Have you ever observed wives who suppress their identities under more dominant husbands? These are men who foolishly refuse to draw from the gifts and strengths of their wives.
Wives who do this often hold to misguided understandings of submission. They also tend to enable their husbands while thinking that they’re being good submissive wives.
What they are actually doing is violating the original design for a wives to be complementary completions to their husbands — who need the unique contributions of their wives.
The original plan for marriage assumes the necessity of individuality and uniqueness in husbands and wives. This not only resolves the problem of aloneness but brings about the completion of a combined oneness.
Think about it.
If it wasn’t good for the man to be alone, it won’t resolve matters if a wife disappears into his identity. The unity sand used in wedding ceremonies offers a nice picture of two becoming one — without one disappearing into the other.
Whatever else oneness and order are meant to be in marriage, they cannot involve the disappearance of either part into the other. Some husbands misuse Christian teaching on headship and submission to diminish the uniqueness and contributions of their wives. These men typically insist that life conforms to their dominant identity so they can get what they want.
Marriage is intended by God to be a one-flesh relationship based on mutual self-giving love. It’s a covenant of companionship between two spiritually equal human beings. This doesn’t mean that the relationship is without roles and roles in marriage do not diminish individual uniqueness, equality and the call for mutual respect.
If each person is important to the strength of a marriage, each one must bring their uniqueness and gifts to the relationship. It takes two for marriage to be what it was meant to be.
The husband bears primary responsibility to lead the home in a God-glorifying manner. His leadership clearly involves authority and should be honored by his wife and family. This authority, however, should be based deeply in the love described in I Corinthians 13:4-8a and in thoughtful consideration toward his wife (see: Philippians 2:3-5; I Peter 3:7).
Scripture issues strong warnings against husbands who treat their wives with insensitivity. Husbands must never forget that they are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Cultural limitations should not be placed on the command for husbands any more than on the command for wives to submit.