Engineer Samuel Ifeanyi Michael is a professional construction manager, civil engineer and a Reverend in Church of God Mission International, The Expressions Place (TEP), Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Michael is a deep thinker, life coach who has mentored many married couples and youths . He is also a successful business man and preacher of the gospel who has been married to his amiable wife for over 15 years with kids.
In this interview with Voice Your Stories, Engineer Samuel Ifeanyi Michael speaks on Love and Submission in marriage and men being the worst victims of domestic violence.
According to your statement on Facebook regarding submission and love, you said “love does not have to depend on submission and submission does not have to depend on love.” Can you elaborate on this subject matter?
At First , we have to know that marriage is God’s construct, it is His design and idea and this idea is fueled by the fact that He made man, He understands the peculiarities of man and woman. God’s idea of marriage is not the worldview of marriage and this is where we draw our definition, our understanding and our perspective from.
Regarding submission and love in marriage, the Scripture in Ephesians, 5 : 22 – 25 (“Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands, ” New Message Translation) shows that marriage is a sacred and serious thing.
When God says husband love your wife, this is your own duty as a man. The fact that someone is failing in their duty does not have anything to do with you. Ultimately, you are going to be judged for failure or success in your duty. Your duty post is to love your wife and this is God speaking to you and He goes on to say even as Christ loves the church.
A peep into how Christ loves the church is through sacrifing His life for the church. Ironically, the people that killed Christ are the people He died for . This act demonstrated by Christ to humanity shows that Christ did not fail in His responsibility regardless of how the world rejected Him. With this, God exalted Jesus Christ because He was humble unto death.
Unfortunately in this marital era, we try to earn a reason not to do what we are supposed to do. What soever is happening in the world should not affect our duty as believers. How to deal with things happening around us is to respond, not to react. The response to not submitting is love because Christ still loved the world even though the world was not submitting.
Regarding submission, a woman’s duty is to submit, this is her faculty and department. Her judicators of her duty will not look if her husband failed or not. They are going to find out how much she has submitted.
And submission is absolute. It is not palatable, it is not going to suit your ego as a woman. It is not going to suit the human mind. Things that are right do not actually make sense.
We should also be aware that the devil is also attacking marriages. People go into marriage with bad news which in turn this produces itself in their marriage and they become part of this bad news.
Regarding Love and Submission, who takes the first step? The man or the woman?
In Africa, is it not the man that proposes marriage? This is already a statement of love. And in every home , a man should lead because Christ led. The man already loves first before he marries a woman. A man has to love first before he starts talking about marriage.
There is no woman without a fault . For instance my wife is adorable, beautiful and people love her but there are some days she hits me hard. Every woman has a weakness and also men , but couples should endeavour to help each other.
In this situation of wife submitting, what do you say to a woman who is facing domestic violence in her home, should she still submit absolutely?
I have seen two cases of people, one of the cases that the man killied himself because of the wife and another case was when the man killed the wife.
Domestic violence is a NO for me. Why would a man hit the wife? I don’t understand. What I will tell a woman who is going through domestic violence is for her to submit the more, call people in because if every problem encountered in our marital homes lead to divorce, we may not have some marriages. But there are some women who provoke a man’s ego, a man can react through beating. But in all of this, there is no reason to justify domestic violence.
Other remedies include reporting the problem to the person your husband submits to. It can be a pastor, mentor, father. Finding help for your emotions, finding help from a psychologist that will prop you up because some ladies start having low self-esteem. Make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process. It is as also advisable not to marry a man who does not have anybody he submits to . BUT IF THE VIOLENCE PERSISTS, LEAVE. It is not the plan of God for people to divorce but I think divorce is better than murder or suicide. Most women are going through a lot, living their lives in pain and sorrow.
Another way to tackle the problem is to ask yourself if there is anything you are doing wrong and if you can make effort to improve on it. It is important for the couple to make effort to visit NGOs that will solve their marital issues.
The major cause of violence is when the man’s ego is attacked but some men are violent for free. There should be some efforts to right all wrongs.
In Africa, men facing domestic violence are encouraged to die with the pain. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN IS THE WORST because the verbal abuse men may face from their wives also come with societal pressure that persuades them not to speak about it.
Men that are battered should speak up, they should look for a mentor, they should try to make amends. Like some women can kill you when they find out that you are cheating on them.
What do you do when your spouse does not reciprocate his or her marital responsibilities?
Every marriage has a challenge along the line but there has to be an understanding like why is she not responding? Why is he not responding? For instance, My wife is a very busy person. There is this particular year that my wife forgot my birthday. I was furious because she forgot my birthday the previous year. There can be reaction but let it not be out of hand.
Marriage is work, you need to make it work. There is no beautiful marriage without investment of work. Prayer isn’t only effective if you are praying and working. If you actually believe what you are praying about, you have to work towards it with your actions.
If you are praying, you believe the spirituality of the marriage but if you are working , you believe in the carnality of it. For example, if you want to work in the bank and you are praying for it, now the responsible thing for you to do is to get an admission in the tertiary institution. If you are praying for a marriage, you should as well be doing. For the Bible says that “God works in us to will and to do”. This shows love is responsible, whatever you believe in, you have to work for it.
According to the context of husband loving the wife and the wife submitting to the husband, what frame of mind can a couple have before exchanging their marital vows?
Before a couple exchange their marital vows, their frame of mind should be I have entered a life partnership, the other part of me will help the other part (my partner) of me to be a better person. I love this person and we will work together.
Everything boils down to the two of you. You have to be there for her, you have to be there for him. Partnership is not all about profit, it means that I am in partnership with you to make your life better. Then you are a partner in my life to make my life better. You give your all to your spouse for him or her to succeed in what he/she is doing and vice versa.
Marriage is also a platform for better service. For every man there is an incomplete version of that man , so marriage gives you completeness. The completeness may not be palatable. Your complete part is in the other person, for instance if you are fast, your slow part is in your partner