Now, I know seeing this header, a number of men are just about ready to take me apart and grind the parts…let me save you the hassle by informing you that I strongly agree that a wife must submit to her husband as her head, so please erase the enemy line drawn, I am in your camp :)
People who love to cook and especially those who do it professionally know the importance of having a recipe that suits your purpose and following that recipe to the last detail. Just two pinches of salt above the recommended and the taste may not be the same. A recipe is so important that it can become a family tradition passed on to generations after generations and kept secret! Have you ever asked a friend what stunts she pulls to get her pie/cake/cocktail to taste the way it does and the best she can do for you is offer to make you some? Or she considers for awhile and says, ‘it’s a family secret…..if I told you, I’d have to kill you’. I’m telling you, you best be running for your dear life, she ain’t playing……there’s a 0.0000000000000001% probability she will include poison in that recipe, statisticians would agree with me that you don’t ignore that kind of percentage, it means something! Let it be known now that I did warn you (yes, yes, I’m kidding of course!).
So, there is a recipe for just about everything: a recipe for food, a recipe for living, recipe for failure and of course, a recipe for marriage. We all know God is generous and wouldn’t withhold His own recipes and when it comes to marriage, He freely passed it down, nothing held back. (See Ephesians 5: 21-33). It’s important not to put the cart before the horse when following a recipe, there’s no way you are adding the vegetable before the palm oil and you expect the soup to come out looking crispy and green and tasting like mama’s……you should have followed her recipe just the way she told you to if you wanted to get your soup to look and taste like hers. When God says we should forgive before praying, that order wasn’t a mistake. When He said to have friends, you need to first of all show yourself friendly; it was and is the right pattern.
We love to take out the things that suit us in God’s word and then kick the ones that aint so palatable to the curb. Sadly, every word, every single instruction, no matter how irrelevant and minute we consider it to be counts with the maker. There’s no taking one and leaving the other….I read Matthew 5 recently and when it got to the part that says calling someone an idiot brings you to judgment, I had to pause, reality check. It’s so easy to be focused on avoiding the ‘big sins’ but those little things we tend to ignore are not necessarily little with God. To walk with God, we cannot ignore order and detail, there is a due process to attract a particular reward and there are certain details involved in that process.
Almost everyone I know desires a happy, fruitful, blissful and rewarding marriage. We want it to go all the way, to be successful in it, to bear fruit and achieve purpose…..yes, every marriage should have a purpose, gist for another day. Now, the husband is the head of the wife and the home but sadly, only few men really understand what that means. Leadership is a position of service and intense responsibility, not lordship and tyranny. The recipe for a Godly and successful marriage is depicted in the relationship between Christ and the Church: Husbands, love your wives……wives, respect and submit to your husbands. I have seen examples of how this process works and I must say, it works mighty fine for the people who really, truly understand it. What I do find interesting though is that just before this instruction was given, there is a clause, ‘and further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ’. Then after the instruction, there is another interesting sentence and it says, ‘a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united into one’. I believe these sentences hold as much importance as the other ones we tend to focus more on…..the ones about submission and loving.
No, I don’t hate men, no, I’m not a feminist and no, I’m not biased…..the basis of my emphasis is what God himself has said. As much as it the prerogative of the wife to fully submit to her husband and respect him, as off as it may sound, the husband should also be willing to submit to his wife. Husband and wife should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. How? I’m glad you asked!
· By genuinely loving her like Christ loved the church. He submitted himself for the redemption of the church even unto death. A man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself!
· By listening to her and respecting her opinion and input, you may not agree with it but genuinely consider her stance. Just because the husband is the head doesn’t mean it always has to be his way or the highway, it can be a blessing to sometimes listen to your wife and take her advice.
· Husbands should communicate and discuss with their wives before taking decisions….both major and minor ones. Again, eventually, your decision may hold but communication helps you share your innermost thoughts and fosters some understanding.
· Give himself to nurture, serve and grow his wife.
· Make her the number one reference point in his choices and decisions, not his mama, not his siblings, not his work, nor his pleasures. A man can submit to his wife by making her a priority consideration in his actions.
Perhaps you wouldn't term the above as submission, maybe you would use another vocabulary; all I'm saying is: respect should be mutual and not one-sided. It's not right that the husband expects unreserved respect and the wife is denied the respect due to her. That kind of arrangement ain’t gonna cook up success. Let both husband and wife submit to one another out of reverence for Christ and this institution called marriage would be a better place for its students.
Mo’ Omoregee 2013