Why did Paul limit his right to marriage to a believing wife?


While studying the scripture with this guide on your website: Paul’s Restraint in Exercising His Liberty, I found this question:

Why do you suppose Paul qualified his right to only a sister in Christ and not claim a more general right to marry?

It's a question I have asked too, and I would like to understand what Paul means in claiming to have a right to marry a believing wife like Peter and the Lord's brothers. Why was he specific about a believing wife?

I need more light, please.


I believe that the matter is one of influence. A preacher or leader in the church whose wife is not a Christian has less "clout" than someone who is married to a Christian. While we understand that everyone is responsible for his own choices, it does cause others to wonder how effective a preacher or leader is if he cannot influence the person he is closest to to become a child of God.

A second problem is that the life of an apostle, preacher, elder, or deacon can be very difficult at times. Imagine what the wives of the other apostles had to go through with their husbands constantly targets for persecution. Paul chose not to marry so that he could focus on teaching without concern (I Corinthians 7:32-35). A Christian wife knows what she is getting into and will be able to support her husband through difficult times. See:

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