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It is easy to come online and preach to women how they need to be submissive to their husbands. . .

See, submission is earned. To earn submission, you must be submissive yourself. To earn respect, you must be respectful yourself.

You can quote a verse in the book of Ephesians to support your teaching on why women should be submissive to their husbands. . . But always remember, St Paul the author of the letter to the Ephesians never divided his letter into chapters or into verses.

The chapters and verses you see in the Bible today were later addition for convenience. The original texts do not have chapters or verses as we know of it today.

Names like Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro and Archbishop Stephen Langton were credited for dividing the books of the bible into chapters. One started, the other standardized it.

And name like Robert Estienne (Robertus Stephanus in Latin) is credited for being the first to number the verses within each chapter.

And in fact, the first publication of the bible with chapters and verses was in 1560. That is about 500 years after Paul wrote the book of Ephesians in AD 60-61.

I am saying this because, the author never intended you to read just a verse of his letter and begin to draw conclusion.

You can’t quote a verse in Ephesians that admonishes women to be submissive to their husbands and ignore earlier verses or chapters that admonish men to be submissive to their wives as well and expect to be taken seriously.

You can come to social media and begin to argue how feminists cannot be Christians and bla bla bla. . . That is actually not my headache.

My headache is to remind you that the bible never asked women to be submissive without asking the men to be submissive as well. Full stop!

In fact, a marriage where the man does not respect the woman not to talk of being submissive to her is generally not a Christian notion of marriage. It is a total contradiction to the biblical teaching on marriage where two become one flesh.

It is in the mutual submission of the man and woman to each other in Christ that makes the union of “two becoming one flesh” a continuous possibility.

This is not even about gender fight, this is just common sense and natural order of things. People will easily love and respect you if you love and respect them. A woman will naturally submit to a man who submits to her. The man does not need to shout “I am the head of the house” or “you must submit to me” for submission to happen.

© Fr. Kelvin Ugwu

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