Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The ancient world was dominated by men. As author Albert A. Bell, Jr. has observed, women in the Roman Empire were regarded as “second-class persons.” In many cases, even “their names simply were feminine forms of their father’s family name.” Girls often were placed in arranged marriages when only 12 years old. Some received education, but, in general, women had few rights.

To many women in this culture, the Gospel represented new hope. It was a lifestyle and belief in which they were respected and could flourish.

In this context, it’s interesting that Paul opened his teaching about marriage by focusing on husbands. They had an obligation to “render affection” to their wives and look for opportunities to be kind. Wives were to have the same attitude toward their husbands, but husbands were to lead the way.

Yet, when dealing with authority, Paul addressed wives first. In the context of a marriage relationship, their bodies were under the control of their husbands. The same principle, in reverse, also was true for husbands.

Paul then provided this overriding principle: “Do not deprive one another” (v. 5). In God’s design, husbands and wives were not separate people but “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24), totally committed and joined to each other.

In our own times, as in Paul’s time, there are many reasons why marriages may not last and why families have problems. But God’s principles are eternally true. His design still provides the key to finding fulfillment in our relationships.

Today, commit yourself to live by God’s design, that you might experience the fullness of His blessing in your finances and relationships, in your spiritual life and in your family.