But I tell the unmarried, and women who are widows, that it is well for them to remain as I am.
If, however, they cannot maintain self-control, by all means let them marry; for marriage is better than the fever of passion.
But to those already married my instructions are--yet not mine, but the Lord's--that a wife is not to leave her husband;
or if she has already left him, let her either remain as she is or be reconciled to him; and that a husband is not to send away his wife.
To the rest it is I who speak--not the Lord. If a brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, let him not send her away.
And a woman who has an unbelieving husband--if he consents to live with her, let her not separate from him.
For, in such cases, the unbelieving husband has become--and is--holy through union with a Christian woman, and the unbelieving wife is holy through union with a Christian brother. Otherwise your children would be unholy, but in reality they have a place among God's people.
If, however, the unbeliever is determined to leave, let him or her do so. Under such circumstances the Christian man or woman is no slave; God has called us to live lives of peace.
For what assurance have you, O woman, as to whether you will save your husband? Or what assurance have you, O man, as to whether you will save your wife?
Only, whatever be the condition in life which the Lord has assigned to each individual--and whatever the condition in which he was living when God called him--in that let him continue.
This is what I command in all the Churches. Was any one already circumcised when called? Let him not have recourse to the surgeons. Was any one uncircumcised when called? Let him remain uncircumcised.
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing: obedience to God's commandments is everything.
Whatever be the condition in life in which a man was, when he was called, in that let him continue.
Were you a slave when God called you? Let not that weigh on your mind. And yet if you can get your freedom, take advantage of the opportunity.
For a Christian, if he was a slave when called, is the Lord's freed man, and in the same way a free man, if called, becomes the slave of Christ.
You have all been redeemed at infinite cost: do not become slaves to men.
Where each one stood when he was called, there, brethren, let him still stand--close to God.