1 Corinthians7:12

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Now to the others I say, (I, not the Lord): If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she happily agrees

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to [continue] making a home with him,

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he should not send her away.


Now to those in different situations, here is what I have received from the Lord directly: If a brother in the Lord has a wife who is not a believer in Jesus, and if she wholeheartedly agrees to continue making a home with him, he should not seek to divorce her over the difference in their religious beliefs.



This is a compound word that comes from “with” and “seems good.” It means “to enthusiastically agree, to give a hearty consent, to be pleased together, to approve something together.” It is a very positive word. In a different grammatical setting it means “to applaud.” In this case, the consent of the unbelieving wife to stay with her husband, who is a follower of Jesus, is a very strong, very positive consent, not a forced or begrudging agreement.


This is a verb that comes from the noun meaning “home.” The verb form means “to dwell in a home, to inhabit a home, or to make a home what it is.” This is another indication that the type of woman being described here is cooperative with her husband’s beliefs in Jesus, she just hasn’t quite decided to believe in Him herself.


In this same letter to the Corinthians Paul tells them that all his instructions to them are coming from the Lord; he is not making any of this up (I Cor 14:37). The phrase “I, not the Lord,” most likely meant that Jesus did not teach this publicly while on earth, but Paul received this from the Lord in a vision or  a moment of Spirit-led insight. Paul clarifies the difference because things that were spoken by Jesus while on earth would have more weight than those things given to Paul in some individual way. However, none of this is just his opinion; all of it is coming from God in one way or another. This is an example of a time when the words of the Bible do not mean what they appear to mean because we must balance them with something that is said elsewhere in Scripture, in this case, in the same book.