The institution of marriage intrigues me. I love analyzing relationships that men and women share. I love seeing how men and women grow and change and become one, and I love seeing how by crucifying self, people become better versions of themselves. But I’ve also seen marriage destroy those who resort to means outside of the wisdom of God to make it work.
What could be simple matters – matters of division of roles, dealing with in-laws, or expressing feelings and emotions in acceptable ways – bring out problems that couples deem irreconcilable. In times past, I loved the debates which ensued when it got down to tackling the questions of what each partner must bring to the table or what is the RIGHT way and the WRONG way to go about doing things. But these days – call it the fruit of old age – it brings no excitement to me. I’ve recognized that no matter the situation, problem or question, Love is always the answer.
So I’ve decided to throw a Love Challenge. I throw this one to my brothers. To Love or To Tame?
So here it goes:
You probably know her: fine like the lead in your push point pencil, outspoken, successful in her career, Christian and then there is the inevitable label of SINGLE which follows. She wants a good Christian man, and you’re that, but this woman looks like she’s probably gonna cut off your balls. Anytime, you approach her, she rolls her eyes or turns up her nose like you’re the most disgusting thing. It’s possible that she’s just difficult but it is also possible that she holds on to her single status because she fears what will happen to a woman of her kind.
You probably know her: fine like the lead in your push point pencil, outspoken, successful in her career, makes more money than you, has so many letters behind her name that you can’t keep count, doesn’t know how to boil a pan of water, Christian and she’s your wife. She makes you laugh on the days where it seems like your world is crumbling. It’s possible that she’s anti-submission but it is also possible that she remains stubborn because she fears what you seek to do to a woman of her kind.
Older men teach it to younger men, and younger men pass it on to their sons: Women who are spirited, outspoken, or possess strong wills need to be tamed. Women who don‘t enjoy cooking, who do not relish the thought of staying home to cook, clean and make sure that their men have a hot meal when they come home from work are evil and likely possessed by a Jezebel spirit. Women who have veered away from traditional gender roles are nothing but feminists who are forcing an agenda which seeks to raise a generation of pusillanimous men.
Preachers spout it off the pulpit or say it jovially to a woman they deem difficult or contrary to what they believe to be the “ideal” woman: You need a good man; as if to say that some good sex and a man with a strong, overbearing and equally stubborn personality would definitely rein her in and make her fit the profile of a demure, submissive wife.
I’m not afraid of much, but every time I hear such utterances, I become fearful and I question my fate with a Christian man who most probably has been cultured to not understand what it is to love.
If you’re a man, you’re reading this and you agree with the preacher who touted this, then your thinking is not in keeping with the wisdom of God. If you’re a woman reading this and you believe that one of your sisters needs to be tamed by a man, then your thinking is not in line with the wisdom of God.
I marvel at the wisdom of God. It is far-reaching, it is true and always considerate of the well-being of mankind. God, in his wisdom, asked men to LOVE their wives. He asked men to be kind, to keep no record of wrongs, to be patient, not to brag and to dispel of arrogance when dealing with the women who are to be their helpmates. He asked men to pursue and to sacrifice just as Christ did for the church.
The things that God has required do not constitute what it means to tame a woman. As a matter of fact, taming constitutes the exact opposite and so we can draw the conclusion that God did not call men to tame their wives or the women they date. Let us examine the word tame:
Tame (verb) – used with object
- to make tame; domesticate; make tractable; make compliant
- to deprive of courage, ardor or zest
- to deprive of interest, excitement or attractiveness
- to soften; tone down
- to harness or control; render useful, as a source of power
- to cultivate, as land or plants.
Taming is a concept birthed out of the reason and logic of man and although it perhaps predated him, William Shakespeare in his, “Taming of the Shrew”, brings it down to an art. He shows it off as something beautiful and something to be aspired to.
Taming is a method concerned with breaking spirits and forcing into submission. It is a method used with wild beasts and spirited animals. It concerns possessing the mind of that which is to be tamed and forcing it into subjection to the will of the tamer. It should never be used on any human being as it violates the gift of choice and it should NEVER be used with women.
She is NOT Submissive
“Girl, you don‘t know the half of what I go through with this woman. I’ll give you two things and you will understand why I deal with this the way in which I deal with it. First off, the woman is not submissive. Done. But hear dis na, d woman won’t cook or clean. All she does is work, work, work. How am I supposed to handle this?”
Love her. Next concern… (chuckles mischievously).
Alright. I’m kidding.
I think it important to share a truth with my brothers: Women, by nature, are NOT submissive. If you meet a woman who says to you that she is naturally submissive or has mastered the art of submission, she has either not discovered who she is at the core or…
Again, submission is not something that comes naturally to us. It is something that goes against the grain of the nature of a woman. If you remember the account of what happened in the garden, you will remember that God called women unto submission as a curse. It was punishment for allowing herself to be deceived by the enticement of the serpent. The Father’s love and the sacrifice of his son’s life have allowed us to find blessing in something that was meant to punish us. Still, that doesn’t make it easier.
When you’re dealing with a woman who isn’t submissive, your attempts to tame her would probably achieve your desired aim, but it will also leave you with a shell of a woman; a woman who loses her zest, her personality, her spunk and her color. If you’re a man without deep-seated psychological issues this is not what you want.
Furthermore, it is not your mandate to bring the woman into submission. Submission is a mandate given directly to her from God. It is a choice that she must make in honoring the role that God has called her to. So instead, I challenge you to love her. This calls for your patience, this calls for your gentleness, this calls for sacrificing some of your wants and needs temporarily for the greater good of oneness.
Love her, and watch her blossom. Don’t tame her.
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.
The Woman Won’t Cook or Clean
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love will cover your hungry belly too (chuckles mischievously).
Alright, alright. I kid.
Each household has different expectations where the division of roles is concerned. Some couples go the traditional route and some couples believe in halving everything. At some point in time, a compromise about how chores are divided in your household would become a topic of conversation before marriage and during marriage. When it does, listen to each other, and respect each other’s opinions. Brothers, I beg. Please do not tell the woman, “My mother did that AND worked. I expect you to do the same.” She may come from a household where her father did that AND worked. She may come from a household where she had maids or servants to help with matters of a domestic nature. Her experience may have been one where her mother’s job was to stay home and take care of the house.
At the end of the day, in the face of differences in opinion, a solution will be found when Love is applied.
Ephesians 5:25- 29 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.
And Finally… Love Rejoices In Truth
I would be biased if I didn’t also say that LOVE rejoices in truth. The truth may be that your wife or wife to be may be disrespectful in her expressions toward and interactions with you or slothful where matters of the house are concerned, and if that is the case, you can express these truths to her.
You can tell her that you’d love it if she hears you out more or speaks to you in a gentler tone. You can tell her that you feel loved when she does cook and clean. The key is to express your truth in a manner that isn’t harsh, off-putting or unloveable.
The answer is simple, my brother. Love her.
“I’m telling you. You don‘t know what I’m talking about but those who feel it, know it.”
I have largely thrown this Love Challenge out to the men but in pondering on a conversation that I had yesterday evening I recognize that women are sometimes just as guilty as men are. They too have their own methods of taming. I think they term it “training a man”. Some withhold sex, some don‘t cook or withhold anything that would bring the man pleasure for the sole purpose of making a point.
Ladies… Really? Love the brother!
So perhaps this is a challenge to both men and women. Love. Don‘t Tame or Train.