Monday, December 3, 2012

If he wants oranges and I want apples - Are you a submissive wife?

This topic came up recently.

Are you a submissive wife?
What does it mean to be a submissive wife?
What does the term 'submission' entail?
Does it mean women should seek the approval of their husbands before they take any decision in life? Does it mean the husband is the one that is is supposed to decide whatever major step the wife takes in life?

"Submission is a gift my wife chooses to give me...it's a free will, a decision she's made to be led by me, to accept my authority and to be my helper whenever i need aid."
Ok. But what does accepting authority mean? Does it mean that he gets the final say in all the processes of decision making?

"All I require to be a submissive wife is that my husband respects me as much as i respect him....and all will be well!!"

Perhaps respect is a prerequisite of submission?" "Headship is actually a matter of responsibility and accountability - this is where african men generally screw things up. The head serves his subjects, often in Africa, the head wants to be served. accepting my authority means she cannot resist my will. This does not mean she cannot express her fears or disagree with some of my decisions...she's my helper not a doormat!"

"There's nothing wrong in the men having a final say...if a wife raises her fears and the husband insists on his own opinion, the wife should accept his will without malice(she's a helper). if everything goes to plan, then the two of them should be proud of what they collectively achieved with their decision. if the plan fails, the two of them should dust themselves, go back to the drawing board and try again. there should be no "I told you so" + "you should have listened to me"....they should succeed together and fail together!"

But the question is, can men ALWAYS be right? Certainly no human can always be right. Sometimes you are right and sometimes you are wrong; that is how life works so it might be wiser for the husband to let his wife have the final say sometimes. The woman might also be more knowledgeable or experienced in certain things they want to decide on. But then the fact remains; why should they BOTH return to the drawing board when the man was the one who made a mistake?

Whatever your veiw might be it is obvious that people share very different veiws on the subject of submission; while some see it as simple as the man having the final say, others see it as respect-induced behaviour and some see it as sharing responsibility for every decision.

Related post: The role of the wife

Ephesians 5:22 - 24, Paul starts on the subject of husbands and wives with this statement, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Also the scriptures says the woman's vows to God are subject to the husbands approval (or her father's if a spinster); that if he disapproves such vows are not binding on her. In other words if a wife makes and pays a vow to God without the husband's approval that vow is a nullity: futile.

The truth of the matter is that anything with two heads is a monster. To be submissive a woman must first give-in to her husband's leadership. This is why it is important for single ladies to guard their hearts because they are attracted to men in authority that is why single pastors might experience many ladies saying they have seen 'visions'. Their hearts are attracted to his authority. Many women marry men who are like their fathers because the father represents an authority figure which provides security.

However naturally, time and chance happen to them all. With day to day events we are presented with a range of challenges that require various areas of understanding. For example husband wants to buy oranges, wife wants to buy apples. husband insisted on buying oranges....the wife must submit to his will and let him buy the oranges. by doing this, no party has been disrespected or belittled.....it's an arbitrary decision taken regardless of the outcome by both parties!

Related post: The role of the husband

If the oranges now purge the husband making him go to the loo every 5 mins, all they need to do is go back to the market and buy apples. although, the husband took the wrong decision but they have learnt from the mistakes, corrected it and they have moved on without anyone getting bruised or disrespected. Moreover, they are also not stuck in one position still arguing if buying apple is a better choice than getting oranges.

But if it is a more serious decision like which school the children should attend then the one with more more knowledge in the area whether it be as a result of being familliar with more children of school age or studying exam results in the newspaper or internet, should be trusted for a more informed opinion.

I like this illustration: The man = Pilot, The Wife = Co-pilot, Marriage = Aircraft.
Pilots depend on copilots to share flying duties.
Always sitting right next to their pilot, copilots, also known as flight officers, assist the captain and play a crucial role in navigating a safe ride. Duties involve a little of everything from pre-flight planning to landing the aircraft. While the main concern is making the pilot's job easier it also means maximizing the pilot's level of situational awareness. No copilot's job is simple.

Flying an aircraft is a particularly demanding job and the captain cannot do it alone. The pilot will often instruct the copilot to monitor the flight instruments regularly. This allows the flight crew to proficiently meet all of the demands of flying by multi-tasking as a team.

Finally, we are all unique and filled with hidden treasures. Patiently, lovingly and prayerfuly get to know your partner. Love and understanding breeds the perfect atmosphere for a wife to submit to her husband and for a husband to love his wife.

Ijeoma Olujekun

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