bondage in such cases

1 Corinthians 7:15

7:15 bondage in such cases. If the unbelieving husband or wife chooses to leave the relationship, however, there remains nothing else the believer can do. The Christian spouse should remain unmarried (I Corinthians 7:11) as long as there is any possibility of reconciliation. Otherwise he or she “is not under bondage”—that is, no longer bound by the law to remain with the other spouse. The situation seems analogous to that in which one partner dies. “If the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband…so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Romans 7:2-3). Once the ex-husband or ex-wife marries another, then the previous marriage relation is as permanently severed as if it had been severed by death, with no further possibility of reconciliation. When that becomes the case, it seems plain that there is no further “bondage” of any sort, so that the believer is free to remarry—but, of course, only “in the Lord” (I Corinthians 7:39).

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