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Why does Paul say that a husband is "divided" between pleasing his wife and pleasing God? Can't a husband please God by pleasing his wife (or vice versa)? Or is that what Paul meant?

1 Cor. 7:32-3:

… He that is without a wife, is careful for the things that pertain to our Lord, how he may please God.

But he that is with a wife, is careful for the things that pertain to the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Caleb Dec 15 '14 at 13:07

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Out of 21 popular translations of the bible only the Douay-Rheims Bible (the translation of the Catholic Vulgate) adds, "and he is divided" at the end of that verse, so St. Paul didn't say that, the Catholics added it. Your question should read, "Why do Catholics say that a husband is divided between his wife and God?" – ShemSeger Sep 10 '14 at 18:00
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    Actually, all the other ones add "he is divided"; but the Douay-Rheims puts that text at the end of verse 33, and the others (including the New American Bible) put it at the beginning of verse 34. – Matt Gutting Sep 10 '14 at 18:41
  • I stand partially corrected, there are 2 more translations that say a man is divided in the next verse, and another 7 translations that say his attention/interests are divided, the rest are similar to the KJV, which illustrate that married men and women devote much of their attention to each other, whereas unmarried men and women are free to devote their full attention to the Lord. – ShemSeger Sep 10 '14 at 21:29
  • @ShemSeger: Some translations place it on verse 34, not 33. It's in the Greek: "καὶ μεμέρισται." – Geremia Sep 12 '14 at 3:27
  • @Geremia, yes... that's what I said in the comment immediately preceding yours. – ShemSeger Sep 12 '14 at 3:31