Get Married and Be Submissive…

My husband sent me this link to an article in today’s Telegraph about a book titled, “Get Married and Be Submissive.”

I haven’t read the book. It’s unlikely that I will, as I don’t read or speak Italian.

I just wonder about the nature of the media article and their desired purpose – whether they are trying to generate controversy to make money on ads, whether they are trying to make the author look foolish, demeaning to women, poke fun at biblical marriage, or whether they are trying to rile up the feminists.

Maybe all?

Maybe none?

I don’t really know. But my initial reaction, based only on the article content and the impression it gave me, went something like this:

The publicized examples encourage men to behave as children and wives to enable that. It doesn’t sound like 1 Peter 3:1-6, especially verse 7 to me, which is not respectful of the wife, nor helping her husband. It DOES avoid an argument with an immature person, true (and we are called sometimes to NOT answer a fool according to his folly) but the example doesn’t esteem men OR women.

Submission is not to generate peace at all costs, but rather to facilitate decision making in a marriage between two grown equal heirs to the throne.

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Could be the media got it wrong, or I misinterpreted the intent of the article author and the book author, but the title and the tone presented here on surface glance are indicative of too many Christian wives who follow the “be a doormat” concept taught by immature conservatives.  Men who criticize and constantly complain are representative of immature children with the same issues of maturity – not all men, perhaps not even most, are like this. I think this presentation could do much to diminish a husband’s relationship with God (1 Peter 3:7 style).

The presentation also has the potential to suck mature intimacy from marriage for both.

What I hope is that the book author’s words are taken out of context and the media is just trying to generate controversy, shares, and as a result, ad revenue.

As for me, I’m going to contact the author and ask my question, because I fully understand what it is like to be misunderstood. We should always give others the benefit of the doubt. I also know first hand what it means to be misrepresented. Can’t tell you how many tears I’ve cried over well thought out words that get twisted by media people. #painful

In keeping with Matthew 18, please notice that I did not have a problem or conflict, but am merely making observations about the impressions an article gave me. I make no assumptions about the book author, but now that I am curious, I will contact her myself to begin dialogue.  Might keep you posted. Will see what happens. Like I said, I don’t speak Italian. :)

Am interested in your thoughts today on this topic, either “submission” or “media” – what say you?

Glad to be on the journey with you.

UPDATE: Check the comment section below – there’s a contribution of a chapter of the book in English from the author’s admin. :)

UPDATE #2: Read part of the English comments on Costanza’s blog, and there was this from another one of her books, I think titled, “Get Married and Die for Her”:

It is a funny reflection about the differences between men and women, the different languages they use, the different ways they think (a man does just one thing at a time, women so many!). If women tend to take control of the relation (and it is the point they have to work about), men tend to be selfish, to sleep on the couch, they don’t listen to women. The woman should be a mirror for his man, she should show him a beautiful image, she should show him that which is good and beautiful, so he can find the strength to give life for her and for their children.

What do you think? :) As for me, I wish I could read Italian. :)

Love to you,

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Comments

  1. Jim says

    “Get Married and Die for Her” — I understand this to correctly mean “Get Married and Be a Living Sacrifice for Her.” In other words, the husband should live his life in such a way that he puts his wife before himself.

    The ultimate gentleman.

  2. says

    I just started reading the book in Spanish (I am a man) after hearing about the commotion it has caused in Spain. Constanza is quite a writer, in a C.S. Lewis sort of way, she goes on and on with short examples, humor, some sarcasm and then makes the point. She is not philosophical but basically presents how man and women are different and how culture, feminism has tried to erase the differences, especially the roles in the home. She advocates submission, in the context of what the Bible asserts. Submission has become a bad word for many who advocate feminism but Constanza tries to show it isn’t something to be afraid of. So far, from what I have read she shows a high view of women. It is the man who is shown as very traditional, no feelings, can’t take care of kids, and can’t do two things at once. As a man, I am not like that, but I don’t take offense. I am enjoying the book and laughing. She has a way to say funny things in the midst of serious topics.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Edgar –
      You make me want to be able to read Spanish! :)
      Thank you so much for the comment. I’d love to read more of what she’s written.
      Blessings,
      ~Nina

  3. Andrea Vik says

    Our goal is to be biblical, not anti-feminist, and from what I can tell (not being able to read Italian), this book is not biblical. A Christian marriage is such a beautiful reflection of Christ and His church that ANY perversion of it, through feminism or anti-feminism, should be rejected.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Help me understand where the feminism or anti-feminism anti-biblical-ness assessment is coming from, please? I’m a little confused by what you said – not trying to argue, just wanting more information.

      Glad you are here! And I agree, a Christian marriage IS a beautiful reflection of Christ and His church…at least it CAN be, when both are choosing to grow. Unfortunately, there are many one-sided marriages out there.

      At any rate, am interested in your response! :)

      Blessings,
      Nina

  4. areader says

    Hello – as someone who has read both of Costanza’s books, let me try and add a little to the discussion. The Telegraph article grossly and conveniently misrepresents what she is trying to say – takes a few quotes out of context and merely comments on the controversy – the usual journalistic gimmicks (no offense to any serious journalists out there).
    What the book means by submission is the concept expressed by St. Paul (who is often misunderstood) in his letter to Ephesians. Sub-Mission is used in its etymological sense: it means putting oneself in a position of support, ‘beneath’ or ‘underneath’ if you will, but NOT by any means in the doormat sense, rather in the way that a column supports a roof – it is the ‘mission to support’. Costanza believes, and I agree with her, that laying foundations and supporting the life of her family is the special mission of a woman, merely because she is better at this than anyone else. Women’s special temptation, she says, our fundamental character flaw if you will, is a tendency to control and dominate men; men, she believes, naturally wish to escape this tendency and have their own flaw, namely that of being fundamentally selfish and self-involved. Costanza’s theory – based on the teachings of the Church – is that when a woman accepts her role as a giver of life, as a ‘welcomer’ of life, and lets go of her fear of not having everything under control, her husband will respond to this, freely and nobly, ‘getting up from the couch’ as she says, casting the remote control or his beloved Ipad aside, and will decide to take it upon himself to be a guide and a father, a provider, a leader. Nagging him constantly will NOT get him off that couch.
    All of this has absolutely nothing to do with working outside the home or excelling as women at our jobs or being charismatic etc. We are not called upon to renounce these things (although, and on this I agree with the book again, it would be nice if society would recognize that there might be times in our lives when we FREELY and DEEPLY desire to put our families first and be a little less productive in the workplace!).
    It would be impossible for me to touch upon the very profound things the book says, in an ironic, enjoyable style which is a refreshing read. It bears mentioning that just as St Paul takes care to add that in turn men must love their wives in the same way as Christ loves his church – that is, laying their life down for them!!! – Costanza has written a second book, ‘Sposala e muori per lei’ – ‘Marry her and die for her’.
    I hope I have been able to give a sense of the different layers of Costanza’s philosophy, which the media of course have to simplify in order to ridicule what is, in effect, a very profound truth – true and equal partnership can only be achieved when men and women fully embrace the difference and uniqueness of their individual roles and of what they bring to the table in a marriage.

    • Nina Roesner says

      I fully agree – and I had the privilege of speaking with her briefly via email and I saw her heart, which is stated just as you eloquently said. :) Thank you for chiming in! Your English is amazing. :) I am excited that she’s getting offers from American publishers – this will prove to be a lovely read for us here in the states as she is a brilliant author.

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

      • areader says

        Thanks for your reply! I’m glad you had a chance to exchange thoughts and that her soul shone through her emails. I am intrigued by your own book! and glad I found this site through your post on Costanza’s blog. Many blessings to you in your mission of faith.

  5. Leah says

    It is VERY interesting (and a little comical) to me that, in the ad (video, whatever you want to call it), the “women” have disguised themselves… as a man. Is this their way of making themselves appear equal? I wonder…

    To me, this just seems like another way of pushing God out of something so important… marriage! If successful, in 50 years or however long, women that are a by-product of this will be complaining that their men are only respecting them and not loving them. They’ll be drowning in a bowl of respect, wishing for love… wondering why things aren’t working and marriages are even far off and disastrous.

    In regards to the example of not being an “experienced cook or perfect housewife,” I can only hope/assume that there is more talked about than just that statement in the book. With that example alone, it does sound more doormattish to me than Biblical submissive wife… but it all depends on HOW the husband communicates it to the wife and how the wife responds to the husband. If the comments hurt her feelings, does she also (respectfully) communicate that to him at an opportune time of non-conflict? Does she take it to God and process it with Him? Or does she just stuff that down and move on until she’s overflowing with anger and resentment?

    I think what I enjoy most is your calm and collective approach to this, Nina. I have been reading Gary Chapman’s book “The Other Side of Love: Handling Anger in a Godly Way.” This morning, in fact, I read a portion on “Gathering Information,” which is exactly what you are doing by reaching out to the author and investigating the matter for yourself. It’s nice to see this same example playing out in real life by someone as respectable and admirable as you. Thanks for always be a good and humble role model!! :)

    • Nina Roesner says

      Leah, thank you for the kind words – I assure you that it’s Jesus within me you are seeing. :) HE is always respectable and admirable… and worthy of all of our praise. :) As for me, well, I’m a saint with a sin problem – just like the rest of us… but I’m also His favorite and so are you!

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

    • Leah says

      I am guessing this is you, Costanza Miriano? I just want to say thank you for chiming in here and leaving a link that gives a little more information… It was very interesting to read the chapter included there. Some of it was a little difficult for me to understand, some parts I agreed whole-heartedly with, and some parts I wasn’t quite sure how to think. :-) After reading, I’m left wondering… Do you believe that our salvation comes from our husband and how we treat him?

      I pray that God continues to guide you on your journey and that any criticism/disputes that you receive will not detour you from whatever path God has set out for you. In moments where criticism abounds, I pray that you will hear His voice above all else. Be blessed, sweet sister in Christ!

  6. trixie1466 says

    I saw that link too. How unfortunate. Perhaps this was meant as satire? Either way it’s disheartening to see how submission is portrayed here.

What do YOU think about these things today?