1 Corinthians 71 Now concerning the question in your letter. It is well for a man to have no intercourse with a woman, 2 but because there is so much immorality let each man have his own wife; and let each women have her own husband. 3 Let the husband give his wife her due, and likewise the wife her husband. The wife is not mistress of her own person, 4 but her husband is; and in the same way the husband is not master of his own person, but his wife is. 5 Do not refuse one another, unless it is only temporary and by mutual consent, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again, lest through your lack of self-control Satan begin to tempt you to sin. 6 But what I have just said is by way of concession, not command. 7 I would that every one lived as I do; but each man has his own special gift from God, one this, another that. 8 But to the unmarried, and the widows, I say that it is well for them to remain as I am. 9 If, however, they are not exercising self-control, by all means let them marry; for marriage is better than the fever of passion. 10 But to those already married my commandment is - and not mine, but the Lord’s - that a wife is not to leave her husband; 11 (or if she has already left him let her either remain as she is, or be reconciled to him), and also that a husband is not to put away his wife. 12 To the rest it is I who am speaking, not the Lord. If any brother has a wife who is not a believer, if he is willing to live with her, let him not send her away. 13 And a woman whose husband is not a believer, if he is willing to live with her, let her not separate from him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through union with his believing wife; and the unbelieving wife, through union with her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unholy, but now they are consecrated to God. 15 But if the unbelieving partner be determined to leave, separation let it be. In such cases the believing husband or wife is not under bondage. But it is into peace that God has called us. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 17 Only whatever be the lot in life to which God has assigned each one - and whatever the condition in which he was living when God called him- -in that let him continue. Such is the rule I give in all the churches. 18 So, was any man called, being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was any man called when he was uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands in everything. 20 Whatever be the condition of life in which he was called, in that let him continue. 21 Were you called in slavery? Let not that trouble you; but if you can become free make use of the opportunity. 22 For the slave who has been called in the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; and in the same way, the free man who is called is Christ’s slave. 23 You have been brought with a price; do not become slaves to men. 24 Where each man stood when he was called, there, brothers, let him stay, close to God. 25 I have no command from the Lord to give you concerning unmarried women; but I give you my opinion, and it is that of a man who, through the Lord’s mercy, is deserving of your confidence. 26 I think then, that in view of the time of suffering now imminent, it is best for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from the marriage bond? Do not seek for a wife. 28 Yet if you do not marry, you have not done wrong; and if a girl marries, she has not done wrong. Such people, however, will have trouble in worldy affairs, and I wish to spare you. 29 Indeed, brothers, the time that remains to us has been shortened; so let those who have wives live as if they had none, 30 let those who weep be as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, 31 and those who use the world as though using it sparingly. For the present phase of the world is passing away. 32 So I want you to be free from all anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the Lord’s business, how he may please the Lord; 33 but a married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how he may please his wife, and he is divided in his mind. 34 Again, the woman who is widow, or the maid, is anxious about the Lord’s business, how she may be pure in body and in mind; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how she may please her husband. 35 It is in your own interest that I say this; not that I may entangle you in a snare, but that I may help you to serve the Lord with fitting and undistracted service. 36 If, however, a father feels that he is not treating his virgin daughter in a seemly manner, in leaving her unmarried beyond the flower of her age, and so the matter is urgent, let him do what she desires; he commits no sin. Let the marriage take place. 37 On the other hand, he who is firm in his purpose and is under no compulsion, but is free to carry out his own wishes, and who has determined to keep his daughter unmarried, does well. 38 So he that gives his daughter in marriage is doing right, and he who keeps her unmarried will be doing right, and he who keeps her unmarried will be doing better. 39 A wife is bound to her husband during his lifetime; but if her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she will, provided it be in the Lord. 40 But she is happier, in my judgment, if she remains as she is; and I think that I, too, have the Spirit of God.
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