The influence of emotions on respect, submission, and love

Plutchik's wheel of emotions

Plutchik’s wheel of emotions illustrates how two different emotional states combine in order to represent submission.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while have known that the Greek word used for ‘respect’ in the Scriptures is phobeo. Phobeo is derived from phobos which means to fear.

Trust + fear/respect breeds submission.

This makes sense because the husband is the head in marriage. The head of the marriage is given authority. When a wife trusts in and fears/respects the husbands she submits to him. As Christians we are to be in godly fear of authorities and place our trust in them to do good (Rom 13, 1 Pet 2).

Respect is a need for men. Most men, if choosing only between respect or sex, would choose respect over sex. By all accounts this is the nature of how men are created by God. Respect from a wife to her husband requires her admiration, trust, acceptance, terror, fear, and apprehension of her husband. Obviously, this makes it easier for her to submit, although she can still choose not to submit.

However, when we truly understand the wholeness of Godly fear, we understand that it encompasses the entire half of the emotion wheel. David establishes this clearly in the Psalms which when discussing the glory of God there is anticipation, joy, trust, fear, amazement at the wonders of our Creator.

Trust + joy breeds love.

Likewise, we understand that love is a need for women much like respect is for men. In regard to men loving their wives it requires a trust in the relationship along with joy.

This is why men overwhelmingly prefer enthusiastic virgins. The chaste purity of virgins bring men joy in the relationship just as the Church is prepared as a pure and spotless bride for Jesus (Rev 19). Similarly, wives who are enthusiastic about the relationship and sex are a joy to the husband. It should be quite obvious why husbands find it easier to love a wife who is joyful and enthusiastic about her relationship with him.

How easy is it for a husband to love his wife if he doesn’t trust her? This is a straight forward answer. It is also one of the most discouraging ones to answer because of the extensive duplicity in most modern women even those who call themselves Christians. This is explicitly why I have a “no lie” policy in my relationship. If I catch a lie we are done. Trust is earned as is shown by the Parable of the Talents/Minas. This goes for both sexes.

Finally, clearly our actions are not ruled by emotions or feelings. We make commitments and honor them regardless of how we feel. However, understanding and integrating how we feel to do the right thing is good. We don’t want to just be mindless automatons when honoring our commitments. David worshiped God with all of his heart, mind, and strength just as we are to do as well.

It is important to understand how our emotions and feelings affect our commitments because we can foster the environment to breed trust along with joy or fear depending on your roles and responsibilities. This makes Biblical roles and responsibilities fall into alignment, and it creates a healthy, godly relationship.

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33 Responses to The influence of emotions on respect, submission, and love

  1. Pingback: The influence of emotions on respect, submission, and love | Manosphere.com

  2. Tom Arrow says:

    Ah, damn, you were first here. I also found the wheel of emotions some time ago and liked that bit about submission. Kinda profound and fitting.

    I find the wheel a bit silly otherwise, as I do not see why human emotions should be arranged in this particular form. It only allows for a certain arrangement of emotional combinations. But still a fun thought experiment.

  3. @ Tom Arrow

    Yeah, I’m not sure if there’s other combinations of emotions.

    However, the chart does visually explain what the Scriptures state very well. It’s very cool in that respect.

  4. Tom Arrow says:

    Yeah, it is fun. My best guess is that Plutchik was a Christian himself if it happens to fit so well. It would explain why he chose this particular arrangement.

  5. Trust + fear/respect breeds submission.

    From the view of neurochemistry, the following cocktail describes the emotional process.
    > Trust (Oxycontin) + fear (Adrenaline) /respect (Dopamine) breeds submission.

    But love and submission are actions, not so much feelings and emotions. Emotions may follow, but they are not the essence of love or submission. If the emotions are allowed to eclipse volition then we become puppets to our passions. If our intellect does not rule both our passions and volition we are unstable and easily cast adrift. To love or submit, one must be genuinely persuaded in their intellect that love or submission is proper and right and then chose (volition) to act. Emotions will follow if they are directed by the other two. (See Plato’s charioteer metaphor)

  6. @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    Good points.

    Intentional actions always matter than words.

    As actions flow feelings may follow. However, if feelings are followed as to actions that is simply lukewarmness: you are blown every which way by the wind.

  7. Tom Arrow says:

    @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    I do not believe in a divorce of emotion and action. Any action is always based on an emotion. Emotion comes from the prefix e- and the verb movere. Out of a motion. There is no distinction between emotion, choice and action. They are one. If you choose to disobey one emotion, it is only based on another. How can I know that? Well, because even morals are based on values. And values do not make any sense without emotions. Without emotions, there is no need to have values, because feeling like shit will not feel like shit, because it will not feel any way.

    Perhaps there is self-restraint, yes, but even that is based on emotional values that are more long-term in that case.

  8. hearthie says:

    I see what you’re saying, but I have found it counterproductive to fear my husband – or any other human. Not that I don’t know he could cause me any amount of pain (emotional, mental, etc) if it suited him … but fear implies that I consider that a serious possibility, and that I’m letting that possibility color my actions.

    My submission is (at its best, and most Christian) predicated on an act of will and obedience to God’s commands and agape love. When I allow fear to creep in (BTDT) a lot of other things creep in which are detrimental in the extreme. In fact, when I fear my husband, my respect for him drops – and loving him (agape) becomes impossible. I end up in a very reactive headspace where I become self-protective rather than proactive – far more interested in avoiding negativity than producing joy.

    And yes, I have a verse for you 🙂 This verse corrected my thinking and helped me realize that though it was difficult, I had no business fearing my husband. Respect? Yes, scads of respect. Love? Always – agape as well as eros and phileo.

    1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

  9. @ hearthie

    Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

    The word in the Hebrews passage is the same one in Ephesians 5:33 … and let the wife see that she fears her husband. In every other occurrence in the NT the word phobos is translated as fear or afraid. Now you are commanded to serve God with fear, why is it so difficult that you are likewise to serve your husband with fear, he after all bears the authority from Christ in your home.

  10. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    I was always under the impression that the word “fear” there means to revere / to be in awe of, rather than to be scared of, in the way that you’d be scared if someone were pointing a loaded gun in your face with a crazy look in their eyes. While I can see the logic behind fear, as in being scared, being a motivator to show respect and to be submissive, it would make more sense when thinking of how we are to relate to God and that being an analogy to how a wife is to relate to her husband. Meaning, to submit to God primarily as a way of self-preservation only because you’re scared of going to Hell is a powerful motivator to be sure, but doesn’t God want us to submit to Him primarily because we love, respect, revere, etc. Him and want to please Him? Not that the fear of going to Hell shouldn’t motivate us; it just shouldn’t be primary.

    Do you men want your wife to submit to you and behave respectfully primarily because she’s scared of how you’ll react if she doesn’t (selfish and not authenticly respecting you)? Or do you want her to do so because she’s in awe of you and is eager to please you (selfless and does authentically respect you)?

  11. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    Oops, missed part of the sentence.

    …it would make more sense when thinking of how we are to relate to God and that being an analogy to how a wife is to relate to her husband.

    That sentence should say this:

    It would make more sense for the word “fear” to mean “to revere / to be in awe of” when thinking of how we are to relate to God and that being an analogy to how a wife is to relate to her husband.

  12. @FBNF

    [quote]Do you men want your wife to submit to you and behave respectfully primarily because she’s scared of how you’ll react if she doesn’t (selfish and not authenticly respecting you)? Or do you want her to do so because she’s in awe of you and is eager to please you (selfless and does authentically respect you)?[/quote]

    The latter.

  13. @ Feminine
    …serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

    The reason stated to fear God in the Hebrews passage is that He is a consuming fire. The image of a powerful judgement for provoking His wrath.

    Think of it this way, a loaded shotgun is something to respected and feared. If its potential to kill and maim is not respected or if it is mishandled the consequences could be catastrophic. Yet, a dependable shotgun is loved by many a hunter and sportsman. They trust the gun to not blow up in their face to fire when the trigger is squeezed and to deliver a dependable pattern and if treated properly their shot gun can provide them joy and many benefits for generations.

    God is a little like that shot gun but infinitely more potent. If by faith in the propitiation of Christ one worships and obeys Him, they do not have to fear that He will be unfaithful in His mercy. But if one does not live by faith and is faithless to loving God by keeping His commands (1 Jn 5:3), then we can expect to be consumed in the unquenchable fire.

    The seven angles of Revelation 15:4 cry out, “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.” These same angles have no concern for their salvation or for their damnation and yet they fear God.

    Let us now think about fear in the wife. Her fear is not that her husband does not love her, will abandon her, or physically harm her. Her fear is that he has the mantel of Christ’s authority in the home. To disobey her husband is to disobey her Lord. That is why Sarah is commended for calling Abraham lord. Her husband-lord was the manifestation of her Adoni -LORD, albeit flawed by sin. Fear of proper authority is not weakness, but wisdom. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD. When a wife fears her husband she is loath to fail him as his covenant helper and joint heir of the grace of life, she is quick to hear, eager to please and determined to see is name honored. She does not contend with him, nor is she anxious, but in all things she knows that with her support and by the grace of God her husband will serve his LORD and bless her all the days of his life. She is worth to him more than rubies and he is intoxicated by her love.

    If, according to Solomon, “the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commands”, is it much of a stretch to say the duty of the wife is to fear her husband-lord and to keep his commands? Yes I know, it is anathema to feminists and the autonomous spirit of women, but is it pleasing to her lord/ LORD? That is the real question!

  14. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Jonadab

    I don’t disagree with anything that you’re saying. I’m just talking about a different side of the same coin.

    You’re saying that a wife should fear her husband and his wrath / the consequences if she chooses to disobey him, just as we all should fear God and his wrath / the consequences if we choose to disobey Him. This is true, and I’m not in any way disputing that fact.

    That is the after-effect. I’m talking about the before-effect.

    What I’m saying is that this shouldn’t be a wife’s *primary* motivation for showing her husband respect and obeying him. She should primarily be motivated by reverencial awe of him, which (like Hearthie said) is what will enable her to be able to serve him selflessly. If she’s primarily motivated by fear, then her actions will be selfish, because she’ll only be concerned about preventing wrath from coming upon herself, rather than being concerned for the good of her husband. Having said that, if she’s not in awe of him at the moment, then she should still behave the same towards him, what with it being her duty to do so, and should have a healthy fear of not fulfilling those duties.

    What you’re saying and what I’m saying are not mutually exclusive.

  15. hearthie says:

    @Jonadab – “Her fear is that he has the mantel of Christ’s authority in the home. To disobey her husband is to disobey her Lord. ” is why I said I could see what DS meant – because that is the relation I have to my husband. I seek to please him, and when I’m off my rocker enough not to care about that, I seek to please God *by* pleasing my husband. It’s what I meant when I said, “My submission is (at its best, and most Christian) predicated on an act of will and obedience to God’s commands and agape love.” – note the act of will and obedience.

    English is such an inexact language, and full of pit-falls. “Fear” is a word with quite a few negative connotations. When I hear the word and am not doing careful exegesis with a Greek dictionary in my lap, what my head jumps to is the sort of fear I have when there’s a funny noise in the dark parking lot on the way to my car… NOT the feeling one would want to have in a marriage.

  16. @ FBNF

    (Moving this comment to the right post…)

    Pretty much what Jonadab said.

    Fear of the Lord and fear of the husband are analogous.

    Both are from Koine Greek “phobeo” which means to “fear” or KJV “reverence.”

    “Respect,” as we know it in today’s English, does not carry the same weight behind it as the words fear and/or reverence in my opinion.

  17. @ FBNF

    Generally speaking, “reverence” is probably the most clear term in the English language and the word that the KJV uses.

    Respect is a weaker word than reverence. “Fear” has too many negative connotations even though that is directly what the Scriptures state… BUT we will explore that in my next post on dread. That one should be interesting.

  18. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ DS

    Both are from Koine Greek “phobeo” which means to “fear” or KJV “reverence.”

    Reverence. Like I said.

    “Respect,” as we know it in today’s English, does not carry the same weight behind it as the words fear and/or reverence in my opinion.

    In your opinion. That’s what all of us here are doing: giving our opinions. But what brought you to that opinion?

  19. @ FBNF

    In your opinion. That’s what all of us here are doing: giving our opinions. But what brought you to that opinion?

    The authority analogy. We should fear/reverence/respect those in authority as we would God because God placed them in those positions.

  20. A brief addendum:

    I posted earlier that phobos was translated everywhere but Eph 5 as fear or afraid. I was too quick to post, it is also translated as terror a few times in the NKJV. If anything it adds gravity and perhaps some trembling to the fear/ reverence/ respect idea that is being communicated by the apostles.

  21. LeeLee says:

    I have thought a lot about this and studied the word in context in Ephesians 5. Even though it’s disappearing too, I still see and know reverential fear towards my father and father figures. There is an element of actual fear.. not of being hurt by them, which is a fear that runs contrary to reverence, but of disappointing them, letting them down, losing their approval.

    I do fear my husband to an extent. Again — if I feared being hurt by him or sending him into a rage, that wouldn’t be respect. What I fear is provoking his anger and most of all him being disappointed in me. This has been cultivated by him setting standards for my behavior and letting me taste what it would be for him to be disappointed in me.

    It’s also a fear that acknowledges that he has authority over me given to him by God, and to disobey him is to disobey God, and to disrespect him is to disrespect God.

  22. Looking Glass says:

    @DS:

    We get these types of commenters every now and then, and while these types of marriages could theoretically exist, I still operate under the assumption they are plants, unless completely disproven otherwise. Their arrival on a blog like this suggests that they have full access to computers & a lot of time to read/response. On top of being quite competent at writing. That’s a lot of massive red flags.

    And if the stories are real, I’m quite certain there is a whole lot more to them than is let on. Few things are ever honest on the Internet, especially “woe is me!” comments.

  23. @ LG

    I checked. It’s likely to be our friend Mom in the Show, Catholic Homeschool Mom, and various pseudonyms. Deleted.

  24. Pingback: Let’s talk about marriage, fear, and dread | Christianity and the manosphere

  25. jeff says:

    FBNF,

    If it was the former in my marriage what I generally see is a shoulder shrug of how I might react, then a seemingly irreverent sorry after the fact if I come from a soft side. If I come from a strong frame without backing down how she is being disrespectful she complains that I’m mean, but she ends up coming back with a sincere apology. Make sense of that.

    Her disrespect + my gentleness= more disrespect

    Her disrespect + my scolding= remorse and true apology.

    I hate that. For a decade and a half I just took it in the pants and was gentle. I didn’t let her get away with and roll over, but I didn’t subject her to scolding without backing down. Now I scold and hold frame and she backs down.

    DS,

    The problem Rollo has is with BGR when BGR says sex is her obligation even if she does it grudgingly you should still have sex with her as it is good for both of you. Rollo entertains the thought that you get to know your wife’s sexual monthly rythmn and take advantage of that. BGR says what about when you want it when rythmn is off? Rollow contends to wait. BGR says it is the marriage privilege, it’s not a negotiation/wait time.

  26. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    @ Jeff

    Make sense of that.

    Easy. She respects your backbone when you hold frame, scold her as needed, and don’t let her walk all over you (even if it annoys her at the time – the Curse of Eve and all). And she didn’t respect you being too soft to stand up to her. (But please note: softness and gentleness aren’t necessarily the same thing, and it’s very possible to hold frame and take charge while still being gentle.)

  27. @ jeff

    Yes, I know the argument between Rollo and BGR. Generally speaking, sex is somewhat of a glue that will improve the relationship by itself. Obviously, it’s good to have “duty sex” because it facilitates this. However, this is not all that a husband should strive for, and the goal is to take the sex as it comes and lead in it.

    Embrace being firm when you have to… it’s nothing to despise or hate. It’s setting good boundaries for the relationship which is what your wife ultimately needs.

  28. Peggy Trivilino says:

    Dude, you are SO full of what makes the grass grow green–inside out, upside down, and sideways. At least that’s the opinion of this New Hampshire grandma.

  29. Looking Glass says:

    Probably need to check the referral logs, there’s been a wacky combination of hilarious troll commenters.

  30. @ LG

    Got linked on Patheos on the marriage and fear article. That would explain some but not all.

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