So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.
But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.
But 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.
But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.
Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believer has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her.
And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him.
For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy.
(But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace.)
Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?
Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.
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.
For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.
Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you.
Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it.
And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.
God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.
Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.