Marriage is harder than ever for men to adjust to. We grew up with the idea that men are in charge. We are supposed to go to work, pay bills, and then come home to a clean house and a home-cooked meal. We saw our fathers and grandfathers do it. Depending on the age, it was on TV, too. Men ran the house, men had the last say, and women had to deal with it. What makes marriage harder for men to adjust to today is that we are literally having to retrain our brains to see not just marriage differently, but our place and our voice in marriage differently. More than ever, men are having to learn that marriage is more about partnership and consideration than it is about a domestic dictatorship. This level of partnership is not something that many men have experienced or been taught before.
Taccara and I are traditional in that we believe in “roles” and we subscribe to the idea of submission within our marriage. However, we don’t believe our roles were designed to demean or subjugate one over the other. We submit to one another. When I consider my wife’s point of view, insight, and opinions as a partner, it is a natural response for her to not just submit to my voice but to actually desire it. My wife submits out of a personal confidence in my leadership and submission to God. Her submission does not disenfranchise her right in our relationship; instead, it simply establishes order for the relationship. She trusts me to lead, and sometimes that leadership means hearing and submitting to her voice.
When I was in the military, one of the first things we learned was rank and chain of command. In the command structure, officers (i.e. lieutenants, captains, colonels, etc.) ranked above the non-commissioned officers (NCO). According to this ranking system, the lowest ranking officer had power and leadership over the highest ranking non-commissioned officer. What this means is that there would be times where you could see a young officer, fresh and wet behind the ears, have a ranking assignment over an older, tenured, and more experienced NCO. This can sometimes create a toxic power struggle. What usually ends up happening is that the younger officers value the wisdom, influence, and experience of the ranking NCOs. Instead of disenfranchising their voice, they will go to the NCO for guidance on major decisions.
Ranking structures work when leadership is not threatened by those who know more than they do. Leadership is not intimidated by those who can do things better than they can. Leadership is accountability, not superiority. As a husband, you are a leader. You are accountable to two parties: Christ and your wife. You are accountable to Christ to be steward, caretaker, protector, lover, and priest of your wife. You are also accountable to your wife because she chose to give you herself.
You and your wife will be on a life-long mission towards oneness. Part of keeping your wife safe is acknowledging, employing, and preserving her significance in your mission. Your wife is mission critical.
**An excerpt from our book, Covered**
In our book, Covered, we used research-backed concepts and in-depth exercises and discussions questions to help couples become a “Covering” for their spouse with four basic pillars: Safety, Security, Trust, and Empathy.
Our book provides opportunities for sensitive, and sometimes intense, conversations. At each juncture, you and your spouse will be given opportunities to matter to each other in ways that perhaps neither of you have dealt with before. Whether your marriage is hurting, or your looking for opportunities to challenge and grow your partnership, this book is for you.