“This I say
By way of concession,
Not of command.”
τοῦτο δὲ λέγω κατὰ συνγνώμην, οὐ κατ’ ἐπιταγήν.
Paul said that he said this (τοῦτο δὲ λέγω) by way of concession (κατὰ συνγνώμην), not of command (οὐ κατ’ ἐπιταγήν). Only the Pauline letters used this word συνγνώμην, that means confession, fellow feeling, permission, indulgence, or concession, and the word ἐπιταγήν, that means a command, an instruction, or an order. This was no official order or command on the part of Paul, but rather a concession or permission. They were free to interpret this as they felt. Paul was not commanding them how to live their married lives. Should people be free to live their married lives as they see fit?