Paul is used by those who regard marriage as a 'necessary evil' to be a spokesman for their point of view - but very few realize that he actually had a polygamous (one man married to several women) mindframe.
Let's study what he said in his first letter to the Corinthians chapter 7, verses 23 to 40.
23:You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
This is important to keep in mind as we go through the rest of what he writes as this indicates why he writes these things.
24:Brothers, each man, as responsible to Elohim (God), should remain in the situation Elohim (God) called him to.
Again the stress is on their commitment to Yahweh, and accepting His plan in their lives.
25:Now about virgins: I have no command from the Master, but I give a judgment as one who by the Master's mercy is trustworthy. 26:Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are.
He is mentioning "crisis" or "distress" (KJV) here - meaning a special time, most likely with persecution - that is the reason for his advice at the time.
27:Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife.
Likewise, be happy and content with the situation Yahweh has put you into - do not seek for greener grass on the other side of the hill - live for Yahweh now.
28:But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
Refering to the crisis, and the danger of idolatry mentioned at the beginning of these passages.
29:What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30:those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31:those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
Again two of the three concerns are repeated, physical problems and the tendency to love idols (the third being the tendency to be discontent with what He has given).
32:I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Master's affairs - how he can please the Master. 33:But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world - how he can please his wife - 34:and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Master's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Master in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world - how she can please her husband.
Yah'shua (Jesus) said in Luke chapter 14 verse 26:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be My disciple."
Here the Saviour stressed how our devotion to our Heavenly Father should be compared to the one we have to our beloved ones on earth. Our devotion to our beloved should be like hatred compared to the love we have for our Master - nothing less will do!
35:I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Master.
And here we read how Paul agreed with the Saviour.
36:If anyone thinks he is acting improperly towards the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting on in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37:But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin - this man also does the right thing. 38:So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.
Don't forget the crisis - we are entering the same kind again, and it won't be pleasant to bear children or have a big family when it starts:
"How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!" (Matthew 24:19)
39:A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
Notice that in verses 32-35 Paul is talking to both sexes, and in verses 36-38 he is talking to the men; but in the last two verses he talks to the women, and in verse 39 he is repeating the law of Yahweh (God the Father) concerning women. If this goes for the men too, then why didn't he mention it? It can only mean that in Paul's days, nobody had yet begun disputing polygamy! It was standard practice amongst Elohim's (God's) people.
40:In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is - and I think that I too have the Spirit of Elohim (God).