Rorate Caeli

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it": A note on 'submission'

The topic of a wife's submission to her husband is an issue that we hear about often, and one that is too long, and too in-depth, for this blogger to go into today. However, quickly, I want to point out to husbands, as Father's Day is approaching, that a wife's submission is impossible without the husband's love for her: The same love that Christ has for His Church. And that a husband's love cannot be divorced from his actions. 

A few book suggestions will follow at the end of this post, so please click the "read more" at the bottom. But first, a nice passage from "Father-hood and Family" Volume 3, this section written by Ed Willock in 1952:

"My anti-feminist leanings should not be construed as a lack of respect for the personal dignity of the wife and mother. Quite the contrary. When men once again become heads of their home, the dignity of wifeliness and motherhood will equal if not surpass the current secular adulation of the career woman. In the evening after the children are bedded is the most likely time for the man and wife to sit together and talk about their mutual partnership. A few words may be all that is needed to renew common enthusiam for the daily grind. When God divided the species into two and assigned the woman to be the helpmate of the man, He didn't merely give the man an extra pair of hands but another mind and loving heart. It is more than likely that a man and wife can get better advice on intimate problems of conduct from one another than from any other source. Grace and love combine to quicken the perceptions of each partner so they can be of inestimable help to one another. It should be borne in mind that all the graces of Matrimony build upon the mutual consent of each partner. Each had to say, 'I will!' before the Sacrament was fulfilled, and this 'I will!' must be repeated continuously if the graces are to become actual in their works. In order for the man to be a proper head of the family, his wife must continuously consent to it. He cannot effectively force her to consent. On the other hand, the man must consent to her being his helper or else she cannot truly be helpful. If he seeks advice for living from some other sources, looking down upon her suggestions, then he is cutting himself off from the most likely source of wisdom."

Too often, some traditionalist husbands get a warped, even dangerous view of submission. Submission is many things. It is, however, never an excuse to verbally, psychologically or, especially, physically abuse a wife. Never! And any traditional man who is committing these grave sins, certainly not loving their wives as Christ so loved His Church, should stop immediately. Your souls, and possibly even your freedom, are in peril.

And a final tip for husbands: While not easy, before you utter a single negative word, or take any consequential action with your wife, ask yourself "Is this how St. Joseph would act towards Mary?" Think about that.

Some books all husbands, especially ones who do not understand what submission truly means, are as follows: 

Father-hood and Family Volume 3 (click here)

Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales (click here)

Three to Get Married (click here)

Humility of Heart (click here)