7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am;
9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.
11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
as I myself (v.7) — able to exercise self-control. Some think Paul was once married because normally only married men were in the Sanhedrin, but there is no Biblical support for it.
gift (v.7) = gift of grace
remain even as I am (v.8) — Paul isn’t saying that the unmarried state is superior, but that it does have advantages in certain circumstances.
self-control (v.9) — power or, in this case, lack of it
It should be carefully noted, however, that here again the apostle does not promote celibacy for all, but only for those who, like himself, had no need to be married. And no doubt he makes this statement as he does other statements in this chapter, with “the present distress” and persecution in view (v.26) and, under these circumstances, to encourage a life wholly devoted to Christ, unencumbered with family cares (vs. 32-35). — Stam, page 128.
What Stam points out in the quote above about “the present distress” gives me a different opinion on the passage than what I’d come to after last study. I now think these is some ground for interpreting 1 Corinthians in light of the situation in the city at the time of the writing.
burn with passion (v.9) — emotionally (1 Timothy 5:14)
Verse 10 indicates that Paul was not advocating divorce in any circumstance.
yet not I but the Lord (v.10) — Mark 10:9; Luke 16:18
if she does depart (v.11) — if there is a separation (although there shouldn’t be), neither partner is free to marry another person