Principles of Marriage

Now in response to the matters you wrote[a] about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”[b] But because sexual immorality is so common,[c](A) each man should have sexual relations with his own wife,(B) and each woman should have sexual relations with her own husband. A husband should fulfill his marital duty(C) to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive(D) one another—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to[d] prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all people were as I am. But each has his own gift(E) from God, one person has this gift, another has that.

A Word to the Unmarried

I say to the unmarried[e] and to widows:(F) It is good for them if they remain as I am. But if they do not have self-control,(G) they should marry, since it is better to marry(H) than to burn with desire.

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Footnotes

  1. 7:1 Other mss add to me
  2. 7:1 Or “It is good for a man not to use a woman for sex”; lit “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.”
  3. 7:2 Lit because of immoralities
  4. 7:5 Other mss add fasting and to
  5. 7:8 Or widowers

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