The Husband as Head of the Home {In Opposite World}

head of the home opposite world


Opposite World leads us only one way –toward 50/50 marriages where no one takes the lead and at the end of the day –the woman calls the shots.

First, let me say that God sees men and women equally.  At the foot of the cross there is neither male nor female.

Galatians 3:28 says – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

We are all on equal ground.  We are all sinners, lost and in need of a Savior and His blood sufficiently saves males and females alike.  Neither is more intelligent or more desirable to God.

But in God’s word we see roles given in marriage that makes Opposite World bristle. This thinking has creeped into Christian marriages…and I believe that our marriages lose their ability to shine like lights in a dark world –if we look just like Opposite World.

Most of us are familiar with Ephesians 5:23 where it says:

“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”

But some Christians excuse this passage by saying it was only meant for the historical church Paul was writing to.  They make this passage obsolete. Now where do we turn? –to Colossians 3:18 or to Titus 2:3-5.  Those are fine but what did marriage look like in the Old Testament?

I Peter 3 says that the way the holy women of the past made themselves beautiful, was through their submission to their husband.

Eeek…yes, the Bible uses the “s” word.  {Opposite World really hates the “s” word…}

Let’s go back to the beginning…to the foundations of the world and to the foundations of marriage.

In the beginning was God.  He created Adam –then the Lord God said “it is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.” And so God created woman from man’s rib and brought her to the man and they became husband and wife.

Now, in Genesis 2:17 before Eve existed, God commanded Adam to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  And then in Genesis 3 –it is Eve who first took the fruit in verse 6 –and ate it.  OH EVE!!! WHY DID YOU DO THAT???

Okay – anyhoo, then she gave the fruit to Adam and he ate it too – stinker!

Now Eve ate the fruit but Romans 5:12 tells us that sin entered the world “through one man and death through sin.”

Wait a minute! Eve sinned first –didn’t sin enter the world through one WO-man?  According to scripture we see Adam – the one who God had given the command, as being held responsible for the sin of he and his wife.  And we see the first picture of headship.

Then there’s the curse in chapter 3 –and God strikes right at the heart of the home for the woman.  God says he will increase her pain in child birth and “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”(Gen.3:16)  Ouch.  This verse means – you will desire to control your husband but you can’t. He will be the dominant one in the relationship.

And right there – marital strife was born.

You wonder why there’s contention in your marriage? Often times it’s because there’s an innate battle for headship happening.  We want our opinions, our rights and our ways to be followed through in the home –and most husbands do not want their wives to rule over them.

So what do we do now?  What a mess right? Why does this have to be so hard?  There’s only one answer…

And here is where Ephesians 5 is VITAL to marriage!!!!  The answer is…


In Ephesians 5, the husbands are commanded to love their wives — like Christ loves the church.

And in this passage, wives are commanded to follow their husband as the head of the home, as the church —follows Christ.

Do you see how vital Ephesians 5 is?  If we make this passage obsolete, we lose Christ!!!

Is your marriage struggling –battling for headship.  You need Christ.

Does Opposite World balk at you for following your husband as the head of your home? Yes, because you are a CHRISTian – a follower of Christ.  And when we follow Christ —our marriages will look different.

This is why I was invited on the Rachael Ray Show (see sidebar for the clip).  I didn’t pursue this show.  They stumbled across my YouTube channel, they contacted me, they listened over the phone to my Biblical thoughts on marriage and they invited me on the show — not because I was someone special –but because there was something different about my marriage.  That something was –>> Christ!  He has made ALL the difference!

Does Opposite World see Christ in your marriage?  Don’t be alarmed by the names Opposite World throws your way –doormat, naive, stupid or airhead.  I’ve had those darts flung at me at least 100 times.   And they are false…the Proverbs 31 woman is a strong, intelligent, confident wife.  Her husband is blessed to have such a valuable wife.  Our role in marriage does not indicate our intelligence or abilities.  It is simply a role God has given to mirror his headship in the church.

The very things that repel some, will draw others to Christ. And so we must press on in our marriages and know that any labels Opposite World gives us is a badge of honor.  It is our honor to serve Christ by allowing our husbands to take the lead.

Chime In: What are your thoughts on your husband’s headship in the home?

 Walk with the King,




  1. It makes marriage wonderful…no more arguing, no more strife. Only having one leader makes life so much simpler. God absolutely knows what He is talking about and His way is the only way that truly works for the long haul. Great post, Courtney!

  2. thanks for posting this…I find it difficult sometimes to see “submission” on a smaller scale in my marriage. I get the big things, like submitting when my husband applied for a job twenty four hours from home (that he didn’t get – thank you Jesus! lol!) or submitting when my husband took a 2-year internship that could cause us to live well below the poverty line for 2 years (and God has provided for all our needs and many wants – thank you Jesus). But I do find it hard to see it in day to day life…would love a post on that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I so agree with this as well! i find it easier to submit to those big life changes as an act of obedience to God, submitting to my husband. but every day stuff is so much harder i think, mostly because i don’t know what i am doing at the time….i learned in the first few years of marriage (actually realized after some heartache and strife) that simple things like telling my husband directions in the car–was me trying to control how he drove and where he drove as one small example. A post in things like this would be a good tool to use for guidance…what are your thoughts, Courtney? Thanks for the opposite world posts!

      1. My dad used to reply my mom telling him directions, “Am I driving or you?” I told the story to my husband so now whenever I start telling him directions, which he didn’t ask. He would say the same phrase that my dad said and we had a good laugh after that. I read about this on the book For Women Only too apparently that’s a common problem ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Kelly, our modern, western understanding of submission often implies being downtrodden or abused, but that is not what the word means in the Greek NT. The word submit is hupotasso (my Greek is quite lacking, but a Strong’s or Zodhiates Concordance can be helpful) means to “under attach” and was originally a military term. It is to place oneself under the authority of the one above you. Being “under attached” is a position not only of obedience, but of support and strength. I liken being submissive to my husband to being a passenger on a motorcycle. If the driver turns left and I turn right it could cause a horrific accident. If we work together, it’s smooth riding. Please don’t forget that being under your husband’s authority is a result of his godly leadership. He is to love you in 4 ways, according to Ephesians 5: Sacrificially (Eph 5:25), with a sanctifying love – looking out for her spiritual well-being (Eph 5:26-27), with a caring love (Eph 5:28-29) and finally with a bonded love (Eph 5:30-31). He is never to demean you, he is to live with you in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7). Your husband is called to love you greatly, understand you. If he is loving you in these ways, your roll of submission will be from a place of knowing that he is sacrificing for you, and looking to your well-being (your best!) spiritually, emotionally and physically. It’s a whole new ballgame then! And, by the way, after 41 years of marriage, there’s lots of times one or the other of us was not walking in a way that made it easy. We’ve argued, misunderstood and goofed it up a bunch of times, but we do love each other and seek to walk in the Spirit so that we can love and respect one another.

        1. Nancy, Thank you for this beautiful and well-rounded explanation of submission. I try everyday to practice submitting to my husband and feel like I have a decent understanding of it (even if at times it is difficult) but the Greek explanation was very insightful.

        2. That was the perfect description Nancy, thank you for putting it into crystal clear perspective. I agree 100% and it works well in our marriage.

  3. I’m a very strong personality…I own a successful business that I started when I was single. My husband is the strong, steady type who never pushes his authority with me. Instead, he is gentle and kind–never throwing around the word “submission” or telling me what to do, but rather loving me in such a way that I respect his leadership in our marriage/home. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are also a team–a partnership–praying through things and life together. Very rarely has he ever said “no” when I have disagreed with him, and the few times that he has have been things that were for our benefit. It’s not so much a matter of one of us winning, but rather both of us submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ–who we both submit to always.

    As I dancer I know that there is great strength in quiet beauty and gentleness! :). Blessings to you!

    1. I love my wife and she loves me. Submission is not an option but a choice out of love.
      I love it when she says yes and when she disagrees and I respect her for that.
      I am the head of our home and she respects that. i always ask God to lead me.

    2. I think any woman would have a hard time submitting to a man who tells us we must submit. Instead, we see his love for us and how much he cherishes us, so we trust him to lead us. I too have a strong personality and am a feminist (gasp), but I also love Jesus and want to keep him as the head in my marriage so I submit to the leadership of my husband.

  4. Yes, yes, yes! This is so vitally important. It is my husband’s and my opinion that this is maybe the #1 core reason that people are walking away from the church in droves – because, as a whole, Christians are failing at marriage at the same rate as non-believers, so how can they really be expected to believe anything we can? Our marriage need to look different – obviously different, and then our families will look different, our churches will begin to look different, the direction of our ministries will look different, and we will begin to be credible again.

    When we first started working toward a Biblical marriage, it was hard to let go and let him lead. Now, six or so years later, it is wonderful to let him have that responsibility and trust where he’s taking our family. He lovingly seeks my input and we talk about everything, but he is the head, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  5. This is a wonderful post, Courtney. I completely agree with everything you wrote BUT have you all noticed that many men these days do not know how to lead the family LIKE CHRIST LEADS HIS CHURCH? Although that is the calling for husbands, the sad news is that many men do not realize their role. Either they are too passive or too aggressive, Christ was neither. We need to support our men and those of us who are mothers of boys (I have 3!) must work hard to teach our boys how to be a good leader of the family and the proper respect for women. God Bless!

    1. Yes~
      Thank you Alicia! I agree wholeheartedly, supporting our husbands and encouraging them in their role. Many men haven’t been raised/trained in their godly role either. Thank you that you are teaching your boys these values and roles. I have daughters and I pray there are mama’s out their raising their sons to be men and heads of homes as I’m trying to raise young women who understand the value of home and family!

    1. In Genesis 2:18, God said it was not good for the man to be alone so he created a helper suitable for him –Eve. God knew our husband’s needed a helper…so we are not meant to keep our mouths shut and let chaos ensue. But we are not to cause strife either. When my husband makes a decision I disagree with it – I talk to him in a level headed respectful way. I share my thoughts and ideas. If he doesn’t like them…then I pray about it –sometimes fervently. Sometimes he listens and changes his heart and other times he does not. Sometimes I was right and he was wrong and other times I was very wrong and I was glad he didn’t listen to me. That’s a part of life and love and obeying with faith and growing as a couple. I know it’s not easy –but it’s not an easy burden for our husband’s to carry as the head of the home either. Both roles bring trials that lead us to the foot of the cross for guidance and strength.

    2. If your husband is making a decision that causes you (or both of you) to disobey God and go against what you know is right, I believe you must not follow his lead. You must answer to God first and then your husband. I don’t know if that is your situation or not – that’s for you to decide.

    3. This post and scripture are a part of what I know as God’s Divine Order. We see order all throughout the bible. In this case, it is the husband’s responsibility to lead and protect his family. That’s his charge, a burden to bear so to speak. By default, if he makes a wrong choice, that, too, is his to bear. We, as the wives, are to help (discuss, share our thoughts, etc.) our husbands while “staying in our lane”. The only exception, as someone said above, is if your husband is asking you to do something that causes you to disobey God.

  6. I agree with Alicia. There is so much information out there teaching women about being Godly wives…sadly, I cannot find similar information teaching men to be Godly husbands. Many men do not understand THEIR roles, and when they cannot lead, chaos can erupt. I hope that this will change…until then it is up to us to make sure our sons are raised properly.

    1. Alicia I agree that men have not been taught how to lead their families well. My situation was very hard and chaotic several years ago. At that time my husband was disabled and his cognitive abilities had declined due to severe seizures. He was not capable of leading our family at that time. That was total chaos. In our case he was able to have a brain surgery and no longer has seizures. His cognitive abilities have developped. We discovered that he had been having seizures every day of his entire life up until that surgery. That had kept his brain in a constant state of trauma from a brain injury back at age 18 months old. No one really knew this. Now he is developping the ability to lead our family. I have discovered that at times when my stronger personality takes over it hinders ability to grow into the leader God intends for him to be. So as our husbands learn how to lead our family it is our job to learn to submit more and more. Then they will grow into that role. I guess to add onto another analogy– if we stay in the drivers seat then he can not possibly drive. So we need to step back to allow our husbands room to grow into that role. I share my story above to say that I know it is much easier to say or type this than to do it. However, I believe God will bless our efforts as we pray for our husbands, step back to let them lead.

      1. Are you insane? Your husband is cognitively impaired. You have to drive or he will take you over a cliff. I am dumbfounded by you women who state submission at all costs. It’s Satan’s work that you are saying that you have to submit more and more to a mentally not-all-there spouse. Good God.

    2. Erika, there is a very good, Biblical book for husbands called “The Exemplary Husband” by Stuart Scott. Also, “Leading with Love” by Alexander Strauch.

  7. Thank- you for this post, Courtney. Very well said. I’d like to point out a fine distinction, however. Though this passage teaches that the husband is head of the wife, it says nothing of him being head of the home. In fact, a few verses later, it gives instructions to children (one aspect of home life) that they are to submit to both parents, and neither father nor mother is given priority of authority. Now some may have difficulty in distinguishing how a husband may be head of the wife and not head of the home–and perhaps how that distinction is practically worked out may look different in different families? Still, I think it important to avoid adding connotations (that a husband being head of the wife means he is head of the home) to this passage that are not actually there.

    1. Great point Valerie. I may have been too narrow. The passage says โ€“the husband is the head of the wife โ€“period. So whether at home, in publicโ€ฆeverywhere we go โ€“ he is our head. Thanks for clarifying

    2. If you look at 1 Timothy 3:4-5 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?) This scripture is a guideline for those that are involved in ministry in their churches, but it also is the training ground for a husband/ father in his home. Verse 12 goes onto tell us that he must be a good manager of his children and his household. All important verses that not only men should give full attention to, but also women should pay attention to as well in order to not hinder the direction and role that God has in place for our husbands to go in our marriages and households.

  8. Ladies, if your husband is leading in a wrong direction, or failing to lead, PRAY! PRAY all the time! PRAY when you want to tell your husband what to do. PRAY when you think your husband is leading your family to ruin. Now-I know Courtney is not saying this, and neither am I-but if you are in danger or your children are-that is not what this post is about. I too believe that God designed marriage this way. My husband is not a “natural-born-leader” and I am the type that if no one is leading, I will fill that role. I will say the first few years of our marriage were not great, in fact things were not good-at least not in my head. You see when I took his role, I respected him less. Breaking the very command God gave to me regarding my husband….”men LOVE your wives…wives RESPECT your husbands….” Does my husband still seek my input? Yes he does in a loving manner. And am I a “strong woman” who has a hard time keeping her opinion to herself? Yep…but I am learning to moderate…and it’s only through PRAYER…hanging out with my Lord that I can get a right mind about me. I promise that God doesn’t want to see you fall because of your husband.

    Here is one example, a few years ago my husband took a new job-he wanted a change, try and make a difference somewhere else. I had a bad feeling about it. A REALLY bad feeling about it. When asked I voiced my concern matter-of-factly, and then shut my mouth! He took the job anyway. It was not a good situation, in fact after the first year his position was eliminated (position, not just my hubby). This left us, a family of 4 with NO income, NO health insurance, zip, zilch, nada. HOWEVER, I never once held that over my husband, still don’t. When it comes to him taking or turning down a job-that is his decision to make. I wish I could say that everything turned out bright pretty pink roses, but alas God wanted to show His hand, and he did mightily! My husband was able to cobble together part time work, and for a year we lived well below the poverty line, and I picked up babysitting and tutoring from home. But here is the AMAZING hand of God. We never went into debt. Each time a bill came up-we amazingly had a way to pay for it, be it an extra job for my hubby or just a financial gift from a friend. That my friends is what God can do when you give him a “right heart”. I still walked in submission to my husband, and God took care of us!

  9. I have no problem with this. I love those verses and believe in them whole heartedly. The problem is when the Husband doesn’t take the role God intended for him therefore making me the one who does everything. I used to be a single mom for years before I met my husband. After 16 years of marriage and 18 years together, I’m still waiting for him to lead our big family. It’s heartbreaking and very frustrating.

  10. This is a painful one for me. Not because of the submission factor, but because, frankly, my husband did not have a strong role model for male headship in his father. His mother ran the show, to the point of enabling those around her. I refuse to be an enabler. I also try very hard not to lead my husband, but frankly, thats when bills don’t get paid, RSVPs don’t get answered, promises go unfulfilled. And so on. And on…

    We were 20 when we got married. And at times it felt as though he was interested in playing house more than seeing through his vows as a christian man making a covenant with his bride. I don’t think he was mature enough -especially spiritually mature enough to get married at 20, but i trusted him, because thats what wives do. trust their husbands. We are both first-gen christians, me at 16, him at some point between 17-24. We met at 18. I didn’t have a support system when i was dating and choosing my husband. i prayed a lot about our relationship while dating and had peace. we kept ourselves pure. we tried to do everything right. but i am sharing this not to bash my husband-he is a good man – but because i am pained that our two daughters’ male role model is so far from what i want for them for husbands. I am grateful that we did not have boys. I can see the rift the lack of leadership has put in our family, particularly in our daughter who has behavior issues. I realize my daughters are modeling what they see in me and i am trying to to be my role first and then only intervening when it is absolutely necessary.. our strife has caused a rift in our family dynamic. It is so hard not to come across as passive-aggressive or angry or overly encouraging like im cheering a two-year-old who just used the potty. I know that one day he will have to answer for this. I have prayed. I have fasted. I have confided in trusted older women and even encouraged a few solid men from our church to take him under his wing, which will happen for a time then it ends- I even got word back from my pastor (many years after the fact) that one man gave up out of frustration that it was just like it doesn’t sink in, and he is unaware.

    We have been married 13 years now. I am trying to do what i can to be a godly and supportive wife, reminding myself that i have flaws too, some major ones at that. I so badly want my daughters to marry well, so that they will not have to spin so many plates at once like i do. But how do i talk to them and encourage them without pointing out (directly or the kids’ inferring) that our marriage would be a better-managed machine if all the parts were in the right places and managed by the right people. I think i am going to eventually need to have a gentle conversation with them when they are at that stage.

    I love him. I really do. Opposite World tells me to leave him because my needs arent being met but i dont subscribe to Opposite World. I have weak moments when i look at my divorced girlfriends gaining so much after they free themselves of the yoke of a burdensome marriage, but 1. They are not Christians and 2. I have a clear command from God’s word to not leave him. This isn’t a safety issue. This isn’t a faithfulness issue. Let me be an example for you, young women. Choose well. Dont rush it. Maybe i still would have eventually married him, but we needed more time to grow up independantly first -especially him. Men need a little more time before they can effectively manage a household.. You are worth it. Sigh.

    1. ๐Ÿ™ I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing in your marriage. You are not alone. So many women are in your shoes and your honesty and your faithfulness to your husband and God will encourage them. Thank you for sharing.

      What a beautiful blessing this is for your children to see –that you don’t just give up when the going gets tough. I had a friend who was married to an unbeliever write a blog post for WLW about how to thrive in a mismatched marriage — here’s the link – hope it helps:

      Lots of Love,

    2. The Bible says that wives win their husbands without a word as they watch their wives godly lifestyle. Begin serving your husband. Find out what pleases him. The Bible doesn’t say to submit to your husband only if he is worthy or a good leader but to submit to him in everything regardless unless it is clearly sin. As you become more gentle, quiet, and loving, your husband will be drawn to you which in turn, may turn him into the man you want. We are commanded to pursue peace with all men. Pursue peace with him. Stop arguing with him. All of this will help him become a leader. Women have amazing power in a marriage to set the tone. Try it for awhile and see what happens.

        1. This unconditional respect or submission is something the Lord has opened my eyes to recently, the fact that I wasn’t. My husband is a full time band director (many families have busy “heads” in other jobs), and what has been extra tricky for me is taking more and less leadership all the time. It feels like a roller coaster. I’ve come to realize what I can do when he’s not around as much to keep my mind stayed on his leadership and headship that should make the busy times just as joyful and fruitful as the less busy times. Praising God for His leadershipand wisdom to me!
          For me, the idea of God’s truth and the Holy Spirit being my teacher in regards to what He has put before me, and keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus, who authors and perfects my faith, has set me free.

    3. My husband was 29, I was 23, we have been married 11 1/2 years. And I totally get you! I have a better credit rating than my husband. He hasn’t filed the taxes in 2 years (extensions only). Does it DRIVE ME CRAZY?!?!?!?!?! Totally!!!!!! But I can’t take this from him. I have done it in the past, and it makes me bitter to have it all heaped on my shoulders. That’s not good either. My husband had an amazing father. He took care of everything. My husband, hmmm…not so much. My husband has been a life long Christian (me too). So it really doesn’t matter the upbringing. I know I can either seethe about it, or realize that it how my husband is. My husband has an amazingly creative brain. He teaches and plays music. He composes and transcribes music. His brain just doesn’t work like my logical brain. And that causes some strife in and of itself. And his creativity doesn’t make him less smart than me, actually he is amazingly intelligent…he just isn’t good with details, like paying the water bill on time.

      Here are some things to take to heart. I love the story of Abigail from the Bible-her husband dishonored the King, yet she dishonored neither! And God rewarded her. Also, I LOVE Shaunti Feldman’s book, for women only. It has really helped me see how I might word a question, like did you pay the water bill, or file the taxes? in a way that isn’t degrading to my husband and still shows respect, yet my concern.

      Dear Sister, I will pray for you! And we are raising 2 boys ๐Ÿ˜‰ God will help us all figure it all out!

      1. Would your husband be okay with YOU doing the bookkeeping for your home? For some, (men or women,) it simply is not an easy thing! I was a secretary before we got married and had been doing book-work since I was 14. So it came naturally for me and it became part of my job description when I became a wife. We agreed together that I would pay the bills, do the banking, get all the stuff together for taxes, etc. But I don’t make any decisions by myself as far as choosing electric suppliers, budget changes, making extra payments on the mortgage, etc.. If we run short on money, I ask him which bills to pay first. We discuss a lot of things and he give me the go-ahead to actually get things changed. We are POA for his parents and I usually take care of all their issues with hospital bills etc. This has worked well for us for nearly 17 years. Communication is key.

        On the other hand, I know a couple where the husband insists that she does the book-work. She is not gifted in making sense of numbers and banking and bill paying, and the whole thing is a disaster. But all he does is berate her for her stupid mistakes.

        In some of these areas, there is nor right or wrong person to assume the responsibility. But use each others strengths and weaknesses to figure out what works for YOU. Maybe it’s as simple as asking your husband if he would like for you to pay the bills and file the taxes, or if he would like to continue taking care of it. And maybe not. Either way, I wanted to share what worked for us. I know that if my husband would have tried to take on the book work when we got married, we would both have been frustrated!

        1. I was just going to suggest this! Just because the husband is the leader does not mean he has to be the one to take care of the finances!

          1. These are my thoughts as well. I view submission as willingly doing what my husband wants me to. In our case, it is to handle the hospital bills for my kids and myself. One month they were more than expected and I asked him how he wanted me to handle it. I would think in my situation it would be in insubmissive to say “you are the head of the house. You should be doing this.”

    4. Hi Hurting Bride!
      We hurt with you :{. It is never fun to deal with a person who has personality and character flaws, and it sounds like your husband may have both. I married the opposite of your husband, a strong, dominant women who for 20 years I thought would never give in or surrender to me. In spite of the fact that I could lead others, I could not be her leader because I could never measure up.

      She came to me one day and said she had figured out how we could have an intimate relationship. I asked, “OK what do I have to do now? She said, nothing you can do… I need to learn to please you and accept you just the way you are.

      We now have the most fabulous marriage…..and I cannot tell you that I lead any more or less than before… but she lets me lead. She asks me what do I want to do, when do I want to do it, and do I want her to do it. No more feeling like whatever decision I make she will be disappointed…. and no more disappointment on her part. Just a big smile every time I walk in the room. She loves me just the way I am!

      It is my wife’s full acceptance and love than makes me want to be a better leader of our home.

      BUT… I am not significantly flawed by a weak father, nor is my personality laid back like your husband’s may be. Still, you may be only causing yourself more pain by not just loving him the way he is, warts and all. Make a list of all his good qualities,and start with God wanting you to have the girls you have now. Where would you be without them?!? And without him you would not have had them.

      Praise God that He makes no mistakes. He is using your husband to turn you into a beautiful Christike, gracious, completely loving and accepting person. Will you be Jesus to your husband, and then let’s see what miracle God can give you in 5,10, 25 years? Abraham waited a lifetime for his promises, and they were worth waiting for.

    5. Ugh. This is so hard to swallow. Maybe he would have been worth marrying at some point. But it really sounds like not – even many years in. I think you are avoiding the inevitable.

  11. Very well said!!!! I’m going to share this! I feel like this is what I would have wanted to say, but probably wouldn’t have been able to say it so well! Thank you for sharing your gift of writing! And using it for His glory!!

  12. Oh excellent post, my friend! You’re singing my song. ๐Ÿ™‚ Marriage, the way God intended, works and works real well! When the husband/wife live out their respective roles and they seek to obey the Word, not only will Christ be glorified through their lives, but their marriage will be fabulous!

  13. Great post Courtney! I would not back away too quickly from the husband also being head of the family and home.

    The Old Testament is replete with God’s intention that Fathers be the leader of the family and household. The fact is that “wives submit to your husbands” is probably much more a result of needing clear leadership of the family home than it is the need to manage or rule their wife. What happens when a family, or any organization, has no clear leadership roles defined? Chaos.

    God says to Abraham, our spiritual father,
    “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.โ€ Gen 18:19. Are Christian fathers not the ones God is referring to with these words?

    Beyond that,an those who aspire to be an elder in the church must be one who “rules his household well.” The list could go on, but in reality it makes no sense to say that husbands are head of the wife, wife and husband are head of the children, but somehow the husband is not head of the home…

    I think what Valerie may be trying to say is that the leadership of the home is shared by both husband and wife, and in most Christian homes the husband delegates explicitly, or by default, a much greater leadership role for his wife in managing the home than he performs.

    Just as a business has a president and vice President…. and the vice president often does much more actual management than the president… the vp still reports to the president and they both are accountable to the Chairman of the Board… the Lord Jesus :).

    Again,Bravo for speaking the truth as to what the scriptures teach. How that works out in real life depends on how each Christian couple decides is the best way to serve God and each other, while maintaining husband as head of the home. The husband can delegate as much authority and responsibility he wants to, but he always reports to his Boss…His Lord.

  14. What if your husband is a non believer and you are? Is it still wise to submit when submission could mean going against Christ?

    1. Never submit against God’s clear will and commands. He is your highest authority.

      But definitely show Jesus to him by submitting to your husband in every other way. Did not Jesus submit to His Father “in every way” and is not His love and humility what won us to God in the first place? So too… you can win your husband without a word as you show him the love and submission of Christ.

      Ideally, believers do not marry unbelievers, but when they do, they spend their lives in ministry to them so that their whole family will some day come to Christ!

        1. Mischa, this is such a hard thing to do. I know because I have been there! My husband’s heart was so hardened towards God, church, etc….and I was the one to ‘fill the shoes’ of the spiritual leader in our household….I became bitter and angry. We went through a very difficult time in our marriage, and I truly believe that that time could’ve been better had I put my attitude in check and gave it to God. But thank God HE knows what we need and sent me a wonderful Christian lady to mentor me. I realized that I had to obey God first and foremost, but I must not do things in a haughty ‘religious’ way or even without a word I could still turn my husband away from God! So I learned to pray about everything. And God used that time to change me! I must say that after 9 1/2 years Christ has softened my husband’s heart and turned my husband towards Himself…..But until then, I felt hopeless Mischa….there were times that I felt that his heart would never change. But I made up my mind that I would perservere and work on me and teach my kids the right way…and God did what he said he desires to do for everyone!

          Please know though, that some situations aren’t quite as black and white as people may think…never going through this. And not all have the same ending….But…

          I want to give you an illustration of obeying God vs. being submissive to our husbands. It may not help, but maybe it will….
          During the time that my husband’s heart was hardened….I was growing in my faith and wanted to obey Christ and tithe. My husband and I share bank accounts and our paychecks, bills, everything is combined…nothing is separate….so I prayed about it….I prayed that God would give me a chance to ask my husband about tithing and that it would not be a hostile conversation….and God opened the door for that conversation shortly after I prayed….However, my husband said a firm ‘No’. My hands were tied at that time….But God knew my heart and my desire to obey him….and if I went ahead and did it anyway, my husband would’ve taken it like a slap in the face and would’ve turned his back farther from God… I continued to wait and pray…..we must be careful and very prayerful.
          As years have gone by, and my husband is growing in Christ now, God burdened my heart again about tithing, and when I discussed with my husband again, he said he had felt the same burden! Praise God!
          So be prayerful in everything! Nothing is impossible with God! I truly believe that Mischa! NOTHING! I also started praying this verse over my husband: Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV) – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

  15. Beautiful post ! To those ladies that have a husbands that “does not lead”. Please try to pray for yourselves
    so that God can change you and do his work in you ( even though the problem maybe him) and spend time get to know God by praying and meditating on his word. If you will continue doing this you will see
    amazing change in your marriage! I did and still doing this. God is so faithful!!!!

  16. I have to say in my own marriage it much more peaceful when I try to do it gods way amd nOt my way took a lot of tribulation for me to learn that I think so many marriages could b saved if they did it gods way

  17. I found this a very interesting post. I like to think that on most things my husband and I are 100/100 in that we both give everything our all so in the case where one of use falters the other is there to guide. I also do understand the “submission” part, but luckily I have a loving husband who I trust completely so I know that he will not lead me astray. Sadly, too many women do not have a husband that portrays their role properly. As always your posts intrigue me and cause me to reflect on my own interpretations and spirituality more, thank you.

  18. Amen <3 Beautifully written. I am loving this opposite world series. Have a blessed week. Tara (The Proverbs 31 Sanctuary)

  19. I just came back from a beautiful memorial service of a dear friend, loving wife, mom of three whose children grow up loving God and people. One sentence that ring in my head is from one of her children who says, “while my dad is the head of the home, my mom is the heart of the home.”

  20. Hello there! I am 25 and not married yet (I am believing God for Him to bring that about in His perfect timing). However, I love reading articles like this. It helps me prepare for the future. My feedback? AMEN! I just recently finished reading the book “Created to be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read and is all about biblical femininity, the husband being the head of the household, what that should look like, etc. It is full of wisdom and I learned so much. The book goes right along the lines of your article. Thank you for getting the truth out there. ๐Ÿ™‚ Blessings!

  21. This was an excellent article about the roles of a husband and wife as God intended it to be. I am encouraged and more determined to be the wife described in the Bible. Thank you and continue to do the work of the Lord.

  22. Thank you Courtney for your blog! I always read your daily bits of wisdom, but this is one of your best! So well put. Many blessing to you and your family.

  23. Courtney~

    What a “Blessing” you are to all of us! I have been a Proverbs 31 woman for many years — I’m quite a bit older than you, my dear ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, you really nailed a lot on the head with this post. Thank you for your undying obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading in your writing and sharing! You are {{Beautiful}} because Jesus shines through so brightly and clearly!

    Love you Much and always praying for you!

    In His Grace,

  24. My husband and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage in a couple of weeks. We both had a Christian upbringing and we married because, without a doubt, after much prayer, we knew that was God’s will for us. We have gone through many drastic changes and upheavals in our marriage. We vowed when we married that we would never divorce, and many months, that was the only thing that held us together. We have 2 children who have grown to be incredible Christian, godly adults. I’ve actually learned much about marriage from watching their marriages. For many years, I said my husband wouldn’t lead so I had to lead. I was too impatient to wait for his answers, his leading, etc. (he is a slow, thoughtful man). I could tell many stories, and say many things about our marriage that would not be upbuilding, or good. However, things have changed. About 5 years ago, my husband felt lead that we should change churches. I was very happy where we were and decided to go along with him. Since it was a new church start, I thought I would do that for a few months (to please him) and then we could go back to our home church. I immediately knew this was a monumental change. The leaders of this new church had something I didn’t have. There were some of the godliest women there that I will ever know. I did everything I could to be like them (attending Bible studies, praying more, studying more, and spending extra time with them). They were all younger than me and had incredible marriages where both partners thrived! No matter how hard I tried, I felt I didn’t have what they had. It all changed for me in August of 2012 when God saved me. I’d never suspected I was lost (pastor’s daughter, pastor’s wife, Sunday School teacher, Bible study leader, led people to the Lord, went on mission trips, etc.) However, one afternoon, it became crystal clear to me, after many tears and prayer, that I was lost. Jesus saved my soul, and nothing has been, or will ever be, the same. My heart changed, and so did my marriage. I fell madly in love with my husband (even more so than when we were newlyweds), and am learning to love him in a Biblical way. I listen to him, I talk WITH him (not TO him), and we pray and study together. It is the marriage of my dreams, and the change is me (God in me). For so many years, I prayed for him to be the husband of the Bible and the husband I so desperately wanted. But, hindsight shows me, that everytime he tried to be that, I moved to stop him. Submitting to him is the most awesome blessing I have ever received, and I praise God (quietly, loudly, and in verbal testimony) for the changes He has made in our marriage. My husband frequently adds, as a footnote to my testimony, that he is not married to the same woman, and it has been amazing. I’m not telling all of this to say this could be the problem in other marriages. I just could not resist telling of the miracle wrought by God in our lives.

  25. I am a self proclaimed control freak in all areas of my life. I am trying to stop, trust me… However the one area that I’d really like to be lead in is the home, however my husband has zero interest in being the lead in our home. If he took over we’d have no money, and we’d do nothing. I just don’t know what I am supposed to do in order to help him see why I do things the way I do them. How to I submit to someone who chooses to check out of the home?

  26. Several years ago the Lord laid on my heart to write a book on marriage. 5 years later a mini-book was completed and set for sell on Amazon, Amazingly ,only 1 copy was purchased! I have been married for 26 years, have 6 children that we homeschool and we strive to have a Biblical marriage! For the first 5 years of our marriage we were away from God, and I tried to be the boss( I was the boss). After we came back to the Lord, I was still the boss and there was a lot of tension. One day I was lamenting to the Lord about how hard it was and how my husband just would not step up and “be the man” of our house! The Holy Spirit gently said ” How can he be the man when you are”? Wow!!! I was instantly convicted. The Holy Spirit went on to say ” He can’t step up and take his place because you are standing in it”! I literally took a step back and felt the weight of the world lift off of my shoulders and joy fill my up!!! My husband was able to fulfill his role and lead! Now, is it always rainbows and roses? No. But submission is something that you work on everyday( sometimes minute by minute). People in {opposite world} find it hard to believe that we do not fight or argue, but we don’t! If we disagree, we take it to the Lord and one or the other’s heart is changed and it always works together for our good!

  27. Cindy, I know the feeling:) If my absolutely wonderful husband took over bills and taxes wewould probably have our house re-posesed!! He is the hardest worker I have ever known, yet really struggles in the administration area of the home. I am to be his helper. So, the relief on his face after our first year of marriage when I told him that I would take over the bills and taxes for him, was priceless! He needed this. Taking care of the paperwork that comes along with home owning, is alllllll mine:) I love it, and he seems very happy that I love it! lol! Help means finding out where he lacks. We pick up eachothers ‘slack’, so to speak. I know, it’s not slack, it’s just filling eachother eachothers weak spots with our strengths:)
    Fantastic post to wake up to Courtney!

  28. I totally agree. The world can not understand this concept because in order for this to work they both have to serve God first. Of course it will be hard to be submissive to your husband if he is abusive and not living right, he’s not serving God and in God’s will. It’s not easy to do, and I believe we have the right to share our opinions and feelings with our husbands and that we should make decisions together, but ultimatly he has the last say and makes the final decision.

    1. No one should ever have to submit (wife to husband, husband to wife, Christian to Christian) when abuse is involved.

  29. My husband and I have been dealing with this issue for the past 11 years. WE have decided that I have certain roles and he has certain roles. For example he is a truck driver so is away from home sometimes so I take care of the finances, but after I figure them out I always talk to him about what I have figured and get his opinion. My frustration is.. I want him to be the spirtual leader in our home. I want to do daily bible reading and devotionas as a family and pray as a family but it seem when we start.. I am the one leading because he maybe does not understand it or doesn’t want to look like he doesnt understand it in front of the kids. We have 4 children, I have to older girls (15 and 18) from a previous marriage and we have 2 children together (Boy 10 and girl 8). I want my children to grow up knowing the Lord and wanting to please him. So any suggestions on how to help would be well received.

    1. We women seem to have this image of what a spiritual leader looks like…reads the bible to us and prays. I always tell women if they have a hard-working, faithful husband who loves them and their children, they have a spiritual leader just not in the way they want. You start reading the bible and praying with your children. Work on becoming a godly woman yourself with a gentle and quiet spirit and watch how God will work on your husband. Pray for your husband and let the Lord convict and change him. Your job is to make him happy, not holy. This was all made clear to me ten years ago and my husband has since become the husband of my dreams.

      1. “Let the Lord convict and change him.” The Lord has no time to deal with terrorism and mass starvation and AIDS and a plague of other ills – but is going to flip the switch on his guy’s cluelessness. I think not. God, this is a depressing blog.

  30. This is such a great post full of Biblical Truth. Submission is a hard topic to cover and is very misunderstood in this world. As a Christian, it makes sense, but it’s SO hard to submit to my husband sometimes! Each day is a learning process and I continually need God to help me through each day. Thank you for the encouraging post!

  31. By biggest issue is that I have never in my life had an example where this is actually showed in a good way. My in-laws practice this and in their marriage, my F-I-L decides EVERYTHING. How she can wear her hair, what types of clothes she can wear, if she can come and visit us, she can’t wear dangly earings or make up,.. She’s too heavy compared to the neighbor woman who hasn’t had any children..etc. I mean honestly, NO! I cringe anytime my M-I-L says she is going to show my husband how to fix a fridge because he’s the man of the house (yet in our home, I am the handy woman!) or how when Papa isn’t home then mommy is the chief. Sorry…again…but NO! Obviously they are extreme at least in my eyes it is very, very demeaning. My husband and I have a great marriage but honestly, there isn’t any “you are the head of the house” stuff . We have 3 small children and we work together. We discuss our future we discuss things as they come and we are in touch enough that sometimes, we just know what each other would want and what the right thing is. Honestly, I would have a huge, HUGE problem if my husband all of a sudden made a life altering decision for us without talking it through or without us being on the same page., just because he’s the head of the house. I asked my husband if he felt respected, cherished, taken seriously by me and he said “yes, absolutely.” And I feel the same way about my husband. So not sure we necessarily fit into the “head of the household” mold, but more of a “we are a team and we do it together” type of mold…And I am very, very, happily married to the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with!

    1. Whitney, that’s awesome! I agree with you…that’s how my husband and I handle things too…we are a team of equals – no one is boss over the other one and I believe this is how God designed it from the beginning before Adam & Eve sinned and I believe this is still His desire and plan for us.

      I remember a Christian counselor/teacher and his wife said that when making a decision if one of them says “no” then they table the decision and continue talking/praying about it until they come to a mutual decision. To me, this is a picture of submission – neither one insisting on their own way – both listening to the other, showing respect until they come to a mutual decision. When conservative Christian teaching insists on the women/wives always submitting to the men/husbands, then it becomes a position of submission (the woman/wife is under the man/husband) and that is not biblical (in my opinion).

  32. hi Courtney, thanks for writing this and showing the truth in Gods word even when most of the world thinks different. It is a great thing to have your husband lead you in a Godly way. even if he makes mistakes as long as he Is not asking you to sin you need to follow. I struggle with this at times as my flesh and past rise up and want to disagree or take the lead. but as god teaches me I need to stay under the protection of him and my husband. In doing this it allows me to play out my part in the home the caretaker, homemaker, organizer and the heart of the home. And according to my wonderful husband he couldn’t do it without me. What a blessing to know he appreciates me and that we each know our place so to speak in our marriage. thanks again and God bless

  33. My husband insists that I am head. My EX husband was very abusive so I actually have a hard time being headed by any male, be it spouse or boss. When Steven went from active duty to reserve I handed him the reigns…he treated us like soldiers. Not cool. He handed back the reigns and said I did better than him. I also opened up more….the military treatment I was given made me feel like I was back with my ex and it was only a matter of time before Steven had a PTSD attack and snapped. Steven noticed this and gave me control. Our home functions better this way.

    1. Hi Selina, I like how you and your husband figured out what works best for you.

      I hate that there seems to be this “one size fits all” mentality in the Christian community. Because each of us is a unique individual, each marriage will function differently according to needs and giftings.


  34. I’m 32 and my wife is 29. We have been married 6 years and have 2 daughters. We have a happy marriage, but I have recently returned to the church and would like to be the head of our home. My wife refuses to let me lead. Up until now, we have shared in all decision making. My wife is a highly educated professional, who earns almost as much as I do, and she only works part time. She was raised as a Christian, but neith she or her family, are very religious.

    As I stated previously, we are a happy couple, who rarely argue. But she is a strong, independent woman, who has rejected any thought of being submissive. Any advice?

    1. Sorry to hear about your situation Jason. Many times strong, independent women think they shouldn’t submit to their husbands based on their personality. (I had that viewpoint before I got saved.) Now I channel my strong-willed personality, which was given to me by God, to bring glory to His name which means I try to follow His will and not my own. After seeking Christ and the scriptures and applying biblical submission to my own marriage, I figured out that my God is one pretty smart God! God’s Word and His path for marriage works for ALL personalities.

      If your wife professes to be a Christian, then perhaps there’s a disconnect in her understanding of Biblical submission?? Or she’s not willing to lay down her pride?? Many times wives miss out on how beautiful their marriage can be if they would only follow God’s plan for their lives.

      A husband can’t make his wife submit to his headship, nor should he. The biblical command for the wives to submit is given by God, not the husband. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict her heart and draw her to Himself.

      Whether your wife is a follower of Christ or not, pray for the Lord to soften her heart. In the meantime a husband is commanded by God to love his wife with Christ-like love. That’s what a husband should do regardless of whether or not his wife submits to his headship.

      As the husband, try to win your wife’s heart as you emulate Jesus; the servant-leader.

      I hope this helps.

  35. Love, love, love this!! It’s so true ๐Ÿ™‚ its so easy to submit when you are following a man who follows Christ. I love my husband and am proud to be his wife.

  36. I really appreciate this post. My husband comes from a “traditional” family but his mother always voiced her distaste for it & as the children left the home, she stopped being the homemaker which left a resentment in my husband since he was the baby & was still home. I however came from a woman dominated household, so I grew up knowing I had to make something of myself. So it ran into my marriage. The first five years I was the breadwinner & HATED it. Slowly I began to realize I wanted something foreign & different but couldn’t place my finger on it. Finally the Church found its way into my home! That’s when I found what that foreign, different thing was. I wanted my husband to lead our home, I wanted to be a wife & mom…nothing else! ๐Ÿ™‚ Now my husband is the breadwinner, I still work part time but we are working on that since we are expecting our third child in October. Little by little I’m learning how to be a wife of Christ & it’s doing amazing things to my marriage & household. So again Thank You for the encouragement & guidance!

  37. My husband and I have been married for nearly 19 years, and have been a couple for 22 years. I was raised in a home where the woman was the ‘boss’, and both of my parents were raised the same way. I, too, bristled against what God has ordered in terms of headship for many years, partly because of my own sinfulness (I don’t like to be told what to do!), and partly because of the example I’d been raised in/by. God, through my husband’s loving, patient, and consistent nature, changed my heart, and I finally was able to *trust* that my husband was not going to ‘run over’ me or abuse my trust in him. It was a big deal for me to finally really believe that my trust was safe.
    Unfortunately, a lot of men who call themselves followers of Christ and abuse their wives and their wives’ trust have ruined the credibility of this concept.
    As fallen creatures, and then redeemed by Christ, we are all fortunate that God’s sovereignty supersedes our sinfulness and can make something beautiful out of anything, if we yield to His will and workings. Thank you for posting this.

  38. I agree that I should submit to my husband obviously. however, I am the only that contributes to our marriage. I work, I cook, I clean, I bathe our son, take him to school. my husband sits at home, drinks, abuses drug. he feels guilty yet does nothing to change. I can’t submit to him. I know I should but I feel like he uses me. he knows how I feel. but hr continues to take and I continue to give. Submission to him makes the weak ir so I think.

    1. Kristy, I don’t believe anyone should submit to their spouse when abuse (you mention drinking and drugs) is involved. Submission in a situation like this is enabling your husband’s abusive behavior…sounds like he may need some professional help/support.

    2. Yes I have too delt with this . Being the submissive sweet wife I wanted to be and know I should be and then my husband walking all over us verbally and mentally and being a hypocrite at church. Me and the children finlly decided we would take no more.We let our pastor know what all was going on and he got us councelling and my husband on medication which has changed the situation drastically.Now it is up to us to forgive him and its hard to do I am ashamed to say.I married a lion and expected him to turn into a lamb and that just is not an easy thing to expect.Sometimes one person grows toward Christ and the other doesn’t.You should seek help for abuse right away. Don’t wait at all, you must reach out now to someone who can help you and your dear child.God Bless.

  39. This is great, if you have a husband who actually leads. My husband says very explicitly that he wants to, but when push comes to shove he doesn’t do a darn thing. It’s not that I WANT to “take over” and make all the decisions, but he leaves me no choice. I wish this were simply a matter of me not “letting” him lead or me taking the position and having to back down so he can take it up, but it’s not. I’ve only ever stepped in when the situation gets critical, and honestly at that point all of the work that needs done to fix it is tiring. Much better for me to throw my hands up and just take care of everything right off the bat. The man can’t even keep a job and hasn’t fed his family in 4 years, the government has. For you ladies who have husbands who do a good job of leading your family, consider yourselves VERY blessed. I have no idea why God chooses some women for those men and not others, still trying to figure out what I did wrong to deserve this.

  40. If submission is a common topic in your marriage, then I would guess there are some other problems. If there are issues that need to be dealt with, deal with them. Go to a counselor. Don’t sweep it all under the rug of “submission” and let thing fester. It will destroy your relationship. In a healthy relationship, there is give and take and each looks out for the happiness of the other.

  41. Hi Courtney, I always enjoy reading your blog posts – thank you for willingly putting your thoughts out here in blog-o-sphere-land. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think it’s great that you and many of your readers have worked out the whole submission issue and what that looks like for you.

    I do respectively disagree with the idea that the husband/man is the head/boss; and the idea that marriage is a hierarchical relationship. I view the husband/wife, man/woman relationship as an egalitarian one.

    I do believe husband & wife can both function together with equal authority. Genesis 1:26-28 God commissions both man & woman with equal authority to rule the earth together. God seems to paint the picture that Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony (before sin); neither one was concerned about who was the “boss” or who did which job – why would they? Since they were created to rule together with equal authority, their minds were on simply enjoying life and taking care of their needs as they arose. Our choice to sin messed up what God designed. And although Jesus death & resurrection canceled out the consequences/curse of our sin, we still live in a fallen world.

    Whether you follow an hierarchical viewpoint or an egalitarian viewpoint, the bottom-line is doing whatever works best for your marriage relationship. ๐Ÿ™‚

    God Bless.

    1. Hi Tami! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I was careful in this post to lay out the passages of scripture because I know that there are many within the church who disagree with this thought because of the huge influence of Opposite World –seeping into the church.

      I think the “do whatever works best for your marriage relationship” is the mantra of the day that Christians have bought into – it does not come from God’s word. This is exactly the words of Opposite World but for CHRISTians…we are called to obey God’s word (such as Ephesians 5 “for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church”) . If we love God –we will keep his commands (John 14:15).

      Lots of Love,

      1. Hi Courtney, thanks for the response. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I need to clarify that when I said, “do whatever works best for your marriage relationship” I meant that within the context of following God’s word. I agree with you – we are called to follow God’s word. I just think we disagree on the interpretation of His word. The word head in the greek (kephale) also means “source,” “life-giving” which gives the passage in Ephesians a different meaning.

        Anyway, I don’t want to delve too much into all this because I don’t want to come across as hijacking your post (that is not my intent at all). Thank you for allowing me to post my thoughts and differing viewpoint. We’re all women who love and honor the Lord (as evidenced by all these posts to your blog) through our gifts/abilities/callings and relationships.

        Blessings to you Courtney and your family as you enjoy the summer together. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. I am so blessed to have a husband who makes submission very easy for me…. But I have to wonder how folks prickle when you speak of the wife’s submission, but not when you speak of the husband loving his wife as Christ loved the church…. that is a MUCH harder one to fulfil …

  43. I did not start marraige off believing this (even as a Christian) but now after 11 years of marraige wondering why marriage always seemed a burden… and finding women like you to learn from God is moving me to new insight. I am trying to absorb and redirect the way I have viewed marriage and how I’ve lived out my role as a wife. It’s not easy to change but I am trying.

  44. btw, both my husband and I both believed in the co-leadership/egalitarian view… in reality it never “fit” well… I love the idea of meeting my husbands needs and respecting his leadership of our marraige, again I’m still developing in this area but when I do it well.. my husband responds to my needs and we have peace in our home… what a gift!

  45. Courtney, thank you for your boldness is posting God’s truth. Truth is, if we cannot submit to our husbands, we will not submit to the Lord. If we cannot embrace all of His Word, like it or not, we will not receive any of it. God bless! ~gina duke

  46. Hi Courtney,

    I agree that the husband is the head of the house, and in Titus 2 women are called to be managers of their home. I really enjoyed your post, but to be honest, when I watched the clip from the RR show, I do disagree with a few statements you made. In the clip, you siad that you do everything for your husband in regards to the home (cooking, cleaning, dealing with children, etc) and that you don’t ask him to help out. While that may work for your family, you need to be careful because in other families the husband DOES need to help (as in my case). We are expecting our 7th child any day now, and if my husband didn’t help me, not only would I be locked up in the looney bin, but our children would not have their needs met becuase I simply cannot do everything. My oldest child is 10, and although he can help do chores, etc, I can’t expect him to take care of my youngest child (who just turned 18 mos. old) while I am cooking, dealing with another child, etc. I am originally from Ohio and my husband is from New York; we live in South Carolina and do not have family near us. If my husband never changed a diaper or cooked a meal (as you saidin the clip), then that would mean all the times I’ve delivered a baby and spent time in the hospital, our other children at home with my husband would be in dirty diapers, going hungry, and unbathed (unless they’re old enough to shower themselves). I agree with the idea behind your words in that a home should be well-managed and not chaotic, but there are probably moms out there who now feel an extra burden to do everything in their home because you said you do. Submission has nothing to do with how involved a husband is. When my husband helps me out by bathing the kids because I am on bedrest, it is because he loves me (like Christ loves the church). When my husband offers to cook supper for us, it’s not because I’m slacking in home-management, it’s because he loves me and wants to show his love by giving me a break. Submission is a choice made by the wife to place herself under her husband’s, and ultimately Christ’s, authority. Submission is asking questions in the every day things instead of making statements (Do you want the children to come inside and get ready for snack? versus It’s time for the children to come inside for snack; What are your plans for the day? vs. I want you to do XYZ today; When would be a good time to go to the grocery store? vs. I am going to grocery store).Again, I’m not trying to be critical of your words or your post, just keepin’ it real! =)

    1. Hi Terra – thanks for sharing your thoughts!!! I totally agree 110% with you!!

      Most of those who have followed my blog for long know that I do not believe in cookie cutter marriages. I do not believe that other marriages should look like mine and I wrote a post addressing this here:

      I believe we all need to follow the same principles in the Bible but how that practically plays out in our homes can look completely different because our puzzles are different. We have different husband leaders, different children, and different circumstances as you stated. But we have the same God and Bible – so the principles will look the same…that’s about all ๐Ÿ™‚

      Please remember that the Rachael Ray Show did not allow me to bring my faith into the show – actually – they deleted out the parts where I said those things.

      Thanks for bringing this up!!
      Lots of Love,

  47. As a teacher I am used to being the leader/in charge person, so letting my husband lead is a challenge for me. I constantly think of Mary, Jesus’ mother. She truly gave her life/marriage over to God in ways we would not be able to comprhend. I often stop and think how she would handle the situation, what she would do if she was going through the same thing. Now being picked by God to give birth to his son, and then raising his son, along with a husband she must have had much more stress than we could. She had to have a great relationship with God in order to get through it. Thinking of her gives me a great sense of peace and someone to strive to be like in my faith.

  48. I would love to try this in our marriage/home. However, my husband is not a Godly leader and that makes it hard for me to “submit.” What do you do when you feel submission will just turn you into an ugly hateful person? If my husband was more of a “leader” I wouldn’t mind at all, but he doesn’t attend church with the kids and I and he is not my idea of a Godly man ๐Ÿ™

  49. Courtney,

    Thank you for this post, as well as all your other posts. I’ve been following you recently and appreciate the insights you have, by the grace of God, into living as a biblical woman in “Opposite World”. You, and women like you, are an inspiration, especially for those who are thinking about getting married, are newly married (of which I put myself as I am 24-years-old and have been married only almost 4 years), and even for those who have been married many years (or decades) but have never been taught what scriptures say in regard to marriage (and parenting, as well).

    This post is one that I strongly agree with and am boggled when so many think it “archaic” and “for silly, brainwashed women”. When men and women in marriage RIGHTLY follow their God-ordained roles (as husband and wife…as well as father and mother), it will, in fact, strengthen and secure the marriage (and family unit as a whole) and heighten the love and respect that husband and wife have for each other, and that their children have for their parents.

    One thing, if our children see Daddy submitting to Christ and leading his wife and children in a godly fashion, and Mommy submitting to Daddy, then they are more apt to submit first to God, and then to Daddy and Mommy…and later repeat the process in their own marriages and family rearing.

  50. Courtney,

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to suggest a sermon–or rather a few sermons–LISTEN for those those christians out there who are still not quite sure of exactly what scripture says about their roles in the family unit (husbands/fathers, wives/mothers, and children). I believe that the content of the sermons fits well into the overall purpose of your blog (but if you would rather that they not appear on your comment feed, feel free to remove them).

    It does take some time to listen to them all, but my husband and I listened to these sermons about two years ago, and we learned quite a lot about our roles in the family (and that was considering that we already believed and tried to follow the biblical mandate in our respective roles as husband/father and wife/mother).

    There are many sound biblical preachers on the following sites that speak on the respective topics that are worth a listen, but I will only list sermons by Paul Washer for the sake of not creating a long typed list and the amount of time it takes to listen to even one sermon.

    The sermon titles can be found either on Youtube, Sermon Audio, Sermon Index, or I’ll Be Honest.

    *****Recovering Biblical Womanhood
    *****Principles of Biblical Manhood (3 part series)
    1) What a Man is Not
    2) Are You Ready for a Relationship
    3) A Young Man’s Attitude Towards Women
    *****Educating, Training & Disciplining Your Children
    *****Biblical Courtship: The Parent’s Responsibility in the Home

  51. Thank you so much Courtney!! I love being able to read your posts and feel your Love for God and Concern for Women!!! God has given you a wonderful talent! God Bless You for blessing us!!!

  52. This is great, but I would love to hear your thoughts about when a man uses this as an excuse to control a woman. Would you explain what a marriage looks like, sounds like, feels like, etc. that follows a Godly way of submission in a loving way, versus a marriage where a guy uses submission to control his wife?

    1. In a marriage that is following Ephesians 5 –you should find a husband loving his wife like Christ loves the church. And the wife follows the husband’s lead as the church follows Christ. They should both know Christ, read the gospels and follow his lead. A husband is not to demand that his wife submit –that would be a form of ‘control’. Each spouse is to submit to God and his word on their own volition.
      Hope that helps ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. I’m not married yet, but I really appreciate your advice! I think opposite world tends to think submission is like the Muslim definition of submission.
        I think submission helps when a godly Christian woman marries a godly Christian man.

        Again, thanks!

  53. I love your blog and respect what you say. My husband and I are team and he respects what I say or any ideas. I do follow my husband especially when it comes to making financial decisions. Okay some ha ha anyways we work together and raise two kids together and we really don’t fight. I wonder at times if our marriage is really healthy? We get along so well, laugh, talk all night, we even have the same goals. Now I do have to say I have put my dreams on hold to follow my husbands, but his are better and I love being with him. What are your thoughts? Are we too close?

  54. Wow, I read this blog at the right time. I am engaged. My fiancรฉ is a wonderful man that serves God and cherishes me. I am attracted to his appearance and his heart. The struggle I’m having today is hard to admit. I have always dreamed that when I got married, I would live in a lovely home. And now the day is here when I’ve met my mate, and I am realizing that not all my dreams may come true in the way I imagined. He owns a small home in a remote area. There are parts of it I like, but mostly I just pep talk myself into liking it. In reality, it’s a far commute for me, it’s too far for my friends and family to visit regularly, and the community is anything but glamorous. I’ve talked to my fiancรฉ about moving, but he doesn’t want to because the property is near his parents and also because he likes being kind of ‘isolated’ and having privacy. I got my hopes up recently because he told me about a plot of land for sale that he wanted me to look at with him. He said maybe we could sell his house, and build a new home there. But tonight he broke the news that it was just a fantasy in his mind, and he is not going to pursue it. When I brought up the idea of moving to another home and starting fresh, he reiterated that he doesn’t want to move. So, I’m feeling sad now, and having trouble resigning myself to the fact that we might just have to stay here. I love the idea of submission in theory, but when it actually comes to living it, I struggle. I want what I want and I’m used to getting it, having been single for a long time with a successful career of my own. I don’t want to sulk after not getting my way, but I find myself doing it anyway. Or trying to manipulate him with my words so that he’ll consider my opinion. I have a long way to go when it comes to communicating honestly and then accepting his decisions as the head of the household. I need to work on gratitude as well, instead of wanting what I can’t have. Your blog is encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Do not do it. You will regret it forever. Submission is a fantastic idea in the abstract because after all, someone has to be the boss. In reality you will be forever regretful of your choice.

      1. Wow, Remy. You need to stop being mean to the people on this blog. Opposite world has really turned your view of what a submissive wife really is. Read the Bible, honey!! Submissive isn’t what the Muslims do to their women – that is abuse!!

        1. Are you Muslim? If you are not, and have not lived a Muslim life, then you cannot understand it fully or deem it as “abuse.” As a newlywed, non- Christian, I stumbled across this blog and am intrigued by it. But seeing so many people expressing such negativity to each other (and I mean you, anonymous. If it means so much to you, use your name and be proud). I am glad to see people like Remy giving their opinion. The judgement I see on this blog from “Christians” is appalling.

  55. I am proud to have a husband that leads our home. I still have some work to do on myself, but being a biblically submissive wife has done amazing things for our marriage and now would not have it any other way! I did a similar post on my blog a while back and there are so many people in this opposite world who think I am crazy, that I am a doormat, that I have no voice when in truth, I am actually the complete opposite of all of that. I love my life as my husbands helpmeet. I can’t believe I lived so long any other way. God Bless and Keep Smilin!

  56. If I submitted to my husband, we’d watch TV every waking hour. We would eat takeout for every meal – if we even ate. The kids would not brush their teeth nor bathe. We wouldn’t have family celebrations nor even eat supper at the same table. We would never do a single thing as a family unit. The kids would never have a friend over, or go to a friend’s house. They would have no responsibilities, and would never learn what “manners” means. We would never talk with our kids about money or relationships. The kids would never receive a single instructional word about what it means to be a good person on this earth. I could go on. And yet, according to you and your readers, I should submit.

    Submit to a wasted life. For me and my kids.

    1. Wow. If you are so anti-Christian, why are you on this blog reading these posts? There must be something in you that is curious as to what the Christian way is, or you wouldn’t be here. Submission isn’t your husband doing YOUR job as a parent and wife!! In a traditional Christian marriage and in a household where mom (or dad!) stays home, it is up to that parent to teach the children values, manners, etc. Submission is saying ultimately, your husband has the final say. If he is being true to the Word, he will seek your opinion before making a final decision. I will pray for your family for your husband to become the spiritual leader in your home and for the Word to settle on your hearts. But, don’t post hate messages on a blog where so many women find comfort and leadership!!

    2. My heart hurt reading this post. I hear the contempt you have for your husband in your typed words. I’m hoping that it was just venting, but, man, that’s not how it’s supposed to be at all! You’re his wife! And you can’t find it in you to love him? To see him for what God created him to be? To let him lead? I could probably tell you why he isn’t leading you as you *need* to be lead, he’s got a wife that despises him. What if he said those things to strangers about you? Wouldn’t you feel hurt? Disrespected? Unloved? I’m sure he feels those things, too. Honestly, it starts with you. If you let God change that hard heart, I’m sure you’d feel much better. I’m sorry you’re in this rut. Because it’s truly a shame. God intended Marriage to be Two flesh joined as one…but, I’m sorry, you sound quite quarrelsome. And we know what God says about a quarrelsome wife….. Pray, dear soul, pray!

  57. I watched the Rachel Ray video and I noticed that she said this was a new idea! Actually, the point is it isn’t new at all! That is why it is called “traditional” rolls. I love the blog and the encouragement and prospective you provide! Thank you and may God bless you abundantly!

  58. thank you for this! i have such a hard time explaining that this is about Christ to my friends who question it. you are so real and down to earth in your explanation thank you!!

  59. Love this picture of you two~ I really like your husbands shirt. I am new to your page and I am enjoying what I am learning, thank you.

  60. I two, believe that The man should be head of household. My husband and I arent perfect in anyway. We met when I was 15 and him 17in 2004. We dated and all that for 3 years and got engaged to be married 10/10/10. I had gotten pregnant in 2009 and so we just got married early. We now have 2 kids and are going on our 5 th year of marriage (10 years together).My husband and I always work everything out together. Everything is compromised. We dont do anything until we BOTH agree on it for the most part. If we cant agree, my husband gets the final say so. I feel it should be that way all the time. Both are respected that way. A marriage is 2 people working together throughout life EVERYDAY. One cant just do it on their own. It takes 2 people for a marriage to work.Including God in your marriage makes your marriage 100000000000x times better. Everyone tells us we had kids too early and got married too early. We feel as though it was right. Why would you do that at 40?? your 20s and 30s are about struggle, hard work and making mistakes. Having someone go thru that makes it better and makes your marriage bond stronger. It makes your family bond stonger. It makes your kids tougher. That whole I wanna wait til Im financially stable to have kids bull crap is silly. You can never be FULLY prepared for kids lol. Thats why people between 40-60 on average tend to be the happiest times. You have already put in the hard work earlier in life, the kids are out or almost out and you can relax a little. Work NOW play later.

  61. Dear Courtney, You are such a refreshing voice in this day in which we live! There is an unbelievable attack on marriages (where there is marriage), resulting in so many homes split apart with precious children left to suffer the consequences. I am 63 years (young-:) ) and I love Women’s Ministries and have been involed many years in them. Right now I have the most wonderful privilege of caring for my 102 year old Mom who lives with my husband and I so I am not as involved as I once was. I just want to encourage you and all of the ladies involved in the Proverbs 31 ministries to PRESS ON because the precious women everywhere need to hear your message about our LORD JESUS CHRIST and HIS GREAT LOVE FOR OUR SOULS. May GOD bless you as you continue to serve HIM! Maybe one day our paths will cross here but if not, there is HEAVEN!! Your sister in Christ, Denise Faulkner

  62. What would y’all say about a husband whose ability to lead has been taken away by a traumatic brain injury? He is severely mentally disabled. This happened six months into our marriage. Four years later I am nothing more than a caregiver and I bear 100% of the responsibility in our home. Before we got married I studied and prayed on what it meant to be a Godly wife and this has made it truly impossible. Any words of wisdom or guidance?

    My therapist, family members and friends are all recommending that I leave him in the care of his mother(who would prefer that anyway) and move on. I think guilt would tear me up though. My vows did say for better or worse…


    1. Dear soul, I’m sorry for the hard times that have found their way to you. If it were my friend asking me this, this is what I would say: “Don’t leave him. You’re correct, you did say for better or for worse. (The only rightful divorce in God’s eyes is adultery) In this case, if he can’t, you must lead. Pray hard, sister. God will hear.

  63. I love this! I was babysitting a little boy last night and he was watching a cartoon and I was shocked at how strong all of the women were and how “submissive” and obedient and spineless the men were! One time the dad reluctantly did what the mom said, AGAIN, and said “Happy wife, happy life” meaning he just lets her lead to keep peace. I was not raised like that and it is becoming so prevalent in this younger generation! Thank you for writing this. ๐Ÿ™‚ God Bless!

  64. This is spot on! For so long I fought for headship of our home even after Christ entered our lives. The more I read the Truth, the more I started to let my husband lead and now, he is the spiritual head of our home. I am blossoming over and over again like a beautiful flower because Christ we have allowed Christ to enter our marriage. We both are thriving!

    God Bless you,


  65. How can a woman be submissive and let her husband lead when he is so passive and has not learned how to lead his home? I am really struggling with this, only two months into my marriage.

    1. Remember: you submit, not for your husband, but for God! Also, your prayers for your husband will not fall on deaf ears. Pray for him to draw closer to God, to guide him. Love him. God will answer your prayers. He certainly answered mine when I didn’t think my husband was leading me in Christ. Pray for him daily, multiple times, if you must. Cast your cares upon YHWH, for he cares for you. Pray for his relationships, for his work, and for his spiritual growth. I wrote up little note cards and would pray when they caught my eyes. And the change in him is only God-Given! *Now, I think there’s a misunderstanding of what the word “submit” actually means….it doesn’t mean being his slave or waiting on his beckon call, but it means to respect what he says and thinks, to listen as you would like listened to, to not argue, to not fight. Air your thoughts and let them stew. Don’t be a wife that makes him live on the top-corner of his roof ๐Ÿ™‚ *

  66. Thanks for this. I am struggling with something my husband told me three weeks ago that he is going into missions and we are moving overseas. He won’t listen what I have to say about it. We have three small children and I don’t want to move and I don’t feel my calling is misdions. The more I say I won’t move the more he rebels. Help! I need advice.

  67. Most of the time, I don’t find it hard to submit to my husband. It helps that he is the most gentle, quiet, and responsible man in the world.
    BUT, every once in a while, a situation develops that puts me to the test. I may want to purchase a book (or 10) and he’ll say, “Maybe next week.” We had our first baby in January and I stay home so sometimes money is really tight.I know when he says ‘maybe next week’ that he is really saying ‘we don’t have a lot of money this week.’ Even though this is a well known fact between us, I still have to almost bite tongue completely off to not a argue with him. Sometimes I have to pray and other times I lose and argue when I know I shouldn’t.

  68. Hi
    I am trying to find an article about being married to a non christian which i found it fantastic.. was it on this web site /chat area ?
    I wish to share it with other women and cannot find it now .. many thanks marilyn

  69. I don’t know about you ladies, but I LOVE! SUBMITTING to my husband! The feeling I get is …. well, something that can only be described as spiritual. You won’t find a disrespectful wife at his side! I think that it’s absolutely mind-boggling that Our Creator spelled it out for us so plainly! He commands husbands to LOVE and wives to RESPECT. I feel the reason why is this: It’s natural for a woman to love, we don’t need to be commanded to do so, but on the other hand, is respecting our husbands natural? Not really. Same as it’s natural for men to respect, but not necessarily Love. But when we do…….*swooon* … Marriage is beautiful!! He’s happy to have a respectful wife, and then in turn, loves her. It’s a cycle. ‘Opposite World’ ladies look at me funny, ‘Opposite World’ men can’t quite comprehend. It’s not about being a slave to him and bowing to his every whim, but it’s about loving him and his insights and who he is. And I love to love him!

  70. I feel that the following Scripture needs to be brought into remembrance…..
    1Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

  71. I only “submit” when I feel my husband is wrong, but I cannot communicate a better solution. I submit and sometimes it is a mistake anyway. Usually we fight it out. No partnership is easy, and always submitting would be a cop out and taking is the easy way. I would not want my husband to make a mistake, if I can see something coming on the horizon that he cannot.

  72. Why is it that people always assume that a so called 50/50 marriage is full of strife and ends up defaulting to the wife “leading”? It is a rather sad myth that just keeps making the rounds. I say myth because it begins with the assumption that one single person has to be the leader-boss and that the two adults who love each other to death are incapable of sitting down, praying over a situation, seeking God, studying and perhaps both compromising(instead of just the wife always giving up something). It is sad because it automatically sets up a power struggle instead of relationship built on seeking harmony and peace. Mutuality levels the playing field and removes the power play from the table. Yes we are all sinners and our flesh will rise up, as it will in any marriage dynamic. But by cutting it down from “I’m in charge” or “I want to be the one in charge” to “Lets make this work” the sin of bossiness has less to feed upon.
    I have been married for 20 blissful years. Until just recently we would have both answered any question of theology and roles with “the husband is the head of the house and the wife follows”. Except I discovered that we have not been doing a leader-follower dynamic at all. We have been following a mutual, let’s work together way of living. No one runs the show or leads the other. We genuinely and truly work together, consulting and being considerate of each other.
    Every marriage should be 100/100 no matter what your theological view of marriage is. If you are not giving your all it is going to be a mess no matter what marriage theology you hold.
    I hope you are kind and open enough to post this.

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