Converting to Christ is no reason to divorce

1 Corinthians Bible Background

08.25.2017 – New Testament: 1Co 7.12–14

To read the Bible in a year, read First Corinthians 7.1–24 on August 25, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

Some new Christians in Corinth must have thought that remaining married to their unconverted spouses meant that any children they had together would make the children illegitimate. Thus Paul wrote,

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. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 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 (1 Corinthians 7.12–14). 

You see, the institution of marriage pre-dates Christianity. Therefore, converting to Christ does not mean separating from or divorcing an unbelieving spouse, provided that the unbelieving spouse wants to continue to live with the Christian.

Therefore, any children born from that union are clean.


  • Did the same one make marriage and the church?
  • How should the Christian conduct him or herself in a marriage to an unbeliever?

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