From a community reading of Genesis 2:18, 1 Peter 3:1-6 and Ephesians 5:22-33, apart from the assignment of a woman to help, assist and support the husband in the fulfilment of God’s assignment for his life (their lives), we see two other major instructions that God has given to the woman.
1. to honour and respect the husband
2. to submit to him.
In a previous episode (Episode 15) we addressed the issue of respect. I’ll like to highlight the issues under that point.
1. Generally, the way you speak to him is an important way to determine your respect for him. Do you talk to him anyhow? Is there courtesy in your speech? A man should happily run errands for his wife but as a woman how do you send him on such errands? Do you say, “Sweetheart, would you help in washing the plates so I can be faster with the cooking? Or you say, “only someone is doing everything. He will not help you to do anything, yet he’ll be shouting about food.”
The two statements are saying the same thing but one is respectful and likely to elicit a positive reaction, the other is disrespectful and likely to lead to a big fight especially if the man himself is not yet dead to the flesh. Even if he’s dead to the flesh and doesn’t respond with a fight, that statement will deeply hurt him.
How do you talk to your man?
In periods of disagreement or dissent, how do you communicate your disagreement or dissent? You can dissent, but how do you do it? Do you use a humble tone or high pitch? Do you shout and yell out at him? The tone of voice you choose matters in judging honour or lack of it? Do you dissent with soft words or harsh words?
This is very important to take note of in the matter of respect aside other things we said in Episode 15.
2. Find out from your man other ways he wants to be respected and respect him that way. So, we said, “respect him the way he wants to be respected not the way you think he should be respected.”
NOW REGARDING SUBMISSION. HOW DO YOU SUBMIT TO YOUR HUSBAND?
According to the amplified bible (classic edition), 1 Peter 3:1 is produced thus:
IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,
1 Peter 3:1 AMPC
To submit therefore is to:
1. Subordinate yourself as being secondary and dependent on your husband.
2. Adapt yourself to your husband.
To subordinate yourself is to make yourself, your own will, your desires and opinions to be secondary to his. To allow him to lead you in everything. Not to do anything without first getting his input and approval.
But to submit isn’t the same thing as saying yes to everything your husband says. Part of the help you bring to his life is to provide a balanced perspective to his views. If I’m your husband, I’ll be really worried if you say yes sheepishly to all my opinions and decisions without even interrogating it. That’s not safe for me. I’ll enter into a lot of errors that way. You’re here to balance me.
But in trying to balance me, do it respectfully. Don’t shout, don’t raise your voice. Don’t make me feel stupid. You can speak calmly and yet marshall an irresistible argument on an issue. The issue is you assumed it’s shouting and getting angry that will make your husband scared about going ahead with the plan.
A wise husband would not dismiss without deep thought a dissenting opinion of the wife. Even if he’s appearing to defend his stance in the immediate, that doesn’t mean he won’t still agree with you. Don’t let his initial self-defense provoke you and make you say, “do whatever you like then.” Calmly further explain the point you’re making with a desire to convince him. If you’re calm enough, and you’re not speaking out of turn, you’ll both understand each other better.
As a man, the moment you understand her point and you see the point as superior, immediately submit to your wife’s wisdom. That’s the submitting to one another that the bible spoke about in Eph 5:20. It’s not a battle of ego brother. It’s about making the best decision for the family. She’s here for that very purpose of helping you to reach better decisions.
As a woman, whenever your husband submits to your position, immediately go humble. Don’t begin to say, “why did it take you so long to see wisdom? You always argue about everything yet you’ll still later see how wrong your points are.” If you vaunt yourself that way because he submitted to your wisdom, next time, even if he’s wrong he won’t accept so that you won’t have an opportunity to think you’re something. Please take note of this rule: “When you’re wrong, admit it; when you’re right, keep quiet.”
But if after much thought, discussion and prayerful consideration on the issue; (which can sometimes span days) except it’s a spontaneous decision, if your husband insists that he believes the way he sees it is the best, at that point, you’re to submit to his position. And do it joyfully (not grudgingly; constantly referring to the issue and showing your anger about his decision) as a service unto the Lord.
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:22 AMP
See that submission even if it’s inconvenient as you serving God. And yes, God will record that submission as a credit score to your account.
But if you still believe he’s wrong and the decision is so serious it will throw the family into problem, you have two options: WHILE ALREADY IN SUBMISSION
1. Go and talk to Jesus, your husband’s head to overrule him. Sincerely this works all the time. Believe it. Two things can happen:
i. God may convince you you’re wrong yourself. That you should follow your husband.
ii. God may speak to your husband to listen to you the same way He asked Abraham to submit to his wife on a particular occasion. Genesis 21:12.
Whatever the case, until God has overruled him or overruled you, stay in submission to his position.
2. While I’ll wish you can learn more and more to explore option 1 because it works better, there are times you may need a human intervention. That’s where the person your husband has introduced to you as his disicipler comes in. My own wife has my permission from the beginning of the marriage to speak to my disicipler about any decision I’ve made that she finds disturbing any time without getting a fresh permission. But note that after the disicipler considers the issue, he may sometimes find that your husband’s position represents better wisdom. If not, he will also speak to him. Whatever decision he arrives at, you should humbly respect it.
ADAPTING YOURSELF TO HIM
To adapt to him is to shift from your own position and way of doing things and move to his, except he himself decides to shift to yours having found yours better.
It is in adapting to him that many women had to leave their own church where worship is more rambunctious to begin to attend their husband’s church where worship is solemn and unlike what they’ve been used to.
It is in adapting to him that you learn how to fit and be active in his calling even if it wasn’t the direction you had earlier envisaged.
What the bible is showing is that God has created capacity for flexibility in you as a woman. You can adapt to him in every aspect of his life and ways of doing things. Don’t insist that it is him that must conform to your own direction and ways of life. Let him be able to make that decision if need be through a gentle persuasion and a personal conviction and not by your stamping your feet on the ground.
This is the way to adapt yourself to him.
I hope this is helpful in clarifying the details of what it’ll entail to honour and submit to your own husbands.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| email@example.com