- Men have a lot to say when they gather to talk about women
- What matters is what the man gains out of such conversations
The following is a conversation between four men.
MUTUA: My wife is becoming difficult. She is getting on my nerves
GITHAE: You should roar at home. Show her who's the man of the house
MUTUA: How now?
WAFULA: Slap her, put her in her place. Speak with authority. I cannot let my wife do that in my house. If she grows horns, prune them. One hot slap and she will know who is the boss of the house
GITHAE: Yes, these women are weak and reckless. If you don't align her, she will walk over you. Be a man
YUSUF: No bro, that's not how to be a man
GITHAE: What do you mean? Isn't the husband the head of the house? If you show weakness then your wife and children will run the house into ruin. Discipline your wife. Instill some fear so that they know who is in charge of the home. Nguruma nyumbani
YUSUF: (Picking up his phone) Isn't a husband meant to love his wife and children?
GITHAE: Yes. Of course
YUSUF: (Reading from his phone) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Please tell me where it is says loving is instilling fear, slapping, shouting or insulting
WAFULA: But that same Bible says wives are to submit to their husbands and the husband is the head. Even God when he comes to us He sometimes comes to make us fear Him and aren't husbands meant to love their wives as Christ loves the Church?
YUSUF: Exactly, when Christ came for His Church, he won her to him with love, not fear. Being God fearing has nothing to do with how a wife should fear her husband. We fear God when it comes to Him judging because He alone is Judge. We on the other hand are instructed to love our wives, not to make them fear us. Why are we using Scripture to justify our wrong? Have you read the words of Scripture before that part where it says wives are to submit to their husbands?
MUTUA: What does it say?
YUSUF: (Reading from his phone) Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5: 21. A husband and his wife are to submit to love because they are one. The husband being the head is a matter of order. They are one but for the purpose of leadership, the husband is the head
GITHAE: Exactly, as a leader you have to command respect. Stamp your foot down
YUSUF: That way you cease being one with your wife and you turn your marriage into a battle of genders. You think if you stamp your foot and slap her she will not stand up for herself. Feminism is there to push for women's rights because for years men have suppressed women. But if men loved and respected women in the first place, there would be no need for feminism or affirmative action for women. A man who is firm in his identity is not intimidated by the strength and growth of a woman. Women want the same thing men want: respect
WAFULA: Respect has to have fear.
YUSUF: No, respect is a product of love. You cannot disrespect someone you love. Let me ask, which is the best form of loyalty? When people do what you say they do because they fear you? Or when people go out of their way to please you because they love you and you mean a lot to them?
MUTUA: The latter
GITHAE: Yes. The latter, because that way people will do even more than is required of them
YUSUF: Exactly. When people fear you they do the bare minimum and avoid you. But when they love you they freely give. You should want your wife and children to love you not fear you. Why should you be a dictator in the home you live daily till you die? Why should your wife despise you and struggle to tolerate you just because you have the title of husband? Why should your children walk away each time you enter the house? Why should the relationship between you and your family suffer just because you want to instill fear? Forcing people to fear you is a sign of low self-esteem esteem, when you are firm in your identity you build, you are secure, you are not intimidated, you don't have to keep proving you are the man of the house. Your love is firm and sure
WAFULA: Beating my wife has worked for me over the years
YUSUF: Has it? Are you happy in your marriage? Is your wife happy? Do your children enjoy your presence? Can they run to you when in trouble? Does your wife willingly show you affection?
YUSUF: Exactly. I don't mean to sound cocky but using your own words, you guys admire what me and my wife have. I have never beat up my wife; yet she is faithful and loyal to me out of choice not intimidation, because I have set an environment of love. My wife is free to tell me her thoughts, her advice, her concerns, even free to correct me because I can be wrong. I am not a god, I can make mistakes. You don't force a woman to respect you, you gain her respect by loving her. Let me ask, when you were dating your wives before marriage, were you beating them, shouting at them and stamping your authority?
MUTUA: Slapping a woman when dating her will most likely make her decline to marry you. They consider that to be a red flag. During dating a man gives his best game, you sooth a woman. Once she is your wife there is no need for such. No need to bembeleza
YUSUF: That is so wrong. If your love is real it shouldn't change. If your love is real it is not a show you play to trick her in order to win her and then once you marry her the real selfish you shows up. She becoming your wife doesn't give you a license to harm her, in fact, it gives you a license to love her even more. When you were dating you talked things out with her, you did things as a team, you cared for her, you lifted her. She is still the same woman. Why suddenly stop doing all that? Her being a wife doesn't make her less of a woman. How you treat her is a reflection of how you view yourself. You two are one
WAFULA: You speak a lot of sense bro
YUSUF: Thank you. Marriage should be enjoyable not a struggle for dominance. Your being a husband is not in doubt. Relax. Love. Even mentoring your children is best done with love not intimidation. Let's cover our families. Remember you are the one who made her a wife. You are the one who proposed to her. She depends on you to be the best wife to you. Respect your wife and she will honor you. Don't push her by being mean, pull her to you, walk with her by loving her. Even the four of us, we have been close for years, we are real with each other, we don't have to prove anything, no one forces us to meet, we enjoy each others' friendship, no instilling fear for us to respect each other and that is why we stay as friends. Your wife is your best friend, how you relate with her should be better than how you relate with us your friends
MUTUA: Great advice. She has actually been difficult because I haven't been treating her so well of late. I now think it is her way of expressing herself that something is not right in our marriage. Thank you bro
YUSUF: When a wife no longer feels loved she is not so pleasant. Love your wife bro. She is not your subordinate. She is you. She is one with you
GITHAE: Hey I need to go withdraw some money. I have a suggestion, can we be meeting as men once a week for Bible Study and some man talk? Sometimes we men think we know it all but when we come together like this and talk about issues we learn from each other. I must say I have learned a lot today
MUTUA: Agreed. Iron sharpens iron
YUSUF: I like the idea. I am in it
WAFULA: Let's start next week Thursday seven o'clock in the evening, my place. I will host then we can be rotating each week
MUTUA: I'll be there
© Dayan Masinde and Akello Oliech
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