Love before submission vs. submission before love? ~ By Azuka Onwuka
“If a man loves his wife totally like Christ loved the world and gave his life, the wife will naturally submit to him.” – FALSE
“If a woman submits completely to her husband, the husband will naturally love her.” – FALSE.
A man can love a woman even with his life and she will have little regard for him and be more interested in a loafer or ne’er-do-well somewhere around. Similarly, a woman can be totally submissive to her husband, forgo all her life dreams and desires just to please the man, but the man will still not have much interest in her but be more interested in one gold-digging she-devil somewhere who shows him no respect.
Anytime you hear a woman say: “My husband will first love me passionately before I can submit to him,” or you hear a man say: “My wife will first submit to me before I can love her passionately,” please know that such people are not interested in having a happy marriage. Such people are the tit-for-tat people: “If you show me love, I will respond; if you tell me you love me, I will tell you I love you; and if you curse me, I will curse you back and add your lineage as jara; if you don’t talk to me; I won’t talk to you.” Such people come to marriage with the wrong mindset. To them, marriage is a contest or a battle where one person should always win, and they should be that winner.
Those who want to have a happy marriage don’t wait for who to love the other first or who to submit first before responding. The moment they accept one another, they start building the marriage automatically and naturally. They don’t wait to see who is doing the loving and who is doing the submitting. The man will submit to the wife naturally without thinking about it and vice versa. The wife will love the husband without thinking about it and vice versa.
What does it mean to submit to the other person? A man dresses up to leave, and the wife says: “Darling, I don’t like that tie. It makes you look unserious.” Meanwhile, this is the tie everyone in the office said was beautiful. But is the man married to “everyone in the office” or the wife? Does he dress to please his office people or his wife?
The man pulls the tie off and asks her to choose the one she prefers. He leaves the home wearing the tie the wife prefers. Did the man submit to his wife or not? Is a man meant to submit to his wife? Will the wife feel happier with her husband afterwards and see herself as the most important person in his life?
Now, let us change the scenario. The woman is about to leave the house in a new dress she bought recently. Then, the man says: “Darling, this dress does not bring out your beauty and shape. It makes you look unserious.” Then, the woman gets angry and tells the husband that this is what is in vogue. She insists that she will leave the home in it because she understands fashion better than the husband. The man keeps quiet and she leaves in that dress.
Is she married to the fashionistas outside the house or to her husband? Does she dress to please those outside or her husband? Did she submit to her husband?
Is submission the same as slavery or bondage? No. The moment couples stop seeing submission as slavery, that is when they can start building happier marriages.
If a man has the belief that he makes the money and should take the decisions in “his home”, and does not need to discuss with the wife before doing them, because he is the man who should not submit to a woman, he has done incalculable harm to his marriage. He has simply killed the happiness in his marriage. His relationship with his wife will be mechanical: “Take this money. Give me drinking water. Why didn’t you wash my clothes today? Never in your life argue with me again? Did I marry you or you married me?”
The woman is “submissive” to her husband. The man “loves” his wife by ensuring that his wife never lacks anything in life. There will be “peace” in that home. But surely there won’t be any happiness. The peace may last in the eyes of the public till death do them part, but both of them know that they don’t have a marriage.
This has nothing to do with the argument that every marriage is unique and what works for one marriage may not work for another. Yes, every marriage is unique because human beings are different. But no human being is happy when treated without regard. The only person who may not bother or feel bad is someone with a psychiatric problem.
Now let us go back to our first line of argument about submission not necessarily eliciting love and vice versa. Since the issue of love and submission is from the Bible, let us look at an incident in the Bible where love failed. Ask yourself: Did God not show love to Lucifer before Lucifer rebelled against Him? Is rebellion not a sign of lack of submission? Was there something God could have done for Lucifer to stop him from his action? It is doubtful.
Yes, loving someone is a sure way of being loved back. But it is not totally guaranteed.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, submission is the action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. No marriage will be happy if the man does not regularly submit to his wife and vice versa. No marriage will be happy if the woman does not consistently love her husband and vice versa. The duty of a married person is to ensure that he or his spouse is taken care of. So if you are waiting for your spouse to submit to you or to love you first before playing your role to your spouse, you are a puppy spouse! Only unserious couples argue over who should submit first or who should love first.