Does a Wife Owe Submission to Her Husband? How Should That Work? December 7, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, mortification, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
A fairly good video below from the Fatima Center, but I thought the priest could have gone much further in both giving concrete examples and on insisting on the primacy of the husband’s role in the spousal relationship. Some in the comments at Youtube noted the same. I am out of time for the year, pretty much, I might be able to get on a little next week but I’ll be in North Carolina so that’s dubious, at best.
Too many even traditional priests take St. Paul’s statement regarding “husbands, love your wives, as Christ loves the Church” to mean that wives are obviated of their duty to obey their husbands if the husbands exercise less than Christ-like perfection. That’s an exception that completely eviscerates the rule, and is said, I fear, because too many priests either accept some degree of cultural marxist inspired feminism themselves, or they simply don’t want to have an upset woman on their hands. This is not what St. Paul meant at all, and there are few priests in my experience who are really willing to lay out, clearly, what owing obedience to one’s spouse entails.
This does not mean that a husband gets to come home and act like a prince, doing little and being waited on hand and foot. It does mean, however, that when there is a disagreement between the spouses on matters, the wife should, absent anything the husband might command that would result in the commission or near occasion of sin, generally yield to the husband’s will. The wife can certainly make her case, and lay out her reasons why the kids should be treated in such a way or this car should be bought, or whatever it may be, but if the husband decides otherwise, ultimately, the wife should submit, happily, to his decision. I have found that even among devout Catholics women prepared to make such submission are all too rare. Not that even devout Catholic husbands are absent their own faults, either. And of course this does not mean that husbands will necessarily decide wisely in every case, nor that a husband may use his authority to rule his home severely or tyrannically.
But obedience means nothing if it is predicated on either getting one’s way – through outright disobedience, drama-filled hysterics, or calculated manipulation – or near-perfect behavior on the part of the husband. One of the biggest failings of Catholic married men of the past 60 or so has been their failure to insist on their duty and right to lead the family, for which he will be strictly judged by God. Feminism and broader cultural trends have exacerbated this shirking of duty to a heinous degree, so that we now have whole generations who have never seen proper Catholic married male leadership in action, and which have picked up many bad, destructive beliefs from the culture. This is a major point of contention in many families and is something that is very hard to do right.
Great topic I hope to expand on when I return. The Fatima Center indicated they would try to get the Dominican priest in the video to expand on this topic in future, addressing more concrete situations and the widespread problem of spousal disobedience/failure to lead. That would be an excellent way of framing a post, if anyone at the Fatima Center is reading.
And, yes, I am appreciative that the Fatima Center has found a traditional religious priest to replace the much-beloved and missed Fr. Gruner.