1 Corinthians 7:12-14

If the whole Bible is inspired, why would Paul make a point of him saying something and not the Lord?  In this context the Lord did not give any direct instruction about the scenario Paul is dealing with.  Paul’s insight in this case is inspired by God, but it is not a retelling of what the Lord said when he walked on the earth.  The problem of believers being married to unbelievers didn’t come up at the time of Jesus’ ministry because he walked among Jewish people and Christians were not a seperate group.  It is hard for someone to give their life to God through Jesus and then live with someone whose life is built on a different foundation.  I have actually had a conversation with someone who was confused because they had such a beautiful relationship with a fellow believer and such a poor relationship with their unbelieving spouse.  They logically concluded that God would not want them to be unhappy, and that they would be able to serve God better with their new friend as their spouse.  This paragraph speaks against that reasoning.

1 Corinthians 7: 12-14

12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.


  1. Who says the things in this paragraph?
  2. How has an unbelieving husband been sanctified?
  3. Are a mixed faith couple’s children holy?
  4. What does this passage say to wives who are disappointed with their husband’s spiritual initiative?
  5. How does the exercising of your faith affect your children?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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