Concerning unmarried women I have no command to give you from the Lord; but I offer you my opinion, which is that of a man who, through the Lord's mercy, is deserving of your confidence.
I think then that, taking into consideration the distress which is now upon us, it is well for a man to remain as he is.
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to get free. Are you free from the marriage bond? Do not seek for a wife.
Yet if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a maiden marries, she has not sinned. Such people, however, will have outward trouble. But I am for sparing you.
Yet of this I warn you, brethren: the time has been shortened--so that henceforth those who have wives should be as though they had none,
those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,
and those who use the world as not using it to the full. For the world as it now exists is passing away.
And I would have you free from worldly anxiety. An unmarried man concerns himself with the Lord's business--how he shall please the Lord;
but a married man concerns himself with the business of the world--how he shall please his wife.
There is a difference too between a married and an unmarried woman. She who is unmarried concerns herself with the Lord's business--that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but the married woman concerns herself with the business of the world--how she shall please her husband.
Thus much I say in your own interest; not to lay a trap for you, but to help towards what is becoming, and enable you to wait on the Lord without distraction.
If, however, a father thinks he is acting unbecomingly towards his still unmarried daughter if she be past the bloom of her youth, and so the matter is urgent, let him do what she desires; he commits no sin; she and her suitor should be allowed to marry.
But if a father stands firm in his resolve, being free from all external constraint and having a legal right to act as he pleases, and in his own mind has come to the decision to keep his daughter unmarried, he will do well.
So that he who gives his daughter in marriage does well, and yet he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
A woman is bound to her husband during the whole period that he lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to marry whom she will, provided that he is a Christian.
But in my judgement, her state is a more enviable one if she remains as she is; and I also think that I have the Spirit of God.