1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. 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 this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
12 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. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 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. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you [us] to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a slave [bondservant] when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 So, brothers, [brothers and sisters] in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
25 Now concerning [Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians' letter; see 7:1 ] the betrothed, [virgins ] I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present [impending] 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 a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman [virgin] marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This 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, 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 had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and 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. 35 I 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.
36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, [virgin] if his [her] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But 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. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
39 A 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. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
Norman Rockwell believes it turns out all brothers love each other. The Scriptures take a more limited view. Peter and Andrew were brothers. James and John- sons of Zebedee, were all biological brothers and they followed Jesus.
What does this tell us? Families have bumps and bruises.
I've heard people look at this chapter as an archaic viewpoint on chastity. This, my friends, is the Good News about peace. It is an absolutely fabulous Chapter!
Do you feel husbands should not beat their wives? Or wives not beat their husbands? Or verbally abuse a family member?
God feels that way too!
15b God has called you [us] to peace.
Families, good families have years where the children are little; the children are visions of hope and wonder. Suddenly, they are teenagers exploring the world. What happens to them? Praying parents shouldn't give up hope on the "cave years". (Like yesterday's reading in Job 8:4-6) Look at this ... God's Promise:
14 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.
Remember when people believed that marriage was for two people (male and female) who were bound spiritually in sexual relations? Yeah, it was believed that sex actually made them bound by their souls together... God remembers it, because He invented it and wrote it. He likes the idea so much it is actually a huge "loop hole." We would call it a loop hole, God would say Love is the fulfillment of the law. He still believes it. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow - as He breathes out Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Samuel 23:2
The promise is:,
For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband.
Of course there are ways to give up your salvation. But God believes so much in the unification of souls, He says one married soul can offer salvation to the other soul. That is a flat out astonishing idea given Hollywood standards of purity. And this chapter indicates God - who had the idea in the first place - thinks there should be abundant sexuality within marriage.
God is generous.
32 I want you to be free from anxieties.
So, if we honestly look at the entire Bible for loving families - we are honestly going to find people struggling to get on with life and irritating and feuding with each other. God knows this and He wants us to be at peace. He's got us covered.
Blessed be You, Father God Almighty. You give in amazing abundance. In Your love we are blessed and fulfilled. And blessed be Your son, Jesus. Amen.