1 Corinthians 7:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

King James Bible
For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

Darby Bible Translation
For what knowest thou, O wife, if thou shalt save thy husband? or what knowest thou, O husband, if thou shalt save thy wife?

World English Bible
For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Young's Literal Translation
for what, hast thou known, O wife, whether the husband thou shalt save? or what, hast thou known, O husband, whether the wife thou shalt save?

1 Corinthians 7:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For what knowest thou ... - The apostle here assigns a reason why the believing party should not separate from the other needlessly, or why he should not desire to be separated. The reason is, the possibility, or the probability, that the unbelieving party might be converted by the example and entreaties of the other.

Whether then ... - How do you know "but" this may be done? Is there not a possibility, nay a probability of it, and is not this a sufficient reason for continuing together?

Save thy husband - Gain him over to the Christian faith; be the means of his conversion and salvation. compare Romans 11:26. We learn from this verse:

(1) That there is a possibility that an unbelieving partner in life may be converted by the example of the other.

(2) That this should be an object of intense interest to the Christian husband or wife, because:

(a) It will promote the happiness of the other;

(b) It will promote their usefulness;

(c) It will be the means of blessing their family, for parents should be united on the subject of religion, and in their example and influence in training up their sons and daughters; and,

(d) Because the salvation of a beloved husband or wife should be an object of intense interest,

(3) This object is of so much importance that the Christian should be willing to submit to much, to bear much, and to bear long, in order that it may be accomplished. Paul said that it was desirable even to live with a pagan partner to do it; and so also it is desirable to bear much, very much, with even an unkind and fretful temper, with an unfaithful and even an intemperate husband, or with a perverse and peevish wife, if there is a prospect that they may be converted.

(4) this same direction is elsewhere given; 1 Peter 3:1-2.

(5) it is often done. It is not hopeless. Many a wife has thus been the means of saving a husband; many a husband has been the means of the salvation of the wife - In regard to the means by which this is to be hoped for, we may observe that it is not by a harsh, fretful, complaining temper; it is to be by kindness, and tenderness, and love. It is to be by an exemplification of the excellency of religion by example; by patience when provoked, meekness when injured, love when despised, forbearance when words of harshness and irritation are used, and by showing how a Christian can live, and what is the true nature of religion; by kind and affectionate conversation when alone, when the heart is tender, when calamities visit the family, and when the thoughts are drawn along by the events of Providence toward death. Not by harshness or severity of manner, is the result to be hoped for, but by tender entreaty, and mildness of life, and by prayer. Pre eminently this is to be used. When a husband will not hear, God can hear; when he is angry, morose, or unkind, God is gentle, tender, and kind; and when a husband or a wife turn away from the voice of gentle entreaty, God's ear is open, and God is ready to hear and to bless. Let one thing guide the life. We are never to cease to set a Christian example; never to cease to live as a Christian should live; never to cease to pray fervently to the God of grace, that the partner of our lives may be brought under the full influence of Christian truth, and meet us in the enjoyments of heaven.

1 Corinthians 7:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Christian Life
'Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.'--1 COR. vii. 24. You find that three times within the compass of a very few verses this injunction is repeated. 'As God hath distributed to every man,' says the Apostle in the seventeenth verse, 'as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all the churches.' Then again in the twentieth verse, 'Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he is called.' And then finally in our text. The reason for
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

How to Use the Present Life, and the Comforts of It.
The divisions of this chapter are,--I. The necessity and usefulness of this doctrine. Extremes to be avoided, if we would rightly use the present life and its comforts, sec. 1, 2. II. One of these extremes, viz, the intemperance of the flesh, to be carefully avoided. Four methods of doing so described in order, sec. 3-6. 1. BY such rudiments we are at the same time well instructed by Scripture in the proper use of earthly blessings, a subject which, in forming a scheme of life, is by no mean to be
Archpriest John Iliytch Sergieff—On the Christian Life

Let Marriages Possess their Own Good, not that they Beget Sons...
12. Let marriages possess their own good, not that they beget sons, but that honestly, that lawfully, that modestly, that in a spirit of fellowship they beget them, and educate them, after they have been begotten, with cooperation, with wholesome teaching, and earnest purpose: in that they keep the faith of the couch one with another; in that they violate not the sacrament of wedlock. All these, however, are offices of human duty: but virginal chastity and freedom through pious continence from all
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

And Now by Plainest Witnesses of Divine Scriptures...
22. And now by plainest witnesses of divine Scriptures, such as according to the small measure of our memory we shall be able to remember, let it more clearly appear, that, not on account of the present life of this world, but on account of that future life which is promised in the kingdom of heaven, we are to choose perpetual continence. But who but must observe this in that which the same Apostle says a little after, "Whoso is without a wife has thought of the things of the Lord, how to please
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

Cross References
Romans 11:14
if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.

1 Peter 3:1
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

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