The Modern Woman In A Modern Marriage
The face of human civilization has changed over the last 200 years. This has significantly influenced every aspect of human existence. From the field of medicine to transportation and anything in between, we see the clear footprints of tangible changes in how we live and do things. Sadly, some aspects of our social lives have not changed much, leading to a considerable discontinuity between these aspects of our lives and the greater society. I speak of culture and certain key areas therein. I speak specifically of Marriage.
Most of the changes that have taken place in the past century or two have not had a lot of positive influence on marriages; in fact, they have posed considerable challenges to some marriages. The motive for marriage, the process of marriage, and the purpose of marriage for most people have changed from what it was 200 years back. We also have the struggles most couples go through, especially the conservative ones, trying to live in a modern world, with all its unique demands, and still be married on the ideas and tenets rooted in a time which is totally different from ours. Many young men in Ghana, especially, are struggling with the role of their wives, the limit of their powers and influence in the scheme of things, and the extent to which they should be allowed to operate unsupervised, and when the time is right to rein them in to prove they are women and the men are the head.
For some men, they would rather not marry a 'successful' woman, to ensure that their authority at home is not be undermined nor their headship contested. I personally do not jump to slam men who think like that; I guess they are fixated on their paranoia so much so that they do not see the benefits the modern day woman brings. For us to get the best out of marriage in the time where everything else is fighting against it, we need to understand that some things need to change.
We cannot marry in this Century and operate a pre industrial Revolution marriage Manual. Marriage as we have it is good. But conditions of the NOW prevent us from fully implementing the marriage of yesterday WITHOUT necessarily having to rearrange a few things. I believe we can change a few things without touching the foundations of the family or marriage.
The Christ Revolution did not destroy man's relationship with God; it only revised the process. No Priest between God and his People, as it was. The printing of the Bible in English and other subsequent languages did not make scripture any less of the word of God. It only took its interpretation from a few scholars and handed it to everyone who could read.
After the Industrial revolution and all the changes that have followed, the way of life for many has changed. Families are no longer depending on the income of one to survive. Cost of living has moved to a place where enjoying basic necessities of life means multiple streams of income need to be diverted into families. Societies have seen the need for an all inclusive development where no particular sex or gender is left behind. Though this is yet to be fully achieved, it is clear much has been done to bring about a measure of equality in different aspects of our social lives.
The woman of the NOW, is no longer unemployed and uneducated. She is not a stay home mum, who is technically a responsibility of the husband. This woman is the chair of a multinational corporation, she has patented a few inventions, She is known to be the first human to have achieved a feat. This woman is no longer good for just babies, house chores, and sexual gratification. She is worth more than a Ruby. She is part of the various streams of Income diverted into the family. Her rent allowance defrays some of the costs of daily living. Her Tom Card makes it possible to have two cars at home. Through her work, the family now can have the income cap needed to qualify them for a mortgage, etc. She is the Havilah and the Euphrates in her own Eden, and her waters contain gold.
Beyond what she directly and tangibly brings to the table, is the social value attached to her as a graduate of school A, holder of Qualification Z and member of a particular Association. All these connections add value to her; the value the woman of yesteryear did not have. Now this woman doesn't just have the empty voice of an uneducated, unexposed and a liability of a person, she is, in all sense, an asset.
In most homes today, if you cut out the woman's income, it would be like the stopping of a UN Aid to many parts of Africa. The children would have to change schools, the AC would be turned on less, the WiFi may be disconnected, and one of the cars would be parked. Let's not talk about the lull in weekend outings and the tension that would build up. It is the woman's income that augments what the man brings in a way that cools the home.
Some women pay more. So I don't know how, the one who pays just as much as you, and is in all sense as qualified as you, is subject to you in a way that, to some, is almost like a master and servant relationship?
Now, because the woman goes out there to grind, in the same measure as the man, and comes back home to assume the full management of the home, with the man offering minimal support, she may not be able to play her role in bed as though she stayed all day at home or went about chit chatting at the market square. She may have probably done more exerting work than the man depending her area of expertise. There will always be a trade-off here; she is either home cooking, cleaning and working it in bed, or she is out there supporting the man collectively build something bigger than what could have been achieved individually. There can only be a compromised version of both, but not the full version of both.
There is a social demand on her as well, which means that she cannot always be home and at the beck and call of Mister. She will be out there, meeting people of a certain calibre and think in a particular way. That influences her general impression of the world around her. This influences her expectations as well. That means she will have an opinion and she will love to express it. When she does, she would want to have it respected.
Many things drive the modern day woman. I don't think those things make her evil. The subjugation of a woman does not make a man better. It only means half of the hands we need to go forward as a people in this age have been cut off. Hands we need in the areas of research innovation, development, and critical thinking have been cut off.
There is a way that a rider handles a new horse. Until he masters it, the horse may never allow the rider to mount it. We bring the best out of people when we know how to draw the best out of them. We make women less belligerent when we approach them with respect and a sense of acceptance. I certainly will respect the one who helps the family budget. I will respect a woman who is making an impact in her own way in her own world. I will definitely respect a woman, respected by her parents enough to give quality education so she can be a productive member of the society. I will respect a woman who has so much social value. And I certainly will respect a woman in the image of God.
We need a lot of mind changing. A man does not go higher because he suppressed his woman. This is not a balancing scale. We cannot demand things and expect them to be granted nemine contradicante. We need to understand that we now compete for our wives with their jobs and the various social interconnectivity they are caught up in.
A lot of patience, understanding, compromise, respect, and love are needed to get us through. We need it for our own sanity. We need it so our children will not grow up in broken and competitive homes. We need a change of minds so we can bring our women home.
For the man who is thinking the Bible said this or that, kindly read Proverbs 31 in the Amplified or Message version. You will understand that a man is identified in public by the worth his wife carries. You will understand that while she was successful, her husband took pride in her.
This union is for life. It is a partnership that is supposed to achieve a lot. We are not competitors; we are complementary. This is not Coke and Pepsi, it is the candle and the wick, and for the purpose of lighting, they both need each other. There is more we can achieve when we work together than when we compete and strive to suppress each other.