The 850k Question

There’s a question that floats round cyberspace from time to time.

“A woman earns one million naira monthly and her husband works in the same company and earns one hundred and fifty thousand naira monthly. If one of them has to resign to take better care of their kids, who should it be? Or if one of them had to be laid off by the company, who should be laid off?

 

The obvious answer should be the person who earns the least amount, right? Well this question was posed on an Igbo group on Facebook and majority of respondents said the woman should quit. It didn’t matter that the difference in their pay checks is more than the annual income of most Nigerians or that she could pay his six months’ salary and still have good money as change. They just wanted her to quit because she was the “woman”.

 

Somebody (a man) asked what if it was our brother, would we recommend that he quit? He asked the question on a thread where a number of women were talking about having the man quit. He went on to explain that such a man would do all the chores around the house and would end up becoming a housemaid.

 

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, my response would be predictable 😉

The sad thing is that he saw a man doing the “woman chores” as some kind of travesty, maybe an abomination. I have two brothers, both of them younger than me. If any of them found himself in that situation, I would ask him to quit his job. Anyway my brothers wouldn’t be so foolish that something like this becomes an issue for them.

 

Millions of women around the world run their homes without help and have very demanding jobs outside the home, they do it without announcing it to the world. Why then should I act like it’s an abomination if one of my brothers took up that toga to ensure a better life for his family?

 

You see, in Ephesians 5:22-33 a man called Paul outlined some roles for the husband and for the wife. The woman was asked to submit to her husband- the famous SUBMIT refrain came from here and the man was asked to love his wife as Christ loved the Church even to the extent of giving up his life for her.

 

When I read that part of the bible, it strikes me just how easy it is to refuse to see what’s written in black and white. Jesus came on earth to save the lost and to reconcile them to him, right? He left his heavenly splendour and glory to rub shoulders with man and even died in one of the most horrifying manners possible. Yet he counted it as nothing because he loved us, he went without complaint- the bible says as a sheep goes to be slaughtered without a word. He even forgave those who killed him even while he was going through all that torment! Can you beat that?

 

That is the same kind of love that men are called to love their wives with, even to the extent of dying for her if necessary. What it means is that, if there’s one piece of meat in the soup… The woman should eat it while the man goes without because he is called to love sacrificially. Am I touching a raw nerve here? How come this love part is not shouted from pulpits without the same fervour as Submission is preached?

 

Many Christian denominations had forbidden women from preaching and teaching in congregations and still do that today, citing Paul’s admonition to the Corinthian women to learn in silence and not to teach where a man is present. Some congregations did not even allow women read the Bible, yes that’s how bad it was. I’m not writing this to rail against the injustices of the past, I don’t even have that kind of ranting energy this morning.

 

When I talked about a man loving his wife sacrificially on that thread, I made several men uncomfortable and because I was able to back it up with scripture, it made some of them lash out incoherently.

 

There’s a hymn that has a line “how will they hear without a preacher?” I find it very apt for this post. If the preachers refuse to tell them, to tell us just how all-encompassing God’s command to men about love is, we will not know. The sad thing is, many marriages are not experiencing the harmony that is God’s plan because of this deficit.Chynanu's blog.png

 

You see, if you feel loved by someone and feel that this person would do literally anything for your benefit. “Submission” would not be hard and if a man loves his wife as Christ loves the church, he would not ask her to demean or devalue herself just to fit into the “submissive” mould.

 

Someone (a man) said men do not love because women do not submit, when I told him the order to love comes before submission, he said I was talking nonsense. Christ died for the church even while we were yet sinners, he died for us before we were even conceived. He didn’t wait for us to accept him first before he died for us and that is the kind of love that Paul admonished men to emulate. The love that acts without waiting for an incentive, the love that thrives even in hatred and mistrust, the love that never falters.

 

Back to the housemaid issue and the question that began the avalanche. If a man has to take over running the home because his wife earns more, he isn’t being less of a man by preparing the kids for school (until we were old enough to bathe ourselves, my father would bathe us every morning and he even had a job where he had to resume at before 8 am) and doing school runs, he isn’t less of a man if he has to clean his house and do laundry and even cook. I’m not even talking about patriarchy and feminism here (y’all know I am a card carrying feminist).

 

The bible supports him becoming a “housemaid” to ensure a better future for his family, if he has to sacrifice his career for his home… He is simply obeying that admonition to love sacrificially as Christ did. If it were my brother, I’d tell him to start a business that he can run from home. Millions of women do that around the world and they do not have two heads, it can be done.

 

Finally, I think the church should increase their efforts at giving Christian men the right orientation. Many men do not know just how serious the call to love is, they just know “SUBMIT” but do not understand the ramifications of “LOVE”. I pray that the message is preached more and the lesson can take root in more hearts.

 

PS: Do you think it is reasonable for a man to ask his wife to change her numbers when they get married? Let me know your thoughts… We might talk about it in another post.

PPS: Shadow of a rainbow  will be back soon, electricity supply to my new house is horrifically terrible. I write on my laptop (I hate writing on paper, I can’t even write on paper) and without power, it’s impossible to write. A generator is on the cards, if only the money for buying it will show up pronto.

 

 

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11 Comments

      1. Lol! I think Paul was a misogynist, in his defence though he couldn’t help it because of his background as a Pharisee. I’ve written about a couple of times.

  1. All this wingless melodramatic questionnaires flying around the web that causes people to think.

    Well, you have a point about the issue of submission and love and I wholly agree with your point of view. I thought the bible says two shall become one – perhaps a conjugal fusion takes place that makes them equal somehow but not losing individualistic characteristics.

    This is a dicey situation that should be carefully considered by the partners involved, I don’t think the real issue here is about who stays at home but more about ego clashes.

    In this part of the world men are raised by mothers to be a provider irrespective of what his wife earns. But what works for family A won’t work for family B. Things ought to be looked at objectively without bias.

    On your assertion that the man ought to stay home and perhaps runs a business from home, that’s a good advise but is it viable? Not all men are business oriented same as ladies.

    Both partners would have to sit down and decides.

    “You see, if you feel loved by someone and feel that this person would do literally anything for your benefit”.
    This is not necessarily true. Why? You just need to understand the complexities of humans. An example is a lady who’s being loves to the moon and back yet cheat on him same as for men too. As much unconditional God love is to us, many still ignore and don’t reciprocate or submit to him.

    You see this matter is an issue of the heart. Love and submission are issues of the heart. Its not so much about what you do but who you are. There are women who earns less than their husband and submit, vice versa in inverse same as for men too.

    I agree with your assertion also that many men has the wrong idea about submission, love and family. The issue is many of them don’t have good references.

    When you read that scripture, you will notice that it was the man that was given the commandment to love. Another issue is many men don’t know how to love. Many men don’t even have ideas that women feel loved in different ways – talk about love languages.
    God probably knows that women operates optimally when loved while men do so when their egos are well stroked

    Whew! My comment is probably longer than the post now😀.

    Have a great week.

    Reply

    1. How do I start to reply to this!
      We need to raise our boys better (I’ll do a post on that soon)
      As for love, you made a valid point on love not being enough to ensure submission and your example is on point. However I’m talking about Christian homes where the woman has heard the “submit” gospel all her life and is ready to do that, her husband’s love will motivate her further. Truth is nothing and no one can make you do what you don’t want to but you can also encourage your wife on her submission journey via your love.
      Yes! Men need to learn how to love.

      Reply

  2. Part 2 😀😀.

    Sorry guys I just felt the probable solution would be they should prayerfully employ a maid if both doesn’t reach a compromise

    Reply

  3. Insightful as always, there is no order as to who must do what first before the other person does, but as the head of the family,a man ought to lead by example, hence he must show Christ type of love… The Ego in men would one day destroy them.

    Reply

  4. Love!
    I really love this post.
    Truth is men (we all actually) need to truly grasp the meaning of love.
    That scripture is apt. Love your wife as Jesus loved the church. How did Jesus love the church? Oga , read the bible. Search. Find it. And don’t twist it to suit just you.
    About the scenario above, if the man had to lose his job, sitting at home and doing chores isn’t his only option. But he should get to that point that even if that were the only option..he wouldn’t die doing it. He would be willing to make that sacrifice. Lots of women make that sacrifice every day. I Wonder why some people think it’s okay for the woman to make sacrifices and not a man.

    Reply

  5. Slow clap. Slow clap. Slow clap. I wish we Christians would realise what God actually called marriage to look like. If men realised that their wives were literally an extension of them they would know that my money is your money, my job is your job, my house chore is your house chore.

    Reply

  6. The decision is up to the couple but if it were me, ‘I won’t quit my job when I know I earn higher’ I’ll only suggest that rather than he (husby) seat at home and take care of the kids, he should look for somewhere else to work or start a business. In marriage, I believe that we are equals but just called to play different roles or have different parts to play-as regards love and submission. Like a friend said to me one day, ‘If men were to be judged by the verse in the bible where St. Paul said love your wives as Christ loves the church and gave up His life for her’ a lot of men won’t see heaven because most men are selfish and I’m yet to see a man who loves his wife like Christ loves the church. If men did that, there will be no stories of domestic violence…because come to think of it, Christ never beats His church or hurts her, rather he has great love for her and we can see it in this verse, ‘on this rock I shall build my church and the gates of hades shall never prevail against it.’ This means He fights for her on a daily basis.
    Another truth is, lots of women do not help themselves, you’ll see women who have only male children, strut about as though they own the universe while women with female children mope about as though the world has dealt with them. So, whether we like it or not, charity must begin at home, if a woman sees herself as her husband’s equal and help-meet, she won’t think twice about staying put on that job and helping out financially.
    My sister told me something some days ago, ‘God planned it that men provide for their wives while the women take care of the children but men abused their power by oppressing and suppressing their wives as many of them don’t even provide for their wives as they are supposed to. So, women decided to work hard and the doors opened and they became rich, successful and very savvy. Men should stop complaining about women’s rise in success because they were the ones that created room for that in the first place.’
    I’ll finish off with something that happened in my church on Holy Thursday. The priest, before washing the feet of the twelve men (a practice by the Catholic church on Holy Thursday, re-enacting the washing of the apostle’s feet by Jesus), he told us that the Pope has decided to change the rule that only men should have their feet washed and that the church had to include women as well. The priest asked everyone at mass; “Do you support this? Or as a woman, if you want your feet washed, please raise your hands?” Can you believe that just five hands went up, mine included? You can imagine a church of about five thousand or more at that mass. The priest was so disappointed and said that women don’t even want good for themselves.
    So, I won’t beat myself over this issue because I know our society, if the man wants to resign since his wife earns higher, the woman will beg him not to and resign instead.
    And No! A man can never tell his wife to change her numbers after marriage even if he is changing his.
    Your posts always pushes me to type lengthy comments *big grin* I read this post some days ago but I had to return to comment.
    Nice post as always.

    Reply

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