1 CONCERNING what you wrote to me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman; 2 but on account of fornications, let each man have his wife, and each woman have her husband. 3 Let the husband render to the wife her due, and in like manner also the wife the husband. 4 The wife has not the right to her body, but the husband; and in like manner the husband has not the right to his body, but the wife. 5 Withhold not yourselves from one another, except by agreement for a time that you may be at leisure for prayer, and come together again, that Satan may not tempt you by your incontinence. 6 But this I say by suggestion, not by command. 7 For I wish that all men were even as I am; but each one has his gift from God, and one is of one kind and another of another.
8 And I say to the unmarried and to the widows, that it is good for them to continue as I am; 9 but if they have not self-control, let them marry; it is better to marry than to be incontinent.
10 But the married I charge, not I, but the Lord, Let not a wife separate from her husband, 11 and also if she is separated let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to the husband, and let not a husband leave his wife. 12 But to the rest I speak, not the Lord, If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is pleased to live with him, let him not leave her; 13 and if any wife has an unbelieving husband and he is pleased to live with her, let her not leave the husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the brother; else were your children impure, but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving companion departs, let him depart; the brother or the sister is not bound in such cases; but God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, that you will not save your husband? or how do you know, husband, that you will not save your wife?
17 Unless as the Lord has imparted to each one, as God has called each one, so let him walk; and so I appoint in all the churches. 18 Is any one called being circumcised, let him not be uncircumcised; is any one called in uncircumcision, let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping God's commandments. 20 Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called; 21 were you called being a servant, care not for it; but if you can be free, use it rather. 22 For the servant called in the Lord is the Lord's freeman; in like manner the called freeman is Christ's servant. 23 You are bought with a price; be not servants of men. 24 Let each one continue, brothers, in the calling in which he was called under God.
25 And concerning the virgins I have no ordinance of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 26 I think then that this is good on account of the present necessity, because it is good for man to be so. 27 Are you bound to a wife, seek not a release; are you released from a wife, seek not a wife. 28 But if you marry, you do not sin and if the virgin marries she does not sin. But such will have affliction in the flesh; but I spare you. 29 But this I say, brothers, the time is short, so that in future those who have wives should be as those not having them, 30 and those who weep as those not weeping, and those who rejoice as those not rejoicing, and those who buy as not possessing, 31 and those who use the world as those not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passes away.
32 But I wish you to be without cares. The unmarried man cares for the things of the Lord, how he shall please the Lord; 33 but he that is married cares for the things of the world, how he shall please the wife. 34 And the wife and the virgin are different; the unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in body and spirit; but she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she shall please the husband. 35 But I say this for your own profit; not to impose a snare on you, but for [your] honor, and [your] attending on the Lord without distraction.
36 But if any one thinks that he behaves improperly to his virgin, if she is past her prime, and it must be so, let him do what he wishes; he does not sin; let them marry. 37 But he that stands firm in mind, not having a necessity, but has power over his will, and has determined in his mind to keep his virgin, does well. 38 He that gives in marriage therefore does well, and he that gives not in marriage does better.
39 A woman is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead then she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 40 But she is happier if she continues thus, in my opinion, and I think also I have the Spirit of God.