Recently, a friend of mine sent a video to me of a preacher advising on marriage. I do not know exactly how old this video clip is but I watched it with interest, smiling sometimes, nodding a few times and shaking my head often. However, for the most part, the video made my jaw drop (believe me, it’s hard to get me in that state). So he went on preaching, using Bible verses and giving interpretations from quotes that I would have interpreted in a completely different manner. That was why I found the clip fascinating and I decided to write this piece. Isn’t it amazing how we read the good book and yet we have different ideas from the same verse? Before you proceed to read, I wish to clarify that this writing is not to condemn anyone’s faith, preaching or opinion. Everybody is entitled to their opinions, so am I; therefore, I have just decided to share mine on this topic/video.
I will highlight a few points below, beginning with:
1. “Husband means Master” These were the exact words of the preacher in one of his early statements in the clip. He implied that this was God’s definition. Well, I was born a Christian and I still am but I have never come across that quote in the Bible (if you have, please feel free to drop the verse in the comment section). Therefore, this sounded entirely new to me and I was surprised. Being the student that I am (as written in my bio below), I decided to do a little research, rather than just doubting and arguing. The only place I was able to find a relationship between those two words was on the internet where a source reported that the word ‘Husband’ was derived from an old non-English word ‘hūsbōndi’, which means “master of a house.” The same source also stated that ‘wife’ means ‘mistress of the house’. In the light of this, to me, both the husband and wife run the household (although the man may be the leader) but not that the husband is the master of the wife! Not to confuse some of you who might be thinking that ‘master’ and ‘head’ mean the same thing just because the Bible says that the man is the head of his wife. Er…no, they have different meanings, especially in this context (please feel free to Google or Bing the words).
In short, the term ‘master’ takes us many years behind, up to the days of slave trade which I believe was abolished for good reasons. The preaching also implied that the husband is not a male partner or mate in the marriage. I was a bit confused given that man was referred to as a mate in the Bible (none shall be without her mate). In the dictionary, mate means partner, companion etc. so I do not agree with this particular sentence.
Now, talking about a man being a head or leader of his wife, just as stated in the Bible, leadership is by serving (not by being served). Please remember that Christ gave us perfect examples of how to be a great leader including washing the feet of his disciples. So kindly employ such acts of humility wherever you find yourself in a leadership position be it at home, work, or anywhere else.
2. ‘The woman was not God’s original idea…Woman was made because of man.” Yes, I completely agree with this sentence but then again, I was not sure what the preacher was implying thereafter. I’m sure many people can relate to situations where they have made a plan B and it turned out to be much better than plan A, even though it was not the originally intended plan. Therefore, the one that comes first does not necessarily mean better; after all the sheep and goats were created before man. Yes, according to the Bible, everything was very good when the man was made but perhaps, something vital was missing. So I believe God was graceful to bring the woman into the world to complete it (personal thoughts, not from the bible). This is not to say that women are better than men; all I am saying here is that the woman is just as important as the man and should be treated with as much dignity since we are all made in the image and likeness of God.
3. “The woman was created to help the man”….another true statement from the bible. Fair enough! But he went on to say that women are not made to supervise men. The word “help” is a very subjective one. While one man may need help in the kitchen, another may need help with supervision, another with planning, emotional support etc. and some might need help with their entire life aspects. I find it amazing how some men pray for wives and yet, they resist the help they are given (sometimes just out of sheer pride). The fact is that you have been sent a woman to identify your needs and offer companionship so we should try to open up our minds to the ‘help’ that we get. Please note that we have also been given freewill so we cannot be helped if we refuse it. Sometimes just listen; it might do you some good!
4. “If most women had their father bold enough to talk to them, they will be very successful in marriage…; that is their biggest problem!”
Ok, while I have to agree that it is the parents’ responsibilities to teach their daughters, they are also responsible for teaching their sons. I do not accept that most failed marriages occur because the women were not well-taught. In fact, I think that we spend too much time teaching our daughters that we forget to groom our sons (especially in Nigeria). There are so many books, seminars, videos including this one, teaching women on how to be a perfect wife, a better mother, the best cook, good in bed, a good daughter, secretary, housewife, you name it! You will find numerous materials online and in the libraries with lessons for women to learn. But try to find sources teaching men on things that should be done right, they are relatively very few. So I believe that it is time for us to sit our men (old and young) and groom them because no matter how good a woman is, the marriage will be challenging if she is married to a man that cannot decipher between good and bad or to a man who was not brought up to embrace and cherish the good. The teachings do not have to be comprehensive ones; we can start with the little things like teaching a man how to say thank you, how to be respectful, or even how to give a good kiss (a topic I hope to discuss in detail another time).
To sum up, every marriage is unique and what works for one couple might not work for you. So feel free to take advice but always think about what would work best for you and your partner.