Only (ei mh). This use of ei mh as an elliptical condition is very common ( Matthew 7:5 ; Galatians 1:7Galatians 1:19 ; Romans 14:14 ), "except that" like plhn. Paul gives a general principle as a limitation to what he has just said in verse Romans 15 . "It states the general principle which determines these questions about marriage, and this is afterwards illustrated by the cases of circumcision and slavery" (Robertson and Plummer). He has said that there is to be no compulsory slavery between the believer and the disbeliever (the Christian and the pagan). But on the other hand there is to be no reckless abuse of this liberty, no license. As the Lord hath distributed to each man (ekastwi w memeriken o kurio). Perfect active indicative of merizw, old verb from mero, apart. Each has his lot from the Lord Jesus, has his call from God. He is not to seek a rupture of the marriage relation if the unbeliever does not ask for it. And so ordain I (kai outw diatassomai). Military term, old word, to arrange in all the churches (distributed, dia-). Paul is conscious of authoritative leadership as the apostle of Christ to the Gentiles.