At what point is it okay for a husband to demand submission in marriage from his wife? This is a question that came out from a conversation with my squad recently and that got me thinking. Thinking about how solemn and sacred a marriage is meant to be, are the words demand and submission supposed to appear in the same sentence for starters?
Submission according to dictionary definition is yielding to another’s desires without resistance. Another definition says it is willingly laying down one’s wishes for another. The focus in the latter definition is on willingly. So, where is the place of rights and demands on submission
Still on the meaning of submission, with emphasis on a person’s willingness in submission, let it be known that it is not a matter of demanding it from the wife by the husband. It is an issue of the wife deciding if she wants to submit or not. A wife was a woman with her complete senses, dreams, aspirations, beliefs, and convictions before she became a wife. So, do you consider it a possibility for a grown a** woman to lay down her guards completely for a man in a marriage?
Some people in my squad are of the opinion that submission is directly related to provision. In smaller terms, if a man wants a woman to submit then he should take up provision in the marriage completely. Pheww!!! This is getting complex really. Permit me to add that there has never been a law or rule book that stipulates who provides for the family and who handles the finances and domestic affairs in the family. However, it is necessary to add that given the complexity of our today society, there should be room for conversations and reaching a common ground.
How about we think about what submission is not?
According to an article on desiringGod, there are six things that submission is not. The summary of them are:
- Submission is not agreeing on everything
- Submission does not mean leaving your brain at the altar
- Submission does not mean you do not try to influence your husband
- Submission is not putting the will of your husband before the will of your maker
- Submission does not mean drawing all your strength from your husband
- Submission does not mean living or acting in fear
Permit me to add that submission is not laying down your dreams and aspirations, your vineyard that is to be cultivated and giving up your talents and purpose. Submission is the fulfilling of purpose with the blessings and backup from your partner. Submission is being you and standing for what you believe in all humility and diligence.
Is it only the wife who should submit?
So, going back to the reason I started this piece, someone in that conversation thinks that only the wife should submit and it is for the husband to just love the wife. According to this “sound” mind, the reason for this opinion is rooted in the Good Book – The Bible.
However, taking a trip to verify this claim, it became clear that people become selective with “truth” the moment it is for their benefit. According to this person, the root of his claims stems from the section of the Good Book, Ephesians 5:22. It states, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord”. Well, well, well. This person carefully swayed past the 21st verse of that same Ephesians 5 which states, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”.
In other for there to be harmony there needs to be equity and for this reason, couples have been instructed to submit to each other first as the general rule before the specifications of how it will be done. If at this point anyone still things that only the wife should submit, that is simply delusional.
As a personal opinion, the moment you decide to pledge your life and loyalty to someone in the form of marriage, that is the moment you pledge to a reasonable compromise. This applies to both parties.
Just as I said above, harmony is a direct consequence of equity. For both parties to have a pleasant experience, the recipe is more of mutual respect and commitment and less demanding respect.
At this point, it will be great to appreciate that the meaning of submission is and what it is not, what makes it submission which is the emphasis on the willingness and whose role it is to submit is well digested. However, the big stumbling block in the cycle still remains if submission should be demanded and if yes, when? If not, why not?
Do I think submission should be demanded by a man from the wife? Hell No!
For crying out loud, marriage is a partnership and not a slavery or ownership contract. Even in a not so scared business environment, every partnership goes with lots of dialogues and consensus. How much more in the garden meant to be filled with love and affection? Be reminded that even the Good Book still says that the man is to love his wife. (This is for the people that uses it as their manual). All you are to give is love as there was no mention of any form of demand.
More so, the aim of submission is geared at instituting leadership and unity. There cannot be two captains in a single ship. Notwithstanding a captain is usually assisted by the chief officer, second officer, junior officer, and all other people who make up the crew. So, you see, a good sail is a product of good cooperation.
The presence of submission or leadership is not for one to lord it over the order but for there to be some sort of leadership and responsibility. It is for there to be one who says “Let’s…” more than the other. Being in charge of something creates a sense of responsibility which is what the man should focus on fulfilling and not who obeyed his leadership or not. Putting a supervisor in charge of a team is for coordination and not for making final decisions. Besides, a leader who listens and says “I am wrong and you are right” tends to perform leader.
Just like I said earlier before any woman became a wife, she is first a person by herself. A person with control over their will and thoughts.
When should a man demand submission?
So, if you so desire obedience and submission as a man, you should try to earn it assuming it is possible to have a woman give you all of it though. If not, buckle up and be a respecting partner. Until you are able to
- prove yourself worthy of fulfilling all of a woman’s dream
- able to take responsibility for even her actions
- take complete and entire care of the family in all angles
- take up the duties of a man as well as that of a woman, (including biological duties)
- perfect in all your dealings as a result of making perfect decisions and be able to understand all she wants, when she wants it and how she wants it
Then you can demand submission.
But as long as you still falter in any way possible and liable to mistakes, no one should trust you with their entire will which by extension is submission. No one! not even your wife.