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1 Corinthians 7

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

2 min read

Paul Loves His Singleness

Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am [in my singleness]... – 1 Corinthians 7:6-7

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. – 1 Corinthians 7:8-9

I am completely serious about this. From Paul's perspective, if one can remain sexual immorality, it's better to remain single. Furthermore, he believes that one should only marry if they cannot exercise self-control. Now, of course, Paul makes it clear that it is his opinion rather than a command.

Divorce Is Illegal

To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Paul is unambiguous here. The Lord forbids divorce.

Marriage With An Unbeliever

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. – 1 Corinthians 7:12-13

For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. – 1 Corinthians 7:14

And now, back to Paul's opinion. If a believer is married to an unbeliever, the believer should not divorce the unbeliever for the sake of holiness for the unbeliever.

I don't fully know what it means and how a believing spouse can somehow make the unbelieving spouse holy.

But if the unbeliving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. – 1 Corinthians 7:15

Seems like it's okay for the unbelieving partner to divorce the believing partner. Or at least, Paul does not hold the unbelieving partner accountable to the Lord's command against divorce.

For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? – 1 Corinthians 7:16

Finally, we don't know whether or not the believing spouse can save the unbelieving spouse. It could happen; or it could not happen. Only God knows. Man plans, and God laughs.

Devotional1 Corinthians

Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!