I’m big on giant meta-principles, where I can find them. You have to be careful making up your own theological physics, but if it’s there, it’s there.
This is one I’m pretty convinced is a real thing. Without further ado:
The price the obedient demand for their obedience is benefit; those who seek the submission of others must provide evidence of the ability to give it, and the willingness to give it, i.e. power and love.
A few examples to flesh this out:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands…husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
“Trust in corporations was traditionally constructed in this way: The individual was loyal. The institution protected and cared for the individual. Employees professed to have no priorities outside their specific institution. And the corporation promised long-term opportunities and enhanced rewards for those who stayed.” ~
The bargain—obedience for security—is not always possible. Both parties must believe that the other party will deliver. One way to increase the likelihood of this is to make the bargain enforceable. That’s why we have contracts—to set the other party’s mind at rest by giving up freedom. Marriage is a bargain that was historically enforced by the community.
Of course, a contract is only as good as its enforcer, and as the importance of the community has declined, so has the viability of marriage. A community that shames sluts increases a husband’s trust in his wife, and a community that shames philanderers increases a wife’s trust in her husband. With community enforcement, marriage doesn’t require Joe and Jane Righteous — Joe and Jane SlightlyVain will do. Now that we are all special snowflakes free of societal obligation, you do in fact need Joe or Jane Righteous.
But back to the main point: obedience and security. It’s everywhere. My personal path to Christ involved a lot of rebellion, but concluded when I realized that I couldn’t beat God, and He was offering pretty good surrender terms, so I might as well take them. Peace through superior firepower, if you will. And the trade is this: I do what He says, and He takes care of me. The New Testament details both ultimate power—power over death—and ultimate love—through the Atonement in the garden and on the cross.
Now, since I’m not really that great a person, let me point out why both of those are required:
If God lacked ultimate power, then, although I’d be sure He was a really nice Guy, He wouldn’t have that much to offer me. Since I’m kind of a selfish jerk when it comes down to it, I’d pay Him no mind.
If God didn’t love me, then, power or no power, I’d constantly fear that any of His edicts were issued for the sadistic pleasure of watching me try to fulfill them, rather than my own well-being. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
We can be our own security providers, of course. This is called “independence,” and it’s an option among many. Anyone who tells you what to do (including yourself) is in a bidding war of power and love against everyone else telling you what to do. As such, a fantastic way to get someone to do what you want them to do is to scare them. This undermines their self-confidence, making your offer look better in comparison. This is why guys take girls to horror movies and buy them diamond rings, and why popular response to NSA abuses has been lukewarm at best. We’ve all been Dread Gamed.