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¶ NOW concerning the things which you wrote to me.
It is proper for a husband not to have intimacy with his wife at times.
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Nevertheless, because of the danger of immorality, let every man hold to his own wife, and let every woman hold to her own husband.
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Let the husband give to his wife the love which he owes her;
and likewise also the wife to her husband.
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The wife has no authority over her own body, but her husband;
and likewise also the husband has no authority over his own body, but his wife.
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Therefore do not deprive one another except when both of you consent to do so, especially at the time when you devote yourselves to fasting and prayer;
and then come together again, so that Satan may not temp.
t you because of your physical passion.
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But I say this only to weak persons, for it is not part of the law.
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For I would that all men were like myself in purity.
But every man has his proper gift from God, one after this manner and another after that.
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I say this to those who have no wives and to widows: It is better for them to be as I am;
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But if they cannot endure it, let them marry;
for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
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¶ But those who have wives, I command (yet not I but my Lord), Let not the wife be separated from her husband;
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But if she separate, let her remain single, or be reconciled to her husband;
and let not the husband desert his wife.
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But to the rest, I say this, not my Lord: If any brother has a wife who is not a convert, and she wishes to live with him, let him not leave her.
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And the woman who has a husband who is not a convert but is content to live with her, let her not leave him.
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For the husband who is not a convert is sanctified through the wife who is a convert, and the wife who is not a convert is sanctified through the husband who is a convert;
otherwise, their children would be impure, but in such cases they are pure.
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But if the one who is not a convert wishes to separate, let him separate.
In such cases, a convert man or woman is free;
for God has called us to live in peace.
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For how do you know, O wife, that you shall save your husband?
Or how do you know, O husband, that you shall save your wife?
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¶ But every man, according as the Lord has distributed to him, and every man, as God has called him, so let him walk.
And this I command also for all the churches.
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If a man was circumcised when he was called, let him not adhere to the party of uncircumcision.
And if he was uncircumcised, when he was called, let him not be circumcised.
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For circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Lord’s commandments is everything.
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Let every man remain in the station of life in which he is called.
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If you were a slave when you were called, do not feel concerned about it;
but even though you can be made free, choose rather to serve.
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For he who is called by our Lord, being a slave, is God’s free man;
likewise he who is called, being a freeman is also Christ’s servant.
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You have been bought with a price;
you must not therefore become slaves of men.
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My brethren, let every man in whatever station of life he was called, remain therein, serving God.
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¶ Now concerning virginity, I have no command from God;
yet I give my advice as one who has been favored by God to be trustworthy.
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And I suppose that this is good for the present necessity, therefore I say, It is better for a man to remain as he is.
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If you are married, do not seek divorce.
If you are divorced from a wife, do not seek a wife.
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But if you marry, you do not sin;
and if a virgin marry, she does not sin.
Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh;
but I would spare you.
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But this I do say, my brethren: The time is short;
let those who have wives be as though they had none;
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And those who weep, as though they had not wept;
and those who rejoice, as though they had not rejoiced;
and those who buy, as though they did not possess anything;
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And those who make use of this world should not abuse it, for the fashion of this world is passing away.
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Therefore I would that you were free from worldly cares.
For he who is unmarried is concerned in the things of his Master, so as to please his Master.
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And he who is married is concerned with worldly things, in order to please his wife.
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So there is a difference between a married woman and a virgin.
She who is unmarried is concerned about the welfare of her Lord, and to be pure both in body and spirit;
but she who is married is concerned with worldly things, in order to please her husband.
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I am saying this for your own benefit;
I am not trying to snare or put a yoke on you, but I exhort you to be perfect before the Lord, and faithful without distraction.
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¶ If any man thinks that he is shamed by the behavior of his virgin daughter because she has passed the marriage age and he has not given her in marriage and that he should give her, let him do what he will and he does not sin.
Let her be married.
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If he has sincerely decided and is not forced by circumstances, but has determined and decreed in his heart to keep his virgin daughter single, he does well.
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So then he who gives his virgin daughter in marriage does well;
and he who does not give his virgin daughter in marriage does even better.
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¶ A wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives;
but if her husband dies, she is free to marry whom she pleases, but only in our Lord.
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But, in my opinion, she is happier to remain as she is.
And I think also that I have the Spirit of God.