Home Relationships Guest Contributor Ms Didi: A thin line between slavery and submission…

Guest Contributor Ms Didi: A thin line between slavery and submission…


On a day with not much work to do in the office, a colleague narrates an argument she had with her husband and somewhere along the line he quoted Ephesians 5, Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything……..

Emmmm I thought verse 25 also had something about men loving their wives. Why do men always leave out that part? It’s amazing how the least religious of men can quote this verse so well? Who am I challenge the words of the holy book?

I must say though that the two words start with the letter “s” but I don’t think that should be a reason why anyone should mistake one for the other. Seems nowadays a lot of people can’t just draw the line or maybe the line isn’t that visible.

I believe submission comes naturally when there’s love and you tend to even submit without knowing that you are. I don’t need a man to scream his head off telling me to submit. There’s so much talk going on about how a lot of women feel independent and want to take the place of a man and all that but let’s get real, how many men would want to be with a “zombie” who would say yes to everything he says without stating her own opinion on issues? Isn’t the relationship supposed to be one of mutual love or respect?

I really need to know where the line is and how thick it is because it seems its getting fainter by the day and I fear it may vanish one day.


  1. PREACH! Any guy with that kinna mentality deserves to be alone! Plus, the verse says AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH…and as far as I’m aware Christ did not enslave the church, silence her anduse her. Nor did He treat the church as an inferior entity. He treats Her with love and kindness. Christ does not command love and respect by bullying and enslavement. How do people get that passage so wrong?

    You hit the nail on the head with your second to last paragraph. Love breeds unwitting, but intentioned humity in people. Which is precisely how Christ got His church.

  2. The existence of that line and it’s thickness depends on the type of guy you choose as your partner.
    A man will pull the submission card just to have that upper hand. ” 2 bulls can’t reign in one pen” -Steel Pulse.
    You pick a playa, he won’t stick around when an argument starts. He might quote 1 Corinthians 15 as he walkes out of the door to go eat, drink and be merry with someone else.

    I’d say when you know your partner well, you can pretty much predict his/her responses in various scenarios.

  3. The bible says husband love your wife as Christ love the Church and gave himself to, that means husbands have to have Christ kind of love for their wife and then, the wife will submit, bible says Christ wash His disciples feet being a Master if the husbands will fist show that kind of love to their wife and in same place Christ ask the disciple what do people call me and the disciple said some say prophet etc and He ask them what do you, (my disciples )say about Me that means He giving them a change to have say in the issue, if husbands will lean that the wife have say in all issue, the wife will submit ,but if the husband want to dominate am I beg

  4. Ditto on Moses’ comment. If men would read the second half of that verse, or perhaps the WHOLE CHAPTER (gasp! imagine that) then their wives would easily submit…simply because they’re required to submit themselves one to another. If dominating men are going to quote the Bible, they might at least do the holy book some justice by reading the whole thing!

    Suggest to your friend that the pair of them sit down and read the whole thing in it’s entirety and have him stop taking the bible out of context to suit his fancy and whims.

  5. “the pair of them sit down and read the whole thing in it’s entirety and have him stop taking the bible out of context to suit his fancy and whims.”

    With the greatest of respect to all I’d like to say that if one does so one might get exactly what one wished for. The reality is that while it is indeed a fact that many take pieces and passages from the bible to justify all sorts of chauvinist and sexist agendas, even IN context the bible is filled with very sexist, misogynist passages and stories because they were written almost exclusively by men living in very patriarchal, thus sexist and misogynist cultures in Palestine, Greece and Rome.

    I’m not even going to go into discussing what passages are even authentic and which ones were forgeries, that’s a whole other can of worms (if one wants to go further into THAT, click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRrq3s3P3Pw or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRQ9WaxEjvc or read books like Forgery in Christianity by Joseph Wheless; Who Is This King of Glory? by Alvin Boyd Kuhn). However, although the rest of thepassage does implore husbands to love ther wives, if one understands the cultural ideas of Paul and those influenced by his writings, one woud realise that the “loved” wife, the idealised wife and woman was expected to be meek, passive and submissive woman to man’s authority. Assertiveness was asociated with sexuality, which in turn was used to guilt women into being quiet and submissive. Now if it’s one thing most people associate African/Afri-Caribbean women with is confidence and assertiveness.

    In 2011 are we really going to continue to quote or defer to the passages of ANY book without at least trying to understand what was the motivation behind the writer(s)?

  6. Sometimes I think that I don’t belong in this culture is submission the opposite of slavery? And are these the only choices available in relationships between men and women? Scary!

  7. Interesting topic and spot on. I think its time our Ministers of the gospel interpreted this particular Biblical admonition in a more practical light. I recently attended a wedding where this text was the theme of the sermon and i was pleasantly surprised to hear the Reverend Minister emphasise ‘mutual submission’. According to him, when there is mutual submission between the couple, there will be no need to re-echo Eph 5. I think we need more of such progressive interpretation of the Bible, especially where they relate to marriage and treatment of women and children. Other examples of such texts which are frequently abused are ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ (which is not even a verse in the Bible but culled from Proverbs 13:24 and 23:13 – 14) and the popular one that irresponsible parents cling to ‘…..Honour your mother and Father…’- Eph 6:1 – 3, conveniently forgetting verse 4


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