5 Things Submission In Marriage Is Not

Mark Wealth

This topic has been one of the major causes of debates, deliberations and downright arguments among spouses and defenders of the sacred marriage institution. I’m sure this article is like a sign from above for some spouse there because just this morning, such and such happened and it was all about submission. I bet the Holy books were brought into the conversation and there was much “we say…they say…but you said” in the drama of things. Nowadays, EVERYBODY has got something to say about what submission is all about so…let’s try and take an objective look at this meddlesome issue from the perspective of what submission in marriage is not.

Gender Discriminatory
This idea had established itself in every culture, as it were. “The women are the weaker species so they must be submissive”, these menfolk say. But that is not entirely correct. They may not be able to win in an arm wrestling contest but there are roles that women play that a man may not be able to stand. However this is not a gender argument so let’s be objective as we promised. The Holy Bible instructs both spouses to be submissive to one another. (Ephesians 5: 21)

While the woman submits to the man In matters of principles like moral values, beliefs and legacy, the man should submit to the woman in matters of choice or specifics. Say for instance, the man chooses to settle in another state, the woman may be the one to choose which house to buy or rent. The man may want his kids to be home schooled, the woman will be the one to choose which teacher gets the job, and that’s if she doesn’t decide to do it herself.
Even though the Good Book instructs both husband and wife to submit to each other, it is also only wise and logical given the fact that both parties are independent individuals who have different perspectives and desires. That not withstanding, there must be a clear agreement as to how to settle conflicts when they arise; one has to stand down for the other.

Slavery
Nope! Submission is not slavery. Not the type that was practiced long ago where men and women were forced to work against their will, with emphasis on “against their will”. Most men and women feel that submission in marriage implies giving up your rights to have your desires granted or to do certain things the way you want to. Men want to lord it over their wives speaking in condescending tones and restricting their wives unnecessarily. Some women have even been conditioned into thinking that this is the way it ought to be and so they die slowly on the inside, poisoned with unexpressed ideas and unsatisfied desires.
No. Submission is voluntary and should be done cheerfully, with trust and hope that everything will work out fine even if the decision turns out to be wrong. And needful to say, submission is also not the sexual act that involves voluntary acceptance of physical bondage and torture for sexual satisfaction.

Weakness
Whether you’re a man submitting to your wife’s desire to watch the latest chick flick (or worse, an old one you’ve seen a million times), or you’re the wife that has to submit to her husband’s choice of place of worship, do not feel it’s a sign of weakness. A chauvinistic husband, an unappreciative wife and ignorant friends may try to make you feel like it’s a sign of weakness that will lead to oppression and/or abuse. Do not believe the hype!
Submission to your spouse is honourable, wise, and in cases where you don’t agree but have to compromise, it requires emotional and mental strength and you obviously have it. Very far from weakness indeed.

Based On Merit
Submitting to your hubby or wifey is not based on merit. It’s not based on whether he’s the next Dangote or Einstein or whether she’s Beyoncé’s twin sister and can cook like “yo’ Mama”. Even if he’s a good foot shorter than you or cannot speak proper grammar, you should submit to him. Even if she’s on the obese side and there’s nothing good about her looks, you should submit to that woman. It may be hard, and I do feel for you but submission is not based on whether they deserve it. As long as you’ve tied the knot and hopefully you weren’t blindfolded, you should go ahead and submit to that ugly, boring, poor, good looking, intelligent partner of yours. It’s your non-negotiable responsibility.

Becoming A Yes-Man or -Woman
The fact that everyone says you should submit to your spouse doesn’t mean that you should drop the use of your brain and agree to everything your husband suggests or that your wife prefers. You can still think for yourself. It’s not an excuse to become mentally lazy or totally ignore your wife’s objections and counsel. Marriage should be teamwork. While a husband may see things from a particular perspective, the woman may be able to provide information that improves the quality of the decision or discourage it altogether as a result of something she knows that her hubby didn’t consider.
Though as we mentioned before, there should be an agreement on how to settle a conflict or situation where the partners have come to an impasse. In most cases, the man has the final say.

To end this, let me tell a brief story I read on bible.org where 100 couples were asked who the head of the house was. According to a newspaper report where 90 women claimed to wear the crown and they were supported by their husbands, 9 men claimed to be the head but their wives would have none of that, only one woman submitted that her husband was the head of the home. The man was applauded and asked to choose a prize for being a model husband. He reportedly turned to his wife and asked “Maria, what should I choose?”

That’s what submission in marriage is all about: mutual loving respect for each others feelings and desires. Now, go ye into your homes and be submissive.

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“5 Things Submission In Marriage Is Not”

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