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What Does the Bible Say About..Unbelieving Husbands?

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14) Does this mean that my husband who is unsaved, will go to heaven because i am saved? If not, what does this verse mean exactly?


I do not believe that it means a husband will go to heaven based on his wife’s faith. That would contradict those scriptures that say each person is saved or lost based on his own actions and belief. Therefore, I would look at the context of the passage.

Paul wrote this in the context of a discussion of divorce. It is in the middle of a section saying that an unbeliever may leave a marriage if the spouse has become a believer. He says that the unbeliever does not have to divorce the believing spouse, but may stay in the marriage. Then comes this verse, followed by more discussion of the spouse leaving.

Based on the context, I read this as saying that some in Corinth were believing that a child of a union between a believer and an unbeliever was, in some sense, illegitimate. Paul is saying that is not so. The marriage itself (and therefore the parties to the marriage) is sanctified regardless of whether one is a believer or not. I think the sanctification here is related to marriage and not to salvation, since that is the subject under consideration.