Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Wives, be subject to your husbands

This part of today’s reading, among my set and the things we discuss, is one of the most controversial. We can debate this for hours.

What does being subject mean? If we, as wives, are subject to our husband, just as our husbands are subject to God, does it mean we can’t argue? We can’t disagree?

I saw a husband say to a wife the other day “I forbid you.” I think this is more common in Gulf culture than in our culture. I am sorry, but the thought of a husband daring to say this to a wife in the west is unthinkable. What I have also noticed is that when a husband says “I forbid you” here, it is not the end, but the opening skirmish. 🙂

There is a lot of food for thought in this reading, and I publish it to give you insight into what we read, and because I suspect you have similar readings.

Colossians 3:18-4:18

18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. 21Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart. 22Slaves, obey your earthly masters* in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.* 23Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters,* 24since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve* the Lord Christ. 25For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality. 41Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, 4so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.

5 Conduct yourselves wisely towards outsiders, making the most of the time.* 6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.

May 11, 2009 - Posted by | Character, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Relationships, Spiritual, Women's Issues


  1. Statement from husband: “I forbid you.”

    Response from wife (with a scary look in her eye):
    “Eat your food… go to sleep….”


    Comment by Desert Girl | May 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. Yeah ! i tried quoting once, and she won anyways 😛

    Comment by War Dog | May 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. The relationship between husband and wife is not like any other relationship. They share the most intricate details and times of their lives. There is bound to be disagreement and dislikes (who left the tooth paste cap off!!). Islam simply organized this with the Qawama concept into a system to settle disagreements and disputes when all things are equal. Perhaps there is a little more restriction on the woman in certain areas given the nature of marriage and the household where the ‘control’ (or ‘scheduling’ for a more PC sounding term ;p ) has been given to the man.

    In the end. As a wife, you are about to do something that you know might or will upset your husband and it is not absolutely necessary… so why do it so arrogantly? Why not cater to his ‘manhood’ a little? Why SUBJECT yourself to the mostly arrogant, ‘liberalistic’ views from extreme femenism that will only most likely serve to aggrivate the husband further for at least the rest of the day? (Women are smarter than that you know!)

    Granted, conversely, the same can be expected from/said about the husband’s attitudes towards the wive(s), but again, the puck has to stop somewhere and not all men are equal in their approach/understanding (particulary given that in the normal settings, the man would be more or less aggrevated or worn-out enough from work. Of course of they both work till they drop, then that’s another issue and recipe for ‘disaster’ in the household). Weighing all this with the benefits to the stabilization of the household, family and society, perhaps a less stubborn and confrontational attitude can be taken with regards to ‘I forbid you’.

    Comment by AbuHilal | May 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. I pretty much agree with you, Abu Hilal – and I think both Mohammed and Jesus were very gentle with women, which is probably the wisest way to keep family relations on a peaceful path. 🙂

    Wives have an obligation, I think, to provide their husbands with information that might prevent them from making an unwise pronouncement. 🙂 It’s not arguing, in this delicately balanced relationship, it is protecting your husband. I agree with you, arrogance on either side tends to be counterproductive.

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. We now know what the Saudi judges think it means…

    Comment by BitJockey | May 12, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: