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1 Corinthians 7 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Now about the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life. 1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.
2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. 2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
3 The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife. 4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
5 So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward they should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 This is only my suggestion. It's not meant to be an absolute rule. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.
7 I wish everyone could get along without marrying, just as I do. But we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of marriage, and to others he gives the gift of singleness. 7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
8 Now I say to those who aren't married and to widows -- it's better to stay unmarried, just as I am. 8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.
9 But if they can't control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It's better to marry than to burn with lust. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. 10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.
11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife who is an unbeliever and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. 12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.
13 And if a Christian woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.
14 For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
15 (But if the husband or wife who isn't a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.) 15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
16 You wives must remember that your husbands might be converted because of you. And you husbands must remember that your wives might be converted because of you. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
17 You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. 17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.
19 For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God's commandments. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts.
20 You should continue on as you were when God called you. 20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.
21 Are you a slave? Don't let that worry you -- but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you--although if you can gain your freedom, do so.
22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, the Lord has now set you free from the awful power of sin. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 22 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave.
23 God purchased you at a high price. Don't be enslaved by the world. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
24 So, dear brothers and sisters, whatever situation you were in when you became a believer, stay there in your new relationship with God. 24 Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.
25 Now, about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his kindness has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. 25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.
26 Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain just as you are. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are.
27 If you have a wife, do not end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do not get married. 27 Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife.
28 But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, I am trying to spare you the extra problems that come with marriage. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
29 Now let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short, so husbands should not let marriage be their major concern. 29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;
30 Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work. 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep;
31 Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away. 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
32 In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please him. 32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord.
33 But a married man can't do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--
34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be more devoted to the Lord in body and in spirit, while the married woman must be concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband.
35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
36 But if a man thinks he ought to marry his fiance because he has trouble controlling his passions and time is passing, it is all right; it is not a sin. Let them marry. 36 If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married.
37 But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin--this man also does the right thing.
38 So the person who marries does well, and the person who doesn't marry does even better. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.
39 A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wishes, but this must be a marriage acceptable to the Lord. 39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
40 But in my opinion it will be better for her if she doesn't marry again, and I think I am giving you counsel from God's Spirit when I say this. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is--and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.