"It Is Better To Marry Than To Burn"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 140

Context: The Corinthian church has written to Paul, asking what policy it shall follow in regard to marriage. Paul answers that, in order to avoid temptation, each man is to have his own wife and each woman her husband, and that the conjugal rights are to be given. He would prefer that all single members remain so, as he had done, because it is easier to devote oneself to the Lord's work if one does not marry. Recognizing that many cannot maintain celibacy, he concedes that it is better to marry than to live an immoral life or to burn with unfulfilled sexual desire:

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I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

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