have the Spirit of God.
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