Hullo. It’s me again. *winks* I wanna talk about something today, that cuts across both single and married folks. I hope you find it interesting but most importantly learn a thing or two.
Earlier this week, something happened *swallows spit*. You see *pauses*, what happened was that my friend decided to probe her boyfriend on an underrated topic-“Should a husband show appreciation to his wife after a meal?” The response she got was shocking enough for her to call me in panic. His response in short, was that a man is the head of the family; the provider, therefore he shouldn’t have to say “thank you” or appreciate her effort because she is merely carrying out her “responsibility” of cooking the food he “bought”. *Sighs*
The truth is he loves her dearly, he seems like an amazing man. He makes her very happy (which is vital because I can’t stand my friend being in an unhappy relationship) and would someday make a great husband. But in that moment all I could think was “WAWU!!!” The truth is, this is the mentality of most Nigerian men. Yes! Even the highly educated ones.
I thought I’d share my thoughts and reservations on the topic with you all. The fact that there is a Bible verse “For the man is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the saviour”-Ephesians 5: 23 doesn’t give men the license to take advantage of their wives. Personally yeah, I have always had a problem with men who regard themselves as the ‘head’ of their wives mostly because my dad doesn’t like it either. I remember growing up, when we regard him as such, he’ll go all “No, Dad and Mom are partners” or “God is the head of this family, we’re just here to guide you as parents” and this was years ago. What more in 2017?! I acknowledge that God referred to a man as the head of his wife but like another friend of my mine will say, “A man is the head but his wife is the neck─that controls the head.” *winks* I’m a strong believer in the word of God but I think Nigerian men take the “head thingy” too far (mostly to suit them). The Bible also said in Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for God” (NIV). And as you read further, there is a breakdown of each person’s role. Verse 22 then went on to address wives, “Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
Then in verse 25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy (In other words, men should do everything within their capabilities to protect, provide and care for their wives), cleansing her (the church) by washing with water through the word.”
Verse 28: “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (NIV).
You can read further in Ephesians 5:21-33. All this is just to show that most Nigerian men misinterpret and twist this aspect of the Bible all in their respect-seeking attitude. If you’re gonna extract something from the Bible, then just go the whole length and do it correctly. Saint Paul’s message is to “submit to one another”, therefore, as your wives submit to you in everything so are you obliged to submit to her as well. In order words, it isn’t a one-way thingy. Hence the word “Partners”. You each have your role to play and just because it is a “responsibility” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appreciate your partner. Just because she is now your wife doesn’t mean you should stop going out of your way to impress/please her.
In my opinion, referring to a man as the ‘head’ of the wife is to emphasize how imperative it is that wives should respect their husbands at all times. Obviously no one will disrespect a ‘leader’ or a ‘King’ no matter how annoying or wrong he is (And we know how women possess the tendency to run their mouths and maybe get rude if triggered by certain situations. Thus the need for emphasis. Just saying). This isn’t to say you aren’t expected to respect your wife as well. It’s similar to how in Verse 25, emphasis is placed on husbands loving their wives and going to any length to take care of her. This however, does not exempt a woman from also loving and taking care of her husband. In addition, some of the qualities of a great leader/head is ‘to serve’ his people. In this context, a man is obligated to ensure his wife is provided for at all times, listen to her, involve her in his decisions, be sensitive and derive utmost joy from keeping her happy. You get my point right? Good. It is quite saddening when you see husbands act like bosses in their homes, this brings me to ‘treating your wife as an equal partner’. Yeah, there’s a stress on ‘equal’. A partner can be defined as “A person who takes part in an undertaking with another, especially in a business or firm with shared risks and profits”. The definition of equal is “having the same status, rights, and opportunities”- Both from Oxford Dictionary. Your wife should be treated like she has an equal say in the affairs of your home, every decision-making process and many more. She should complement you and make up for your weaknesses, magnify your strengths and you hers. I cannot overemphasize how vital it is that you let your wife know that you regard her as an equal partner, both verbally and via actions. It not only makes her happy but also makes her see you in a different light and makes her respect you even more. Trust me.
“Thank you” and “Please” are the most underrated words in marriages. You agree right? I’m not married but I have quite a number of married folks around me including my parents (Ha Ha). I see and hear a lot things while taking in the good as I learn from their mistakes. The little things matter the most, they really do. Ranging from showing interest in each other’s hobbies/work, praying together, a “Welcome-back-from-work” kiss, to getting each other little random gifts and paying attention to each other’s needs. Stop using words like “I, me, myself” and start using words like ‘you, us, ours”. Little things like these make the difference between a good relationship/marriage and a great one.
To the single folks, the values and tradition that you imbibe and practise in your relationship is what you take into marriage, so quit saying “When we marry, it will be different”, “When we marry, I’ll learn/change”. Start now! Start laying the foundation of your marriage from now. I wish you the very best and I hope to get feedback from you. Tell me what you think, your experiences, your thoughts and opinions.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and do subscribe. *kisses*