Commands Concerning Marriage

1Corinthians 7:10-11 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 

‘I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband.’ Commands concerning marriage: Let every man have his own wife and every woman her own husband (7:2). Let the husband meet the sexual needs of the wife and the wife that of her husband (not just his own and without any perversion (7:3-4). Defraud not each other in sexual matters – fulfil your conjugal vows. Come together again after you have consented to live content for a period so as to pray and fast (7:5). Let both man and woman marry if they have battles of self-control (7:9). Let not the wife depart from her husband (7:10). If she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband (7:11) if there was no fornication, violence or neglect. Let not the husband divorces his wife (7:11). Let not the Christian man/wife divorces the non-Christian if he/she is pleased to dwell with him/her (reasons, 7:12-16). If the unbelievers depart and refuse to live with the Christian, let him/her depart. Do not force continuance of the marriage. The Christian is freed from the marriage bonds in such cases (7:15). Let every man or woman remain as he or she was when each became a Christian (7:17-24). That is, do not use Christianity as an excuse to break up your own home and perhaps another, seeking a new companion. If you are bound to a wife, seek not to be loosed (7:27). That is, do not get a divorce, regardless of the past. Stay in the same calling and state in which you were saved (7:17-24). If you are loosed from a husband/wife, seek not another (7:27). If you do marry, however, you have not sinned (7:28). You that have husbands/wives, live as though you did not have them (7:29-31). That is, live free from anxiety and stress (7:32-35). It is no sin for the virgin to marry (7:36-38). The wife is bound by law to be married as long as the husband lives (7:39). Marriage is for the lifetime of the husband or wife. Christians must remarry only Christians when companions die or leave (7:39).

‘Depart’ – This means to get a divorce, or Paul would not have restricted her to remain single, not remarrying unless it was to her former husband. Among Jews a woman had just as much right to put away a husband as the husband had to put away a wife. A woman could say to the elders that her parents or brethren had deceived her, betrothed her to the husband when she was young, and state, “I now reveal to you that I will not have him as my husband.” Some parted with mutual consent and this was considered legal, as was also their remarriage to others. All divorces were considered the complete dissolution of the marriage bond; and, in consequence of this, they were free to remarry. Any woman or man who got a divorce on grounds other than those allowed was to remain single or remarry the former companion. Divorce on scriptural grounds meant that a person was free to remarry, providing it was to another Christian (7:15, 27-28; Matt. 5:32; 19:6). The innocent was not to be held responsible for the sins of the guilty (Ezek. 18:2-4, 13, 17-32).

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