I have found that the subject of submission has been quite misunderstood and abused for a long time. I recently taught a Marriage and Family class and while I spoke to the men about loving, a married gentleman made a comment that was quite insensitive. He said, “Everything you have said is correct but in this day and age, we as husbands have to teach our wives some lessons because they lack respect. We have to make them respect us”. I replied by asking him, “So you want your wife to be scared of you?”, and he said “Yes. That’s the only way it would work”. You can imagine the response of the class at that point. Majority of the class disagreed with him and everyone wanted to air their opinion.
When I was able to calm the class down, I reminded them of 1 John 4:18, which tells us among other things, that perfect love expels all fear. It’s casts out all fear. So, where there is fear, there cannot be love. Its true that we wives, must submit and give you respect; yes! However, we should never come to the point of being afraid of or frightened by our husbands. The truth is this; if your wife submits to you out of fear or because she feels threatened by you, you are going about it the very wrong way and you can never have positive results in your marriage like that. Submission should be willing, never forced. That Scripture goes on to tell us that ‘…If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.’
I always like to remind husbands; those who claim to be Christians, that you are a picture of Christ to your wife (Ephesians 5:25), therefore your love towards her should be perfect! No excuses. The respect and reverence from your wife has to be earned and not taken by force otherwise she would never give you her best and you both will keep fighting against each other. If you have been forcing her, I strongly believe that the Holy Spirit needs to deepen your understanding of what love and submission in marriage are really all about. Ask Him with sincerity of heart and He would show you.
The Bible admonishes us to love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. So… show her deep love and affection. I’m not saying she is perfect and I’m not saying you will never be offended or upset by some of her actions. I’m saying you have to keep exhibiting God’s nature to her, if you want the best in her to come out and if you want her respect and reverence for you to be natural. Remember that you are meant to protect and defend her, not be one of her attackers faultfinders. So stop trying to prove to her that you are the boss and be friendly with her.! Change your approach and you will see God’s best for your marriage come alive. You may not like what I’m telling you but there is no controversy; if there is fear, you do not love her correctly.
You must have Christ (who is the Perfect Love) in your life to show your spouse love. This simply means that you must be born again and you can only do so by having a personal relationship with Him. You can do this by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. That way, you will be saved. If you are ready to be saved, please say this prayer: “Lord Jesus, I come to You today. I am a sinner. I can’t help myself. Forgive me of my sins. From today, I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You Jesus for saving me. Now, I know I am born again.”
Congratulations! I am so excited for you and look forward to your testimonies. Till I come your way next time, please call or write to share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, Tel: 08141320204; 07026385437. You can connect with me on my Facebook page, called Crisis-Proof Your Family, and my blog – www.crisisproofyourfamilyblog.com !
For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian Bookstores: Building a Successful Family, Making Marriage Work, Marriage Covenant and Success in Marriage (Co-Author).
Remain ever blessed!