Calm down ladies, I know the word submission represents subjugation and oppression in marriage especially in the African setting. Approaching marriage with an open heart, will assuage all fears associated with that word. It is just semantics and shouldn’t be interpreted literally. Submission is a word from the bible which signifies your acceptance of your husbands position as the head of the family unit. The bible 1 Cor 11:3, it reiterated again that the head of man is Christ, the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. This does not demean Gods charge to the man to love his wife unconditionally. Where there is respect for the man ab nitio, it should be easy to deal with, especially when the man has done things and behaves in a manner which puts him in a moral position to lead, and in doing so, love understanding and respect should form the basis of any purposeful leadership. Only through these can true loyalty from your household be achieved.
Being the head of the household means to provide for and love your family unconditionally, give instructions and directions to the family as a head does to the rest of the body and to uphold the integrity and stability of the family as ‘head’ is also referred to as the cornerstone of a house. Drawing the analogy in Eph 5:25 where husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, headship of the family is expressed in the threefold office of Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. Any man who will be head must assume these threefold position in his family. As a prophet the man represents God in his family, as a priest he mediates between his family and God and as a King he loves, provides for and protects his family.
As a Christian, I write from a Christian perspective. There is a reason God says women should submit to their husbands and men should love their wives , and I believe strongly that in any union involving humans from any gender, be it in marriage, corporate, professional relationships, someone must be in charge for things to move forward and to avoid a stalemate. Ordinarily the word submission shouldn’t elicit so much resistance from our women, in the real sense of it, submission doesn’t mean a slavish subjugation of the woman, it doesn’t mean being voiceless or being subjected to the position of a robotic follower in the family unit. it simply means that in addition to asserting yourself and demanding your rights and privileges as a wife, you recognise your husband as the head of the family. When women are asked to submit to their husband, God hasn’t asked men to enslave or subjugate their wives, in fact the love he instructed us to show our wives makes it impossible for any man to accept submission from his wife the way some of us understand it.
The very sad thing here is that some women who are opposed to submission at home submit willingly and totally to their male bosses in the office and their male pastor, without any iota of resistance, so why not at home??, it is only an unhealthy rivalry at home that can make a woman vehemently reject the idea of submitting to her husband. The concept of submission is simple human psychology designed to ensure that conflict and loggerheads is reduced to the barest minimum. When no one takes charge, there will certainly be a stalemate in the decision making process in the family. If wife wants to go north and husband wants to go south and they both insist on their choice, which direction do you travel? should the family be allowed to disintegrate or should the man invoke his veto power as the head of the family and decide. The chief proponent of marriage Almighty God himself gave us strict guidelines on marriage, the high point of these biblical directives centres around submission, mutual respect and unconditional love.
I believe that a man who has earned the respect and love of his wife deserves utmost respect from her, it is not something demanded by force, it is freely and willingly given. Personally I don’t even want the submission, I am more than willing to submit to my wife, It doesn’t in anyway diminish my self worth as a man and an able provider in my household. In spite of the fact that I believe I don’t deserve to be submitted to, my wife feels otherwise, she has willingly put me in a position of leadership which I frankly haven’t asked for. She is an accomplished woman thriving in her career as a lawyer and public servant, if she insists on it, that means I am doing something right. If tomorrow I derail, knowing my wife very well, she will protest and resist with as much strength as she has willingly submitted.
So every confident woman out there shouldn’t cower at the mention of the word ‘submission’, You can submit to your husband and still preserve your dignity. it is a thing which you willing do either in reverence to the biblical charge on marriage or simply because your husband has earned for himself the position of respect and honour to which you choose to elevate him. As a woman, submission is yours to give and if it is not willingly given without coercion, force or manipulation, it becomes subjugation or slavery, this is at variance with the Christian submission as described in the bible. A submissive woman puts any man who has a conscience on the spot, expectations from the family becomes very high and he will struggle to live up to these expectations. To him whom much is given much is also expected – Sir Stanley Ekezie