1 Corinthians 7:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 7:10, NIV: "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband."

1 Corinthians 7:10, ESV: "To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband"

1 Corinthians 7:10, KJV: "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:"

1 Corinthians 7:10, NASB: "But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife is not to leave her husband"

1 Corinthians 7:10, NLT: "But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband."

1 Corinthians 7:10, CSB: "To the married I give this command--not I, but the Lord--a wife is not to leave her husband."

What does 1 Corinthians 7:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verses 10 and 11 deal with divorce, but Paul's point here is not to address all divorce for all reasons. Prior verses have dealt with a mistaken view held by some of the believers at Corinth. Namely, that Christians should not have sex, even if they were married, and that the most spiritual Christian life is one of celibate and/or unmarried devotion to Christ. Perhaps this was a response to the pervasive sexual immorality in wider Corinthian culture. Perhaps it borrowed these ideas from other moral philosophies and teachings of the day.

In any case, this may have created some problems in the church. If this was a common misconception, some might have stopped having sex with their spouses.

Worse, others might have thought that in order to attain some higher level of spirituality, they would have to divorce their spouses.

Paul has clearly and firmly rejected these ideas. He addressed the issue of sex in marriage earlier (1 Corinthians 7:2–5). Now he states unequivocally that women should not separate from—or divorce—their husbands, especially for this reason. He will say the same for husbands in the following verse.