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1 Corinthians 7:25-40

The Unmarried and the Widowed

25Now concerning7 the betrothed,8 I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26I think that in view of the present9 distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman10 marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

32I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,11 if his12 passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

39A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes

  • 7 7:25 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians' letter; see 7:1
  • 8 7:25 Greek virgins
  • 9 7:26 Or impending
  • 10 7:28 Greek virgin; also verse 34
  • 11 7:36 Greek virgin; also verses 37, 38
  • 12 7:36 Or her