When the wife's obedience is founded in love and the husband's decisions are in union with the will of God the Father, a sense of peace, contentment and harmony will be attained. By this loving and reverent example, children in turn will learn to respect father, mother, authority and themselves.
“The words, 'wives be subject to your husbands', if lived, will bring about divine order and will be the beginning answer for all of society's ills. The fact that this order hardly exists today, or is weakened to such a degree that a husband's guidance is watered down to almost nothing, is reflective of a society gone mad. God, as a Father, does not leave man, who is the first reflection of God the Father on earth, without the divine prompting necessary to lead and guide his family.”
It is important to understand that the equality issue here refers to the question of authority only. There is no dispute that women are equal in dignity, grace and worth and certainly equally loved by God. In fact, God's plan for women has always been to elevate them to a position of honour and esteem in the home and, for a long time, the rôle of wife and mother was highly regarded by all. However, the increasing power struggle between wives and husbands in this past century has bred broken relationships, rebellious children, lack of love and divorce. Women have lost their value, becoming subject to man and degraded by society - exactly the opposite of what “women's lib” set out to achieve.
Pope Pius XI predicted this course of events in his encyclical, Casti Connubbi, in the year 1930:
“False liberty and unnatural equality [in authority] with the husband is to the detriment of the woman herself, for if the woman descends from her truly regal throne to which she has been raised within the walls of the home by means of the gospel, she will soon be reduced to the old state of slavery (if not in appearance, certainly in reality) and become as among the pagans the mere instrument of man.”
Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical, Christian Marriage, emphasises that subjection does not detract from the honour and dignity rightly due the woman:
“The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honour or of dignity in the obedience which she pays… Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.”
Clearly, the gospels call for the husband to be an authority figure, balancing complete submission to the will of his Creator and perfect reverence for his spouse, is not an easy one, and one that comes with much responsibility and accountability. After years of having their authority usurped by feminism, this is a rôle many men will have difficulty at best in fulfilling.
“For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.” (Pope Pius XI)