1 Corinthians 7:10–16 (NKJV)

10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 Corinthians 7:10-16

Paul inserts a teaching here about the sanctity of marriage. He basically outlaws divorce and remarriage, but with certain considerations. In the book of Matthew, Jesus had said that divorce and remarriage was unlawful except in the case of a pattern of marital sexual infidelity. Here, Paul adds the component of the abandonment of marriage by an unsaved spouse. He does not allow divorce if the spouse is willing to stay and be otherwise married to a Christian, but does allow for freedom from bondage if the unbeliever departs. God “sanctifies” the home and the children on behalf of the believing spouse in such a mixed marriage, but allows for remarriage by the Christian spouse if the unbelieving spouse departs from the relationship.

However, he ends the discussion with the caveat that peace should be the ruling principle, for marriage to an unbeliever in peace may lead to the salvation of the unbeliever. That would be the ultimate outcome, and bring glory to God. Many couples have consisted of a mixed union of believer and unbeliever. While a responsible minister would discourage such a union, this sometimes is a later development, when one of the members accepts Christ before the other one, or else one departs the faith after marriage. Either way, a change occurred, and the union may be compromised. It is always the Christian’s responsibility to remain faithful to their marital vows and continue to love God and spouse. Only when the unbeliever departs should their be the freedom to move on.

Artwork from https://www.thelectionarycompany.org/bible-readings/tag/B+Ordinary+27+Tuesday

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