Supercouple: Superman & Wonder Woman
Why people think you can’t do both of these things baffles me. Why is it, that in 2013, we still think that in order for a woman to really love a man, it’s a requirement that she give up her independence or strength? I’m watching Beyonce’s “Next Chapter” and Oprah, who is a very modern woman, says to her: “You balance the fierce woman with obviously a woman who adores and loves her man,” as if one concept has anything to do with the other. When Destiny’s Child released “Cater 2 U” in 2004, so many cried out “Beyonce` was on ‘Independent Women,’ now she’s talking about catering to her man? She’s contradicting herself, she’s flipped the script!” Again, I wondered what the correlation was. How was Beyonce` relinquishing her individual power by singing about rewarding her partner for being a quality mate? Successful, self-sufficient men don’t get accused of being hypocrites if they’re dedicated to their mate. A last Beyonce` example, my father saw her video for “Run the World” and came charging in the room saying “Well, if girls run the world, what does she need Jay-Z for?” implying that Beyonce` would only be with Jay-Z because she needs him to do something. Maybe the divorce rate wouldn’t be as high if we stop approaching or viewing relationships as an exchange of services or roles; I’ll cook a meal and you’ll take out the trash, or as a form of imprisonment and submission.
Even some feminists perpetuate the notion that women can’t be both individually strong and devoted to their partner, as some have negative opinions of marriage and stay-at-home mothers. Stereotypes that “independent” women are selfish and incapable of giving their home-life proper attention and that housewives are weak pushovers both stem from our society’s painful history with gender politics.
The origins of the feminist movement began when a woman’s existence was limited to being a wife and mother, with little command over her own life or input in her marriage. That being said, marriage and home-life seemed to be a woman’s primary oppressor. Despite progress away from this tone, gender bias still affects relationships as we (men and women) struggle as a culture to shake free of our conditioning and former way of thinking. As we did then, we are still forcing women to choose and are missing the point. The movement wasn’t and isn’t about living an independent (or “fierce,” as Oprah put it) life versus a marital life. It’s about choices and freedom; the opportunity to choose either path or both and having freedom within such. A woman is not forfeiting her power in loving a man unless she loses her identity, defines herself by or allows herself to be disrespected or silenced in her relationship. Being true to oneself doesn’t prevent one from being able to love fully. Actually, if “fierceness” and loving are related at all, lack of it would hurt your relationship because as RuPaul says “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an ‘Amen’?!”
Male or female, if your partner measures your love by how much you yield to or dim your light for them, then they don’t know what love is about. As cliché` as it may sound, your partner should always want the best for you (even if it’s not them) and encourage you to grow and shine your light as bright as you can. Instead of stifling or negating your voice, they should want to hear it and be considerate of how you think and feel. A caring partner isn’t going to look at your “fierceness” as an infringement on theirs; they’re going to love that ish and respect it. So yeah, Beyonce` can be Crazy, Dangerously & Still in Love (all song titles) with her man and be the Bootylicious, Independent Survivor (also all song titles) mega-entrepreneur-entertainer that she is. Blue Ivy in one hand, mic in the other, man beside her.
I have a theory that most people would have a healthier level of self-esteem and self-confidence if not for the remarks of others. Even the most secure people with the strongest sense of self can fall prey if it’s the right person speaking to them. After hanging out with a few pals (some single, some not), I noticed how antagonized, patronized and stigmatized single individuals are. They hear rude and intrusive comments on a regular basis.
In our society, especially if you’re of a certain age, it’s expected for you to either be in a relationship or actively seeking one. Emphasis on dating starts early; 1st graders are often asked “do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?” That being said, forbid you’re completely single (or not sexually active) and maybe feel alright with that, it raises questions and eyebrows. It’s assumed that something is off with you-you’re socially awkward, a workaholic, afraid of commitment, jaded and have trust issues, promiscuous, purposely single or secretly gay. If you discuss relationships or someone’s relationship specifically and you say something seemingly unsupportive, you’re just jealous. For example, I have never been a fan of P.D.A. (public displays of affection). I think it’s inappropriate and a little impolite to suck face or fondle your mate in public. I don’t do it now, and I’m in a relationship. Nonetheless, when I was single and complained about a couple at a pool, I was told “Oh, you’re just mad because you don’t have someone to do that with.” I thought “Why do they think I’m jealous? Oh, yeah, I’m so jealous of all the frustration and crying fits you go through with your partner…” If not jealous, it’s presumed your quietly lonely, sad and want to be set-up. One friend told me people think they’re doing her a favor by constantly trying to set her up and don’t believe that she’s ok with her current single status.
Singlehood sound so bad now?
I think all these stereotypes and attitudes cause a fear or insecurity of singlehood and/or sexual abstinence (I mention abstinence because single men are often expected to be at least sleeping around). That fear sometimes leads people into romantic desperation; picking up relationships with whoever meets a bare minimum requirement instead of a solid, healthy match. Some of my girlfriends talk about singlehood like it’s a disease and they’ll die if they don’t find someone. I tell them all the time that if they relax a little and take the time to try and enjoy being single, there’s a lot to gain. You’d be surprised at the amount of emotional and personal growth one can experience, and how much singlehood can strengthen identity. These elements can actually help with dating as the root of many break-ups is individual emotional issues. So, if you’re in a relationship, don’t accuse your single friends of being dysfunctional, gay, jealous or lonely and if you’re single, don’t let the stereotypes get to you or affect your dating choices.
Or at least some of the reasons, anyway.
Pop-star Jordin Sparks (American Idol 6, “Sparkle”) made it public that she was taking a vow of chastity and waiting until marriage to have sex, but in an interview earlier this year, the singer seemed to have a change of heart, saying: "I don't wear it [purity ring] exactly everyday anymore, but I always have something there. When I was 13, my mom spoke to me about purity and waiting for marriage…at the time I was like, 'Sure that's great,' but I can't say what's gonna happen a couple of months from now. People grow." It looks like Sparks may be joining the club of starlets (ex. Britney Spears) who took a pledge of abstinence in youth and later made a different choice. There are a number of different reasons why abstinence pledges are reneged on, but 2 factors are age and motivation for the pledge.
Across the country, religious (many faiths discourage pre-marital sex; it’s viewed as a sin) and some school-based organizations have abstinence programs in which pre-teens and teenagers take formal oaths to remain chaste until marriage and/or don a symbolic ‘purity ring.’ It’s my personal theory that teenagers, especially in this day and age, are too young and immature to take such a vow. 1st, teenagers, individuals who are completely supported by others and viewed as children by the law, should not be having sex either way, but that’s a different conversation. 2nd, you set a young person up for failure when you ask them to make a decision that’s going to affect their adult life. At 13, 14 or 15, you’re being asked to make a decision that will affect you when you’re 23, 24 or 25? That’s unreasonable. That’s partially why so many college students have difficulty choosing or sticking with an academic major. At 18, you’re making a career decision for the REST OF YOUR LIFE? Considering that most high school students don’t have any in-depth preliminary help discovering what career fields might be of interest to them and what’s required to successfully attain employment, making that choice at 18 seems particularly ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with explaining the benefits of abstinence to young people or promoting the concept, but encouraging them to make a public declaration that they may be shamed internally or externally for breaking later may be the wrong approach.
One’s motive for chastity is a strong predictor of whether or not that person succeeds in keeping their pants on. Growing up in a fairly conservative Christian environment, I noticed the people who had additional reasons besides religion for waiting until marriage to have sex were the most successful in abstaining. In anything, most people need a strong interest or personal motivation to succeed. Motives affect effort and focus. Not doing something simply because an authority (in this case, God) told you not to is simply not good enough, principally when it doesn’t appear that there’s immediate consequences for disobeying the authority. For me, I don’t like the idea of multiple people being able to say they’ve had sex with me and they know what it looks like, smells like and tastes like. You can’t get any more intimate with a person than sex; I’m sharing and revealing a very personal side of myself. It isn’t just a way to a great orgasm; it’s a spiritual bonding act. Therefore, I’m keeping my cookies in the cookie jar until I get married. If you’re not good enough to marry, you’re not good enough to have my body. God could send me a burning bush (a reference from the story of Moses in the old testament of the bible) saying I could have pre-marital sex tomorrow and I would still wait. That’s just me.
While I’m on the subject of youth, Christianity and chastity, in some communities of faith, teens are almost taught to not even think about or discuss sex until marriage. You can’t effectively curb or control your sexual desires if you don’t understand what your triggers and weaknesses are. If one is sexually suppressed, they’ll likely struggle to handle being confronted with sex or a tempting situation. There are healthy, productive and safe ways to explore, discuss and learn about your sexual energy WITHOUT having sex. Youth ministers need to create an atmosphere for honest and open dialogue if they expect their horny teen parishioners to keep their “V-cards.”
As for Jordin Sparks…it’s always disappointing when a public figure decides (or in this case, contemplates) to renounce a chastity vow because I feel it feeds the notion and stereotype that abstinence promises are ones to be broken or are impossible to keep. When she mentioned her initial reaction to chastity at 13 and compared it to now with “people grow,” it implied that abstinence is like Trix cereal: it’s for kids and when you mature and “grow,” you don’t do it. This is going to sound harsh, but let’s be real- unless you have a new set of religious views or found your reasons for choosing abstinence shallow, deciding to have sex in your 20’s after being ‘pro-purity’ for 10 years (so pro-purity she brought attention to herself by saying on national television at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards: “It's not bad to wear a promise ring…because not everybody –guy or girl– wants to be a slut."
) is not the result of “growth” or a philosophical epiphany, it’s because you want to have sex. Assuming Sparks’ new “revelation” comes as she’s been dating singer Jason Derulo since late last year, I shake my head at the thought that all it took was for her to be sprung on a guy to dump a long-held belief.
When opposing homosexuality, some in the Christian faith use rather extreme and contemptuous tactics. Use of these tactics have resulted in a deep, ferocious social divide, violence, a negative stigmatization of Christians and the spread of stereotypes about the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender). For some of those who believe that homosexuality is a sin denounced by God, they think they’re supposed to angrily attack the concept, when the bible teaches of no such approach. The following article was written by Lasheena Allgood, contributing writer.
There are a lot of opinions and beliefs that are colliding in today’s society. As a true Christian, you want to be able to stand up for what you believe the Bible says in order to please God and show His love to the world. Some have success at living this out, while others display a self-righteous judgment, often accompanied by ignorance. Jesus gave us two things to live by: love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-32). In Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy, he instructs us to “Keep reminding God’s people of these things…Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly (2 Timothy 2:14-16)”.
We find ourselves “boldly” standing for what we “heard” is right, when we haven’t studied what the Bible has to say on a topic, nor have we studied how to approach people. We waste a lot of time arguing. 2 Timothy 2:23-25 reads, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but must be kind to everyone and able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth…”
A lot of people think that showing love and compassion towards someone with another sexual preference would mean that they’re compromising their own personal beliefs on the issue and agreeing with the person. There is a big difference between compromise and peaceful tolerance. As the passage in 2 Timothy illustrated, you can let a person know in a loving manner when you believe something is wrong without saying you agree with them. Before you confront someone on ANY issue, check your motives. Check your heart. Are you talking to them with the proverbial “picket sign” of judgment waving at their heads, or are you taking time to understand their plight? You should always try to gain understanding of a person’s heart and seek to confront them with God’s love and compassion in mind. If this is an issue you believe will truly put their lives in danger, it would be wrong not to tell them about it. However, confronting them in any sort of judgmental tone without truly seeking that person’s benefit makes your words and actions fruitless and those of a bigot. What is the purpose of standing in opposition to another’s actions or life without your desire to truly help them? It’s a necessary thing to take a stand for what you believe is right. However, the next time you wish to take that stand and confront someone, remember what God has told us about how to approach people with the correct words and motives. God will do the rest.-L.A.
Compromising or correctly following the Bible?
J.Says on the topic: I think part of the reason why some respond so aggressively, and sometimes violently, to homosexuals or homosexuality is because of their own personal disgust, fear or misunderstanding of the concept, NOT because of their faith. In some cases, faith is a tool used to justify behavior versus being the cause of it. Some could be atheists tomorrow and they would STILL behave the same way. Underneath all that doctrine and preaching is a deep hatred for homosexuals that is completely independent of faith and God. What angers me is that they won’t own up to that; spewing their hatred in the name of God and using Him as a scapegoat. Even if you believe it to be true that God does not condone homosexuality, it doesn’t require spiteful comments, harassment, humiliation and violence.
Nowhere in the Bible does God or Jesus designate violence and abhorrence as the proper way to handle those believed to be “sinful.” If it’s really about faith, the focus would be on the religion as a whole and what God can offer an individual. A picket sign would read “Here’s what this faith can do for you” versus “God hates you and doesn’t want you here.” Isn’t the goal to bring people to the faith? Those who act in hatred are defeating their own so-called “purpose.” I was once told that I shouldn’t be friends with those who are LGBT because I am a Christian. How am I supposed to bring others to the faith and show my “Christ-like example” if I’m not acquainted with them? I don’t know where some in the religion get the idea that we can profoundly reach people at an arms-length distance. Besides, Christian or not, I’m going to be friends with ANYONE I find things in common with that will treat me well and deliver as a peer.
On the subject of gay marriage & Christianity, I’m a firm believer in separation of church and state. This country is religiously diverse and to design laws based on ANY faith would alienate, disregard and disrespect those outside of said religion. Additionally, I think we have to be careful about what socially we allow the government to deem illegal. Not long ago, interracial marriage was illegal. If we give our legislators that kind of power, anyone they consider socially inappropriate, for any reason, could be at their feet. *drops the mic*
I’ve had multiple discussions with various people about the origins, impact and application of traditional gender roles and I always end up feeling the same way about them: I kind of think they should be abolished. I feel they do more harm than good, and that might be because of how they’re typically applied, but that’s how I feel. In terms of their usual use in marriage and family dynamics, traditional gender roles can be counteractive to familial bonds, borderline on being oppressive or paralyzing and build resentment between partners and family members. Under a conservative gender-role model, men are supposed to be the main (if not the only) source of income, manage all the finances/business matters of the home (ex. insurance) and perform any remote physical labor involved in maintaining the household (ex. mowing the lawn or taking out the trash). Women are to handle the child-care, cook and clean.
Resentment can easily build as partners may feel burdened by having to be the only one to do a certain task and desire additional help and/or feel like their contributions are taken for granted, underestimated or undervalued (for example, a man being viewed as an inadequate caretaker because family income is low or some feeling that being a housewife is not “real” work). Resentment can also develop if partners feel forced into or limited by their roles and judged if they seek to step out of them (ex. a woman being made to feel guilty or that she’s a less efficient mother if she has a demanding job, or a man being labeled as weak for being a house-husband). Counteraction to familial bonds can occur with this model as fathers may be more emotionally detached or distant from their children due to mothers taking a more involved, daily role. Also, children can feel neglected by or detached to their opposite sex parent if parental involvement is delegated by gender (ex. Things related to Bobby are handled by daddy and things related to Laura are handled by mommy.)
Exec wives:bad moms? House-husbands:weak men?
Strictly-implemented gender roles can lead to paralyzation in the event that the other partner is not available to perform their designated task due to death, disability, incapacitation or abandonment (ex. If a woman has never handled the family’s finances nor has any knowledge of how to do it, and her husband is incapacitated, major complications may arise). It only makes sense to me to gender assign responsibilities if it’s based on the physical differences between men and women. Men are generally stronger than women; there are tasks that women will have an immensely difficult time performing. Other than that, if both individuals are capable of completing a task, I don’t see why both can’t do it.
In our society, traditional ideas about gender permeate almost every aspect of our daily lives to excess. Children can’t even willfully choose what toys to play with because of such stringent ideas on what’s a “boy toy” and a “girl toy.” Not to mention “boy toys” and “girl toys” are hard-lined gender-role reinforcers: girls get accustomed to child-care early with urinating baby-dolls and boys get the notion that they’re the only ones that can serve the country with G.I. Joe “action figures” (forbid they’re called dolls instead of action figures). This saturated application is why I find rigid gender roles to be more harmful than helpful. They’ve created a sense of competition between men and women and an obsession with power as individuals ferociously seek to avoid being in a subordinate position. It’s also at the root of inferiority/superiority complexes and self-esteem issues (ex. Why a male feels less than if he hasn’t had sexual intercourse by particular age or why females are so obsessed with reaching beauty standards). Why is it that when a male is sexually-assaulted or domestically abused no one believes him or labels him frail? Gender role ideas. Why was Nancy Pelosi asked who would take care of her children when she was seeking a governmental career? Male politicians don’t get asked that. Gender role ideas. Why was there a male heckler with a sign that read “Iron My Shirt” at a Hillary Clinton rally? Gender role ideas. Behind sexism, misandry, misogyny, gender-bias and gender-stereotypes are traditional gender roles.
When confronted with the concept of altering the gender-role model or abolishing it, some people fight it tooth and nail. I think some fight against it so hard because they don’t know life without gender-roles. People are afraid of or confused by what they’re not familiar with. Transitioning to a more egalitarian model won’t be easy, considering how conditioned we are, but it can be done. It begins with openness. Below is a video that was included in a research project by J.Says’ advice columnist, Dio, for a university gender/society course, analyzing the impact of gender-roles in same-sex relationships. What’s your 2 cents on gender-roles?
First, let me say that I have NEVER been married and the following article is JUST A THOUGHT. NOT gospel. NOT truth. There’s your disclaimer.
What if married couples had separate bedrooms? I think it might be a good idea. Marriage comes with enough of its own challenges and stressors without having to share a bedroom and blend two very personal living dynamics. You can keep the lights on and go to bed at any hour, hog bed sheets and closet space, snore, play music whenever, masturbate without having a discussion or audience and be messy or clean at your own leisure and discretion. I know the idea of a married couple living in separate bedrooms is unorthodox and may sound awkward, but think about it: As a minor, you CAN’T WAIT to turn 18 or go to college so that you can live and operate as you please without having to ask permission. Then, as a college student, you CAN’T WAIT to get out of a shared dorm and have an apartment so you don’t have to compromise every little aspect of your life, like listening to the radio versus the television. You get your 1st apartment with a room-mate and you think having separate bedrooms is the perfect solution, until you get to arguing about dishes in the sink and significant others wearing out their welcome. Finally, you get a place by yourself, you’re walking around naked and you’re in HEAVEN. Now, all of that has to change because you’ve gotten married. You have to go back to sharing all of your space and property with another person. FOR AS LONG AS YOU BOTH SHALL LIVE. Ugh.
Being married with separate bedrooms makes the “1st apartment with a room-mate” scenario slightly more ideal. Your spouse has more common with you than a random room-mate or friend (I would think), walking around naked is still an option, and there’s no such thing as a significant other wearing out their welcome. Another major plus to having separate bedrooms is that when you get angry or just need some quiet “me” time to relax, you can. When you want to be in each other’s faces, convene in the living room or play “my room or yours?” Not with separate bedrooms? Well, what about separate bathrooms, at least? I’m a huge believer in separate bathrooms; it can save ANY type of relationship or living situation. People are pickier about their bathrooms than anything else, which makes sense considering it’s the most intimate space in a home. You do things no one else is supposed to see in the bathroom. No two people have the same lavatory life; it’s meant to live separately. One of my friends used to fuss at me because I left the shower curtain open when I spent the night. I’d be mad because the tub wasn’t clean when I got there. What’s a big deal to one person is small to another. Moral to my story, I think it’s healthy for a couple to create some type of individual space in their home, because after all, we all like to have the convenience of doing things unapologetically our way some time. If you’re wealthy enough, you can have your own wing lol. What do you guys think?
One of my female friends told me that she doesn’t get along with feminists because “they’re anti-childbirth and anti-marriage.” There are many misconceptions about feminists and feminism, and this idea is one of them. I’m sure there’s some woman out there that calls herself a feminist and is indeed anti-marriage/childbirth, but being such is not a major tenet of feminist beliefs or of the movement. For me personally as a feminist, I am NOT against marriage and/or childbirth; I’m against women being forced or pressured to take on those responsibilities if they do not wish to. I’m against women being characterized as poor spouses or parents for pursuing harmless interests outside of those roles. I’m against women being made to feel like slaves or silent subordinates in their marriage. That’s what I’m against.
On a semi-related note, when I come across a woman that speaks negatively of the concept of feminism, it pisses me off. It’s one thing to disagree with some of the ideas or approaches, but it’s another thing to be against it all together. Feminists are the reason women have a right to vote. Feminists are part of the reason why there are women’s shelters for the abused and homeless. Many of the liberties we enjoy as women today came as a result of a movement or protest led by feminists. I don’t understand how any woman can be anti-feminist. Someone please explain that to me.
When it comes to personal relationships (romantic relationships, friendships, family, etc.), I believe in egalitarianism; meaning being equal. When I express these views (within the context of marriage) in front of Christian women, it often starts a debate. Some feel that I seek to be “too equal” and I’m not “submissive” enough, which is displeasing to God. If you’re unfamiliar with these concepts, many have been taught that the bible instructs men to rule over their wives and make all the major decisions for the household singly. In some cases, this belief has lead to several wives being in marriages where they have no input in household decisions and have most of their needs and desires ignored. In more extreme cases, the belief has been used to justify mental, verbal and/or physical spousal abuse.
I disagree with the belief all together. I feel that the bible encourages egalitarian relationships.
Here are the two main verses that people harp on: Ephesians 5:22 and Col 3:18.
Eph 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the lord.” KJV
Col 3:18 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the lord.”
Now, based ONLY on these 2 verses, people have argued that marriage is supposed to be a dominate-subordinate relationship, because if you’re supposed to submit yourself to your husband as you do to the Lord, then that means your husband is the boss of you. That’s based ONLY on those two verses. The passages surrounding Eph 5:22/Col 3:18 indicate that husbands are supposed to sacrifice themselves for their wives as well. The bible emphasizes MUTUAL submission in all types of relationships, including marriage.
Eph 5: 21-22 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ. Wives, submit to yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the lord.”
Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
Eph 5:28-29 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but NOURISHES AND CHERISHES IT, even as the lord does the church.”
Col 3:18-19 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the lord. Husbands, love your wives and do NOT BE HARSH with them.” NIV
Col 3:20-21 “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” KJV
Col 3:22-23 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Masters, provide your slaves with what is RIGHT AND FAIR, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.” NIV
(The companion verses in Ephesians are 6:1, 6:4-5, 6:9)
These passages discuss how things should be between spouses, parents/children and masters/slaves. If you notice, both sides of each relationship have responsibilities and are expected to submit in some way. In addition, there are a few things to point out: #1 Men are asked to love and sacrifice for their wives as Christ does for the church. Consider what that means: Christ offers humanity unconditional love, acceptance and nurturing. Christ endured torture, pain and anguish and DIED for the church. Men are not only supposed to sacrifice themselves for their wives, but sacrifice MORE. Men are not only supposed to love their wives, but almost provide MORE love. I’m not saying wives should be lazy or nonchalant about how much they love or sacrifice. What I’m trying to show is that God is not in support of relationships where wives are being treated as less-than subordinates or servants. Like I said, people have used Eph 5:22/Col 3:18 to justify spouse subordination. There’s no way that slaves deserve what is “right and fair” (Col 3:22), and wives do not. #2 Notice that the word “obey” is used in relation to masters/slaves and parents/children, but NOT with husbands/wives. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
1Pet 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way be CONSIDERATE as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will HINDER your prayers.”
There’s a couple of things to point out with this verse as well. #1 It’s so pertinent that you treat your wife fairly, that your prayers will be HINDRED if you do not do so. #2 The verse says that wives are HEIRS with their husbands. Heirs WITH you, not behind you or underneath you; NEXT to you. #3 It says be CONSIDERATE of your wives. Being “considerate”, and as the Colossians passages indicate, being “nourishing and cherishing” does NOT involve being a monarchial ruler, a slave-driver or a boss.
I’ve seen so many Christian martial relationships in which the wife’s feelings or thoughts are disregarded or unacknowledged. I’ve seen husbands do and say things to their wives that they would never tolerate from someone else. They are not treating their wives as they would “treat their own bodies.”
The bible has been used to oppress wives, and it’s time for it to stop. Wives, know that it’s ok to stand up for yourselves and not tolerate maltreatment. God wants you to have a spouse that is going to honor and respect you and treat you as an equal partner.