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 <<  1 Korintus 7 >> 

Sex, marriage, and divorce

1NOW FOR the matters you wrote about. You say, “It is a good thing for a man not to have intercourse with a woman.”

2Rather, in the face of so much immorality, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

3The husband must give the wife what is due to her, and equally the wife must give the husband his due.

4The wife cannot claim her body as her own; it is her husband's. Equally, the husband cannot claim his body as his own; it is his wife's.

5Do not deny yourselves to one another, except when you agree to devote yourselves to prayer for a time, and to come together again afterwards; otherwise, through lack of self-control, you may be tempted by Satan.

6I say this by way of concession, not command.

7I should like everyone to be as I myself am; but each person has the gift God has granted him, one this gift and another that.

8To the unmarried and to widows I say this: it is a good thing if like me they stay as they are;

9but if they do not have self-control, they should marry. It is better to be married than burn with desire.

10To the married I give this ruling, which is not mine but the Lord's: a wife must not separate herself from her husband --

11if she does, she must either remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband -- and the husband must not divorce his wife.

12To the rest I say this, as my own word, not as the Lord's: if a Christian has a wife who is not a believer, and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her;

13and if a woman has a husband who is not a believer, and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.

14For the husband now belongs to God through his Christian wife, and the wife through her Christian husband. Otherwise your children would not belong to God, whereas in fact they do.

15If however the unbelieving partner wishes for a separation, it should be granted; in such cases the Christian husband or wife is not bound by the marriage. God's call is a call to live in peace.

16But remember: a wife may save her husband; and a husband may save his wife.

17However that may be, each one should accept the lot which the Lord has assigned him and continue as he was when God called him. That is the rule I give in all the churches.

18Was a man called with the marks of circumcision on him? Let him not remove them. Was he uncircumcised when he was called? Let him not be circumcised.

19Circumcision or uncircumcision is neither here nor there; what matters is to keep God's commands.

20Everyone should remain in the condition in which he was called.

21Were you a slave when you were called? Do not let that trouble you; though if a chance of freedom should come, by all means take it.

22Anyone who received his call to be a Christian while a slave is the Lord's freedman, and, equally, every free man who has received the call is a slave in the service of Christ.

23You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

24So, my friends, everyone is to remain before God in the condition in which he received his call.

25About the unmarried, I have no instructions from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is fit to be trusted.

26I think the best way for a man to live in a time of stress like the present is this -- to remain as he is.

27Are you bound in marriage? Do not seek a dissolution. Has your marriage been dissolved? Do not seek a wife.

28But if you do marry, you are not doing anything wrong, nor does a girl if she marries; it is only that those who marry will have hardships to endure, and my aim is to spare you.

29What I mean, my friends, is this: the time we live in will not last long. While it lasts, married men should be as if they had no wives;

30mourners should be as if they had nothing to grieve them, the joyful as if they did not rejoice; those who buy should be as if they possessed nothing,

31and those who use the world's wealth as if they did not have full use of it. For the world as we know it is passing away.

32I want you to be free from anxious care. An unmarried man is concerned with the Lord's business; his aim is to please the Lord.

33But a married man is concerned with worldly affairs; his aim is to please his wife,

34and he is pulled in two directions. The unmarried woman or girl is concerned with the Lord's business; her aim is to be dedicated to him in body as in spirit. But the married woman is concerned with worldly affairs; her aim is to please her husband.

35In saying this I am thinking simply of your own good. I have no wish to keep you on a tight rein; I only want you to be beyond criticism and be free from distraction in your devotion to the Lord.

36But if a man feels that he is not behaving properly towards the girl to whom he is betrothed, if his passions are strong and something must be done, let him carry out his intention by getting married; there is nothing wrong in it.

37But if a man is steadfast in his purpose and under no obligation, if he is free to act at his own discretion, and has decided in his own mind to respect her virginity, he will do well.

38Thus he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who does not marry does better.

39A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry whom she will, provided the marriage is within the Lord's fellowship.

40But she is better off as she is; that is my opinion, and I believe that I too have the Spirit of God.

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