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Without necessarily using the term "obey", they believe women have "different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage". Biblical patriarchy, though not at all popular among mainstream Christians, prescribes a strict male-dominant hierarchy.
Instead, the wife and husband share a fully equal partnership in both their marriage and in the family.
The law of Patria Potestas (Latin for "Rule of the Fathers") gave a husband equally severe power over his children and slaves. Crouch concludes that the early Christians found in Hellenistic Judaism a code which they adapted and Christianized.
The Staggs believe the several occurrences of the New Testament Household Code in the Bible were intended to meet the needs for order within the churches and in the society of the day.
Marriage is the legally or formally recognized intimate and complementing union of two people as spousal partners in a personal relationship (historically and in most jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman).
The basic elements of a marriage are: (1) the parties' legal ability to marry each other, (2) mutual consent of the parties, and (3) a marriage contract as required by law.