So again we continue in the topic of discussion that we started from two previous post. I pray and I hope that we have been blessed by what we have read and learned from this series so far.
In today’s post we will consider another abuse of submission that needs to be looked into, and this is when a man unduly demands submission from his wife. This is a situation when a husband has absolutely forgotten that he has more responsibilities to his wife to love her like himself and like Christ loves the church, love and care for her unconditionally, respect and hold her in esteem so that nothing will hinder his prayers.
I heard the case of this young couple in which the wife got an opportunity to go work and live in Canada and just because the husband was not the one presented with such an opportunity he insisted his wife could not go, all because he was exercising his authority as head over his wife. Now before you think there is nothing wrong with such, please read some of his excuses. 1). He felt he should be the one with such a privilege and not his wife; 2). He said such an opportunity accrued to the wife because she came from a family wealthier than his. In summary he should be earning more than his wife and so he doesn’t want her to take the offer so she doesn’t earn more than him and then lord over him.
This is not a case in isolation, we have so many men who have caged their wives and prevented them from reaching greater height owing to their own insecurity and unwarranted fears and all they hold on to is that the word of God says the wife should submit to her husband. What these men have totally forgotten is that the same word of God says the wife is the suitable helper to her husband, so how is this wife expected to help her husband when she has been robbed of the ability and opportunity to grow and develop herself and her God given talent such that she will be ready and available to help her husband when he needs such help all owing to the selfishness and insecurity of her husband?
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that two are better than one because if one falls the other can lift him up and these Bible passages applies more to the married couples than any other two on the face of the earth. But when you have not allowed your wife to develop her strength, how can she lift you up when you are down? Isn’t it huge disaster when the two are down at the same time and no one to lift both up? The one whom the Lord has assigned to help you when the need arise has been robbed of her ability to help owing to your insensitivity and insecurity. And then she would be blamed for your fall to which she knows nothing about. I sincerely pray and hope that the Lord will open our eyes of understanding to see beyond baseless traditions and norms that pulls down rather than build up.
Proverbs 31:11-12 says of a wife of noble character that her husband has full confidence in her and so he lacks nothing of value and that she brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life and we read on from verse 13 to 28 of the same proverbs 31 why her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. And what we read there is the entrepreneurial capabilities of this wife of noble character, her high grade moral values and her application of divine wisdom. Her strength in merchandise are chief of the qualities that endears her husband to her. And where in the Bible do we find a submissive wife being someone whose wings are clipped just so her husband can trample her underfoot in the name of submission? This I am still looking for and am yet to find.
We also have men who would insist that their wives work and then submit her salary into his bank account in the name of submission. Though the Bible says the wife should submit to her husband in everything and that does not exclude her money, but the truth of the matter is that only a greedy man would allow his wife work and deprive her of her wages. Even the Bible says a laborer is worthy of his wages. A man who works and earn income should be proud of the fruits of his labor and not grab and accrue to himself what he has not worked for. The Bible says a man should love his wife as himself, so I want to ask such man as this that if he worked and then is deprived of his income would he be pleased or happy? If he wouldn’t be, then why is he depriving his wife of her income and hiding under the guise of submission.
What God instructs the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church; the love of Jesus for the church is a sacrificial love, the love that gives and not the love that takes what it has not earned. Christ as the head of the church provides for the church, that is why we pray in the name of Jesus and expect answers. A husband is to work and provide for his wife (1 Timothy 5:8) and not the wife working to provide for her husband. And so I hope a man who has good understanding of the word of God will also understand its application.
If a husband is financially down and genuinely needing his wife's financial assistance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But a man should be able to live up to his responsibility as the head of the home by also being the head in providing for his family’s needs.
Going back to the story of these two young couples in which the wife was gifted with the opportunity of travelling to Canada to live and work; to the glory of God, a counselor was invited to counsel them on the issue. The young man was asked if he truly loved his wife to which he answered yes. He was also asked that if he was the one given the opportunity to travel to Canada to live and work while his wife remained in Nigeria would he take up the offer, he also answered to the affirmative and said yes. Then he was asked if he felt his wife would be unfaithful to him with this opportunity that she has been given and he said he was sure his wife wouldn’t be unfaithful to him and he knew she would not exhibit any form of pride over the fact that she was earning more than him in income. So he was then asked why he wanted to deprive her of the opportunity that she has been gifted with and he couldn’t say a word.
The woman of God who spoke to them then made him realize that this opportunity could be a once in a life time opportunity for the two of them as nothing was stopping the wife from going to Canada, getting a job and be able to save and fund his own relocation too in due course since she had schooled in Canada before coming to Nigeria to settle down and he also did a good course in the university with a bright future ahead of him.
With the help of the Holy Spirit she was able to persuade the husband to let his wife travel and to the glory of God the wife has settled down in Canada, gotten a good job and she is able to send enough money to her husband to help him build up his account for post graduate degree in Canada. He has in fact paid visits to his wife and child as the wife was pregnant before leaving Nigeria and they are now both happy and better off.
Pride destroys more than it should be allowed to destroy in our lives if we are not sensitive enough to know when to nip it in the bud. In capping up this three post series on submission I want to say this, the instruction to the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church, God wants the husband to love his wife as himself, and likewise the wife is to submit to her husband as unto the Lord in everything. As a wife you don’t need your husband to love you first before submitting to him because when you get to the throne of judgment you can’t give God the excuse of your husband not loving you as a reason to fail. And in the same manner, as a husband, you don’t need your wife to submit to you first before you love her like God wants you to because at the judgment throne you cannot give lack of submission from your wife as a reason for disobeying God’s instruction on your life to love your wife like you should.In truth I know of a wife who had submitted all, even her income to her husband and she is better off today, and I say with all confidence that whatever you do in obedience to the word of God, you will never have any regrets doing it whether you are the wife or husband.