1 Corinthians 7New Life Version (NLV)
How a Husband and Wife Should Live
7 You asked me some questions in your letter. This is my answer. It is good if a man does not get married. 2 But because of being tempted to sex sins, each man should get married and have his own wife. Each woman should get married and have her own husband. 3 The husband should please his wife as a husband. The wife should please her husband as a wife. 4 The wife is not the boss of her own body. It belongs to the husband. And in the same way, the husband is not the boss of his own body. It belongs to the wife.
5 Do not keep from each other that which belongs to each other in marriage unless you agree for awhile so you can use your time to pray. Then come together again or the devil will tempt you to do that which you know you should not do.
6 This is what I think. I am not saying you must do it. 7 I wish everyone were as I am, but each has his own gift from God. One has one gift. Another has another gift.
8 This is what I say to those who are not married and to women whose husbands have died. It is good if you do not get married. I am not married. 9 But if you are not able to keep from doing that which you know is wrong, get married. It is better to get married than to have such strong sex desires.
10 I have this to say to those who are married. These words are from the Lord. A wife should not leave her husband, 11 but if she does leave him, she should not get married to another man. It would be better for her to go back to her husband. The husband should not divorce his wife. 12 I have this to say. These words are not from the Lord. If a Christian husband has a wife who is not a Christian, and she wants to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 If a Christian wife has a husband who is not a Christian, and he wants to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 The husband who is not a Christian is set apart from the sin of the world because of his Christian wife. The wife who is not a Christian is set apart from the sin of the world because of her Christian husband. In this way, the lives of the children are not unclean because of sin, they are clean. 15 If the one who is not a Christian wants to leave, let that one go. The Christian husband or wife should not try to make the other one stay. God wants you to live in peace. 16 Christian wife, how do you know you will not help your husband to become a Christian? Or Christian husband, how do you know you will not help your wife to become a Christian?
Stay as You Were When God Chose You
17 Everyone should live the life the Lord gave to him. He should live as he was when he became a Christian. This is what I teach in all the churches. 18 If a man became a Christian after he had gone through the religious act of becoming a Jew, he should do nothing about it. If a man became a Christian before, he should not go through the religious act of becoming a Jew. 19 If it is done or not done, it means nothing. What is important is to obey God’s Word. 20 Everyone should stay the same way he was when he became a Christian. 21 Were you a servant who was owned by someone when you became a Christian? Do not worry about it. But if you are able to become free, do that. 22 A servant who is owned by someone and who has become a Christian is the Lord’s free man. A free man who has become a Christian is a servant owned by Christ. 23 He paid a great price for you when He bought you. Do not let yourselves become servants owned by men. 24 Christian brothers, each one should stay as he was when he became a Christian.
25 I have no word from the Lord about women or men who have never been married. I will tell you what I think. You can trust me because the Lord has given me His loving-kindness. 26 I think, because of the troubles that are coming, it is a good thing for a person not to get married. 27 Are you married to a wife? Do not try to get a divorce. If you are not married, do not look for a wife. 28 If you do get married, you have not sinned. If a woman who is not married gets married, it is no sin. But being married will add problems. I would like to have you free from such problems.
29 I mean this, Christian brothers. The time is short. A married man should use his time as if he did not have a wife. 30 Those who have sorrow should keep on working as if they had no sorrow. Those who have joy should keep on working as if there was no time for joy. Those who buy should have no time to get joy from what they have. 31 While you live in this world, live as if the world has no hold on you. The way of this world will soon be gone.
32 I want you to be free from the cares of this world. The man who is not married can spend his time working for the Lord and pleasing Him. 33 The man who is married cares for the things of the world. He wants to please his wife. 34 Married women and women who have never been married are different. The woman who has never been married can spend her time working for the Lord. She wants to please the Lord with her body and spirit. The woman who is married cares for the things of the world. She wants to please her husband. 35 I am saying these things to help you. I am not trying to keep you from getting married. I want you to do what is best. You should work for Him without other things taking your time.
36 If a man and woman expect to get married, and he thinks his desires to marry her are getting too strong, and she is getting older, they should get married. It is no sin. 37 But if a man has the power to keep from getting married and knows in his mind that he should not, he is wise if he does not get married. 38 The man who gets married does well, but the man who does not get married does better.
39 A wife is not free as long as her husband lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wants, if he is a Christian. 40 I think she will be much more happy if she does not get married again. This is what I think. I believe it is what the Holy Spirit is saying.