25 Now concerning the virgins [of marriageable age] I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think then that because of the impending distress [that is, the pressure of the current trouble], it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you [a]unmarried? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned [in doing so]; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned [in doing so]. Yet those [who marry] will have troubles (special challenges) in this life, and I am trying to spare you that. 29 But I say this, believers: the [b]time has been shortened, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they did not; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess [anything]; 31 and those who use the world [taking advantage of its opportunities], as though they did not make full use of it. For the outward form of this world [its present social and material nature] is passing away.
32 But I want you to be free from concern. The unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but the married man is concerned about worldly things, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The unmarried woman or the virgin is concerned about the matters of the Lord, how to be holy and set apart both in body and in spirit; but a married woman is concerned about worldly things, how she may please her husband. 35 Now I say this for your own benefit; not to restrict you, but to promote what is appropriate and secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
36 But if any man thinks that he is not acting properly and honorably toward his virgin daughter, [[c]by not permitting her to marry], if she is [d]past her youth, and it must be so, let him do as he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. 37 But the man who stands firmly committed in his heart, having no compulsion [to yield to his daughter’s request], and has authority over his own will, and has decided in his own heart to keep his own virgin [daughter from being married], he will do well. 38 So then both the father who gives his virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
39 A wife is bound [to her husband by law] as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wishes, only [provided that he too is] in the Lord. 40 But in my opinion a widow is happier if she stays as she is. And I think that I also have the Spirit of God [in this matter].
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