7 Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations.[a]2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.7 But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.
8 So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.9 But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.
10 But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.[b] A wife must not leave her husband.11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.
12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believer[c] has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her.13 And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him.14 For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband[d] brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy.15 (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife[e] is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you[f] to live in peace.)16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?
17 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now.
7:1Or to live a celibate life; Greek reads It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
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