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No woman is worthy to be a wife who on the day of her marriage is not lost absolutely and entirely in an atmosphere of love and perfect trust; the supreme sacredness of the relation is the only thing which, at the time, should possess her soul. Is she a bawd that she should bargain?
Women should not "obey" men anymore than men should obey women. There are six requisites in every happy marriage; the first is Faith, and the remaining five are Confidence. Nothing so compliments a man as for a woman to believe in him--nothing so pleases a woman as for a man to place confidence in her.
Obey? God help me! Yes, if I loved a woman, my whole heart's desire would be to obey her slightest wish. And how could I love her unless I had perfect confidence that she would only aspire to what was beautiful, true and right? And to enable her to realize this ideal, her wish would be to me a sacred command; and her attitude of mind toward me I know would be the same. And the only rivalry between us would be as to who could love the most; and the desire to obey would be the one controlling impulse of our lives.
We gain freedom by giving it, and he who bestows faith gets it back with interest. To bargain and stipulate in love is to lose.
The woman who stops the marriage ceremony and requests the minister to omit the word "obey," is sowing the first seed of doubt and distrust that later may come to fruition in the divorce court.
The haggling and bickerings of settlements and dowries that usually precede the marriage of "blood" and "dollars" are the unheeded warnings that misery, heartache, suffering, and disgrace await the principals.
Perfect faith implies perfect love; and perfect love casteth out fear. It is always the fear of imposition, and a lurking intent to rule, that causes the woman to haggle over a word--it is absence of love, a limitation, an incapacity. The price of a perfect love is an absolute and complete surrender.