A Woman Deserves Her Own Husband
By: Deji Yesufu
Many have accused the reformed Christian tradition of being predominantly patriarchal. When a reformed church is described in the western media, one of the first points they make is that they are churches were women are never allowed to speak. Some go as far as saying that in these churches, women are oppressed: they are permitted only to be seen and not heard. While it is true that reformed churches are complementarian (as against being egalitarian), I believe that reformed churches are the most protective of their women folks. It is in the bid to offer them protection that these churches keep them away from the glare of the media, which preaching will inevitably bring. One other way that reformed churches protect their women is by ensuring that a woman has ownership of her husband. Reformed churches are very concerned about the home front and they do everything to help to protect the sanctity of marriage.
It is no longer news that marriages and homes are scattering in our world. Today, people get married with divorce in view. To do this, they provide clauses in something called a marriage contract that will protect individuals in case the marriage ends. In societies where the woman gets fifty percent of the man’s wealth, a prenuptial clause could help protect the man’s wealth. In Nigeria, it is not any different. Our society that was once very protective of marriages is already buying into the western ideas of quick marriages and easy divorce. The result may not have started to appear now but in another few years we will begin to see it in the lives of broken children, addicts and felons that will populate the ranks of the youths.
A reformed church is never thinking of today, tomorrow or next year. A true reformed church is thinking of the next generation and the generations following. When Martin Luther was dying, he told his close associates that of all the tome of writing he was leaving behind, his “Bondage of the Will” and Children Catechism is what he wishes will endure after him. Today, the catechism we teach our children in reformed circles, are adaptations of what Luther left for us. C. H. Spurgeon did a similar thing when he prioritized the catechizing of children at the London Metropolitan Tabernacle. And a church cannot have a stable children group or virile youth wing without having stable marriages overseeing these young people. And for that to happen a man and a woman must commit to making their marriage work. The man must love his wife, with all her deficiencies. While a woman must submit to her husband – with all his idiosyncrasies. The reformed tradition encourages stable homes by emphasizing the headship of a man over his wife; while at the same time teaching that a woman own her man. In this way, a woman deserves the right to be overly possessive of her husband.
A few days ago, Seun Akinola, an on-air-personality with Splash FM, Ibadan, made a post on Facebook asking how he should reply his daughter who said she didn’t like the idea of men being in most work spaces of life. She was wondering where the women were. I could tell that the dear young woman was already eating into the woke mentality seeping into the Nigerian space and so I countered that idea by reminding her that the Christian worldview, which her father subscribes to, teaches that a man provides for his home and that the woman is the home-maker. I blew her fuse further by telling her that I am raising my own daughter to be primarily the wife of a man. A woman responded to my comment, saying that I was destroying the life of my daughter. She said her Dad raised her to function both as a man and a woman. When I realized the combative manner she was writing I desisted from responding to her. I wanted to actually ask her if she is still in her husband’s house or if she ever got married. Because I can be sure that except a man is stupid, no man will wish to live in a house with another man. Men want to live with women – not a man in a woman’s skin.
Unfortunately this woman also missed a point I was trying to suggest in my comment. She missed the part where I showed that the woman being at home does not only aim at keeping the home alone, it also includes birthing and realizing ideas that could make for functional family businesses. In a modern world of computers and entrepreneurship, a woman can take her husband’s resources and help build a business at home that could so flourish that when the man retires – he returns home to function within. Besides leading a home business, a woman at home will help train the children – which is what the reformed tradition is most concerned about.
The men who say they do not wish for their wives to work because they don’t want them exposed to sexual innuendos from other men, know what they are talking about. It will be impossible for me to recount the number of homes office romances have wrecked. And even where such phenomenon do not occur, many women continue to suffer from sexual abuses all because they are in the public place and they must contend with the lordship of their bosses at work and the headship of their husbands at home. This article is not arguing against the career woman. There are many women who are gifted with such abilities to combine making their homes and leading a career. And these women will flourish in such roles because God did gift them with such abilities. But I believe that the majority of women will not have such extra abilities. I should note at this junction, as a caveat, that a career woman who leaves her home to pursue a business outside should not begrudge her husband when the latter insist that she must share in the financing of the home. The money made by the man and the woman belongs to the home – at least in the ideal sense.
My point in this essay is to emphasize the fact of a virile home front, which is usually accentuated by a strong male leadership – where the man provides for his home and a woman takes care of the home front. The man loves his wife and the woman possesses her husband. The woman’s joy, like every woman’s joy should be, is that she is the sole object of her husband’s affection. Her world, energy and duties revolve around the fact that her husband loves her. She is able to commit her love and duties to her children because of the sense of security she gains from her husband’s love and affection for her alone. It is because of this the church teaches that a Christian man cannot marry more than one woman. A man must be committed to one woman because that woman deserves to own and to be owned by that man. If a woman has given her all to a man, the least she should get is to have that man all to herself.