As I walk up and about, I see men and women all adorned, looking sharp and great, but then I begin to wonder about their lives.
I think back at those days when I felt pressed and angered by decisions that my husband took that didn’t come from me.
They were not wrong decisions at all, some felt a bit off, but the problem was the fact that I didn’t make them.
Did he make me follow without questioning? Did he stifle me with them? No, but it was never in me to follow.
As i cross the busy lanes, I wonder how many husbands, driving these cars, or walking with the newspapers tightly clutched in their hands, are afraid of interfering with their wives’ freedom, believing that their primary responsibility as men involves enabling rather than leading.
I wonder how many more, as they clap for their high achieving wives, over their graduation or promotional parties, applauding them with song and dance, throwing million-dollar parties, battle secretly against sexual temptations, sometimes so strong and so perverted.
I wonder how many more struggle to open up even to their most trusted friends about their “unnatural desires” and lusts.
I wonder how many have skeletons in their closets, skeletons that remind them of their failures and inadequacies as men.
I wonder how many have retreated to the brothels, how many visit those place often, just to anesthetize an empty space in their hearts that seems to linger and momentarily act as safe zones.
I wonder how many have a secret “lives” on the internet, feeling free to be who they are there.
I wonder how many frequent “the online second life” fantasy world, living behind a mask that proves effective in hiding who they but draw people to associate with what they project to be.
I wonder how many more pretend that they don’t need to be cared for. Acting macho and strong, trying so hard to numb their feelings, castrating off their “needy” feelings and displaying a sense of strength that in essence draws no one to them.
As I bend over to pick up a couple of tomatoes from “mama mboga”, she greets me with a smile.
A feigned smile that speaks volumes about her life than she could ever possibly speak.
I wonder if she too battled with the issue of submission or she simply “complied” to make her marriage work.
I wonder how many women struggle, every day of their lives to submit to insensitive, petulant, cruel husbands, holding onto the belief that submission is a law to keep, otherwise they would head straight to hell.
I wonder how many more are stripped off their dignity by their husbands, making them do sexual perverted acts, but still hold onto their marriages – as burdensome as they are – believing that submission is a principle that God laid out and has to be followed regardless of anything.
I wonder too, how many more, with their shoulders bent and heads strained, secretly wish for their husbands’ death or maybe for them to be lured into another woman’s arms, just to free themselves from the marital bondage they are in.
I wonder how many more walk around suicidal, wondering how the promises of eternal love sour.
Grappling with the fact that they still have tomorrow and the day after to live with these kind of a men!
I wonder how many look at their husbands and are filled with resentment over how they treat them and assert their headship over them. A headship that it is more of a dictatorship than co partnership.
You see headship and submission have to work in tandem for a marriage to fully experience the joy that the Lord intended for us.
None can suffice alone.
I have seen many of our Christian brothers assert authority over their wives believing that “Wives should come under their terms.”
I have seen Christian women act both ways. Some becomes overly scared and subservient, others acting out.
I have seen the kind of headship that turns a man into an angry ruler and dictator and a kind of submission that turns the woman into an angry contentious wife or simply, a servant.
Why does God say that we should mutually submit to each other? What did he really mean by that?
This is what God meant by headship and submission.
Husbands and wives, both have God given authority in marriage. Their authority in marriage is really of equal responsibility.
They are to serve each other in love, in wisdom, in care and understanding, mindful of each other’s needs and desires.
God authoritatively, tells us to give each other to our spouses, that is the ultimate authority.
Now you may ask me, where does headship and submission come in all this?
You see, God designed us differently. The differences are in our gender and what brings us most joy when exercised.
So that expression of “headship” to serve the wife, at the highest level is characterized by having the freedom to make decisions in the family and having the support of his wife.
The expression of “submission” at the highest level is having the inclination and disposition to willingly support your husband not through coercion, but through love.
It’s true it’s an inclination because you have a choice, to cooperate or not but at the end, the consequences will come down to whatever path you took.
If we define headship as the right of a husband to decide something and the wife has to follow without questioning anything, then we are missing the point.
It sorts of puts the wife in an inferior place of being subordinate to the husband and she has no choice but to cooperate. More like a master and a servant.
Order will be achieved but at the expense of having intimate joy of marriage and passion.
That is not headship nor is it masculinity. A man who is the head of the family nourishes the family and most of all loves like Christ. That he sanctifies and nourishes the wife, so as to present to himself a spotless bride.
Can you imagine such a love?
It was selfless and sacrificial. It was non- demanding but gave the free-will to the church to freely express themselves but within specified boundaries.
Boundaries are there in marriage, but there can be creative freedom therein.
It doesn’t mean that the boundaries should be taken away, nor tightened, but the husband and his wife should freely love each other within those confines.
That is headship. It gives the woman the freedom to be who God called her to be, freely without imposing.
It makes the wife to be creative and exercise her God given purposes.
With that direction, he will not need to impose on her anything, because she will freely submit to the one who loves her.
A wife on the other hand, her submission is by prayerfully encouraging her husband to move in the God given direction over their family.
She remains sensitive to his needs, looking for every opportunity to minister to her husband (be it in prayer, serving him or encouraging him.)
She does so wisely. Wisely in sense that she is not to mechanically obey, but at the same time not demand of him to change his course.
She gives him respect, challenges his masculinity into godliness, admires him carefully, and shows her vulnerability to him to affirm his confidence in whatever he undertakes to do.
She is to “incline” herself to do it, out of love that flows from within, not without.
Headship and submission are not merely roles to fit in marriage, but are unique opportunities presented to us by God, to give to our spouse what they most long for from us.
Headship and submission continues..