1 Corinthians 7:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 7:16, NIV: How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 Corinthians 7:16, ESV: For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 Corinthians 7:16, KJV: For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

1 Corinthians 7:16, NASB: For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 Corinthians 7:16, NLT: Don't you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don't you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?

1 Corinthians 7:16, CSB: Wife, for all you know, you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife.

What does 1 Corinthians 7:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul concludes his teaching about whether Christians who are married to non-Christians should get divorced. He has firmly said: no. Believers should not fight over it, if the unbelieving spouse wants to go. They should not, however, be the one to end the marriage simply because the other person is not yet saved.

Now Paul adds a hopeful note. Perhaps, by remaining in marriage to an unbeliever, a wife or husband will lead that spouse to faith in Christ. Some scholars link this idea to the last line of the previous verse: "God has called you to peace."

Perhaps an unbelieving husband or wife will see God at work in the heart, mind, and actions of their Christian spouse and be drawn to Christ, as well (1 Peter 3:1–2). Or perhaps God has also called the spouse to the same peace and they simply have not yet believed.

Paul does not promise that the unbelieving spouse will absolutely be saved, but he wants Christian spouses to remain available to be used by God to help bring about the salvation of their husbands or wives by means of faith in Christ.