Is The Believer Obligated?

Q. Re: 1 Cor. 7:15. Does this verse mean that a believer is freed from the marriage bond if the unbelieving spouse leaves? I know there is much debate on this verse and the Greek word for under bondage.

A. Here’s what 1 Cor. 7:15 says;

But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

I ‘m not aware of any debate among those who takes the Bible literally. The language is clear. Paul said if an unbeliever wants to leave the marriage the believer is under no obligation to prevent it.

The Greek word translated “bound” (under bondage) refers to a person who voluntarily agrees to become a servant for life. Paul used this word in describing Jesus in Phil 2:7, and himself in Titus 1:1.

I believe his intent in 1 Cor. 7:15 is that although a believer is obligated to a marriage for life, an unbeliever is not. By leaving, the unbeliever has relieved the believer of any further obligation, because God has called us to live in peace. In other words, it wouldn’t be proper for a believer to try to force an unbeliever to remain in a marriage against his or her will because of the contention it would create.

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