Love and Submission in the Family – Not A Transaction
Unless you went for window shopping, whenever you walked into a shopping mall, you definitely had things to buy. As you walked along the aisle, putting things into your cart, you were well aware you had cash in your wallet or purse, or you had your credit or debit card with you. The cashier handled your payment and issued you a receipt. Now everybody was happy. They had your money, and you had their goods. Transaction completed.
The above scenario is a familiar one, and somehow, we have come to see life mostly as a transaction—“give and take” or “take and give” and that attitude has been brought into marriages since two parties are also involved. The Apostle Paul gave a set of instructions for Christian households regarding relationships in Ephesians 5:21-33. Two phrases that readily come to mind are: “Wives, submit to your husbands…” and “Husbands, love your wives…” Many people have misconstrued these two injunctions to be a deed of partnership and have reduced marital relationship to a mere transaction.
So you hear men say, “I cannot continue loving this woman if she doesn’t submit to me,” and women, “I will submit to my husband if and only if he proves to be loving.” This is not marriage; at best, it is a transaction -“Pay Before Service!” Where marriage is seen this way, the problem becomes that of who gives first, and this further complicates things. Paul started his discourse on marriage by saying in verse 21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” and the Bible also commands us almost everywhere to love one another. You see? The Husband is the Chief Loving Officer (CLO) and the wife, the Chief Submission Officer (CSO) in terms of overall responsibility, but each one has “love” and “submission” in their job descriptions because they are first Christians before they are couples. For example, Titus 2:4 says, “…Teach the young women…to love their husbands…”
The principle of love and submission is to be done by both husbands and wives. They should both be loving and submitting. I cannot stress the importance of loving each other enough. There are also times when a wife can have a superior idea or make inputs in grey areas that the husband didn’t take note of from the outset.
Love each other. One of the most striking things about God’s kind of love is that you can teach yourself to operate in it. Carnal love is completely motivated by the emotions or senses, but God’s kind of love comes from the heart, and although feelings are definitely affected, they don’t motivate or deter God’s kind of love. God’s kind of love is a choice you make on the basis of what God said, and then act on it in faith until it becomes a reality in your spirit, soul and body.
Make a commitment today to always be proactive in putting love and submission on the table in your family, and you will experience a home after God’s heart.
To be continued next week.
– Tope S. Aladenusi