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VI. Dealing with Marriage Life
A. Concerning the Gift Not to Marry
1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 But because of fornication, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render to his wife that which is due, and likewise also the wife to the husband.
4 The 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 Do not deprive each other, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and then be together again, that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 But this I say by way of concession, not by way of command.
7 Yet I wish all men to be even as I am myself; but each has his own gift from God, one in this way, the other in that.
B. Concerning the Unmarried and the Widows
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, It is good for them if they remain even as I am.
9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with desire.
C. Concerning the Married
10 But to the married I charge, not I but the Lord, A wife must not be separated from her husband
11 (But if indeed she is separated, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband), and a husband must not leave his wife.
12 But to the rest I say, I, not the Lord, If any brother has an unbelieving wife and she consents to dwell with him, he must not leave her;
13 And a wife who has an unbelieving husband, and if he consents to dwell with her, must not leave her husband.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the brother; otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.
15 But if the unbelieving one separates, let him separate; the brother or the sister is not enslaved in such cases, but God has called us in peace.
16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
D. Remaining in the Status of One's Calling
17 However as the Lord has apportioned to each one, as God has called each one, so let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches.
18 Was anyone called having been circumcised? He need not efface it. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He need not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of God's commandments is what counts.
20 Each one, in the calling in which he was called, in this let him remain.
21 Were you called as a slave? Let it not concern you; but even if you are able to become free, use your status as a slave rather.
22 For the slave who has been called in the Lord is the Lord's freedman; likewise the free man who has been called is Christ's slave.
23 You were bought with a price; do not be slaves of men.
24 Each one, brothers, in what status he was called, in this let him remain with God.
E. Concerning Keeping Virginity
25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who has been shown mercy by the Lord to be faithful.
26 I consider then that this is good because of the present necessity, that it is good for a man to be as he is.
27 Have you been bound to a wife? Do not seek a release. Have you been released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if the virgin marries, she has not sinned; but such ones will have affliction in the flesh, and I am trying to spare you.
29 But this I say, brothers, the time is shortened. Henceforth both those who have wives should be as though they had none,
30 And 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,
31 And those who use the world as though they did not abuse it; for the fashion of this world is passing away.
32 But I desire you to be without care. The unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;
33 But he who has married cares for the things of the world, how he may please his wife,
34 And is distracted. Both the unmarried woman and the virgin care for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she who has married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
35 But this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a noose upon you but that you may be comely and may wait on the Lord without distraction.
36 But if anyone thinks that he is behaving unbecomingly to his virgin daughter, if she is past the bloom of youth and thus it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let them marry.
37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, and has authority with respect to his own will and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well.
38 So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
F. Concerning Remarriage
39 A wife is bound for so long a time as her husband lives; but should the husband fall asleep, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only to one in the Lord.
40 But she is more blessed if she so remains, according to my opinion; but I think that I also have the Spirit of God.