1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this by way of concession, not of command. 7 I wish that all men were as I myself am. But each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner leaves, let him do so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
17 Only, let each one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what counts. 20 Each one should remain in the state in which he was called. 21 Were you a slave when you were called? Do not let it trouble youbut if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was free when called is Christ's slave. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that condition in which he was called.
25 Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have troubles in this flesh, and I am trying to spare you. 29 I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; so that from now on, those who have wives should live as though they had none, 30 and 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 did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it. For the form of this world is passing away.
32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the affairs of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but a married man is concerned about the affairs of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The unmarried woman, and the virgin, is concerned about the affairs of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but the married woman is concerned about the affairs of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 This I say for your own benefit, not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is good and to secure undivided devotion to the Lord.
36 But if any man thinks that he is not acting properly toward his betrothed, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let them marry. 37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has control over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who does not marry her will do better.