Did you cringe at the title? I know I did the first time I heard the word “submissive wife”.
It sounds demeaning, lowly and sexist doesn’t it? If you think that way, you’re probably getting it all wrong.
Marriage is a partnership where every partner gives at least 50% of their time, love and affection to ensure the growth of the union.
For marriage to work out successfully, you have to be a team rather than a boss and an employee.
If you were raised in the feminist culture or in a home where you were taught how to do things on your own without relying on anyone, marital submission will definitely sound like you’re being encouraged to get into an abusive relationship.
When you’re a fiercely independent woman who has everything sorted out by herself, you may struggle to figure out how to be a submissive wife with a career without appearing weak, compliant or inferior.
Don’t get it twisted though…
There is nothing wrong with being an independent, confident and strong woman.
But, it’s nearly impossible to behave in the same manner you did when you were single if you want to have a successful marriage, especially if your husband was brought up to value traditional gender roles.
Growing up with this type of mindset can make it hard for you to relinquish control and submit to your husband in marriage. Trust me, I’ve been there!
As the first born child in my family, I was always in control of the household affairs so I got used to be in charge all the time.
When I got married to my husband, it was difficult working with him like a partner.
Instead of asking for his opinion and letting him make decisions for the family, I did almost everything on my own like a boss and he felt a little bit incompetent in our marriage.
After a year of fighting about the same issues, I started asking questions like “How should a wife submit to her husband in marriage?” And “does this mean I have to be a servant to him?”
While doing some research online, I stumbled on some books on how to be a submissive wife and my perspective totally changed.
Now, we have a good marriage where we communicate better, support each other and work on our goals as a team.
We’ve enjoyed a happy marriage since I became a submissive wife and I’m so glad at how far we’ve come as a couple.
But, the main reason why I love submitting to my husband is because I feel more at peace and we tend to achieve our goals faster when we work together.
The idea of submission can be difficult to wrap your head around if you’ve been the sole provider for your family or if you’re a strong-willed person who likes to be in control all the time.
It’s totally fine if you have a different marriage dynamic that is already working for you.
Every marriage is unique and couples often do what they think is best for them.
Not all men want to lead their families because they feel comfortable being behind the scenes and that’s okay as long as you have a peaceful marriage.
But, if you like the idea of being a submissive woman or you’re having problems in your own marriage geared towards power struggle and you’ve made the decision to embrace marital submission, you will find this blog post helpful.
Whether you’re a Christian wife or not, I’m going to give you actionable tips on how to be a submissive wife in your marriage.
WHAT DOES BEING A SUBMISSIVE WIFE MEAN?
A lot of people are confused about what it means to be a submissive wife.
Some people think it’s all about the husband being in complete control and the wife doing his bidding without saying a word.
Other people think it’s when a woman serves her husband wholeheartedly and ignores her personal needs, desires or thoughts.
So what does wifely submission look like? To better understand what marital submission means, let’s take a closer look at the definition of the word “submissive”…
According to Oxford Languages, the word “submissive” means ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive.
Merriam-Webster says that the essential meaning of submissive is being willing to obey someone else.
If you look at these definitions alone, you’ll quickly dismiss the idea of marital submission but there’s more than meets the eye.
To the average woman in these modern times, deciding to be vulnerable and letting your husband make the final decision in the household is unthinkable because it sounds like abuse or manipulation.
The truth is, to be a Godly submissive wife, you have to be wise enough to trust in God’s perfect plan for your marriage.
In Ephesians 5:22-24, it says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
At this point, I guess you’re asking, “what does submitting to your husband mean?”
It is easy to interpret this Bible verse to mean that a wife is supposed to sheepishly obey her husband and suppress her own thoughts or desires. But that’s not what a biblical marriage should look like.
Lia Huynh, a Marriage, Relationship and Couples Therapist, says that “Submission in its practical meaning which is respecting and honoring your husband can be joyful and can bring much fruit to a marriage.”
Marital submission means to yield to one another as a couple instead of demanding your own way all the time.
It is a voluntary action by the wife to act under the authority of her husband.
Being a submissive wife refers to serving your husband in a way that’s aligned with your marriage goals.
When you deliberately focus on being your husband’s lover, helper, supporter and best friend instead of his slave or doormat, you’ll enjoy equal rights in your marriage.
It’s important for you to know that being submissive to your spouse is not in the same category as allowing abuse.
When a wife consciously decides to be submissive in marriage, she still has a voice in the relationship as an individual that deserves love and respect.
Marital submission should in no way limit your abilities to thrive as a person. In fact, it should make you a better person!
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A SUBMISSIVE WIFE?
Not every woman can become a submissive wife because people are different and there are several marriage dynamics that can work well for romantic couples.
However, there are certain submissive wife qualities you need to possess if you prefer marital submission.
Being a submissive woman requires you to be emotionally mature, confident, secure and intuitive.
You also need to have a great partner who is mentally stable and complements you perfectly.
If a man has proven his loyalty and trustworthiness to you through his words and actions, that’s a sure sign that he’s a good leader, a dependable partner and a visionary that you can work with consistently.
These traits are strictly required in a marriage because marital submission involves learning to take direction from your husband and not fighting to direct him or telling him what to do all the time.
When a Christian husband submits to the Lord, leading his wife with a servant’s heart and nurturing her according to God’s word, she can confidently submit to him and recognize his leadership as the head of the household.
The key to being a great wife is to not take on the role of being the nagger or the boss of everyone in the family.
This requires you to embrace a more traditional lifestyle where you and your partner are comfortable in your different roles.
BENEFITS OF SUBMISSION IN MARRIAGE
Contrary to popular belief, being a submissive wife is not about male domination or female subordination.
It involves mutual submission where a woman respects her husband enough to trust him to lead the family according to God’s plan.
As a result of her yielding trust, he loves her unconditionally and treats her like a queen.
Being submissive can lead to a successful marriage where both partners are mutually satisfied and everything works as smoothly as possible.
When you submit willingly to your husband, he will love you, protect you, guide you and cherish you with all his heart.
If he doesn’t do any of these things even after you’ve submitted to him, this means he’s either taking you for granted or he’s being manipulative.
Other benefits of submission in marriage include:
• Increased feelings of love
• A peaceful household
• Financial stability
• A deeper level of intimacy
• Low risk of infidelity
• A harmonious relationship between couples
• A lower divorce rate and much more.
WHEN SHOULD A WIFE NOT SUBMIT TO HER HUSBAND?
Even though marital submission is the best way to ensure a happy marriage, it may not work for everyone in this modern world because there are so many people who are not capable of doing a lot of things.
If you’re married to a man who is mentally unstable, manipulative, controlling, abusive or narcissistic, marital submission will not be a good idea for you.
In this case, you’ll need to be wise, innovative and prayerful in order to achieve a successful marriage. Seek professional help if you need to find a way to deal with your feelings.
But, if your husband is a gentle, compassionate and God-fearing man who loves you more than anything in this world, submitting to him as the leader of your household will yield a lot of great benefits for both of you.
If you’re looking for tips on how to be submissive in your marriage, here are some practical ways a wife can submit to her husband.
HOW TO BE A SUBMISSIVE WIFE IN YOUR MARRIAGE
Wives today don’t know what it means to be submissive to a husband because of how much the world has changed.
A lot of people no longer value the traditional way of doing things and gender roles are being switched constantly.
Many couples are ditching the good old fashioned values to embrace a modern lifestyle where anyone can wear the pants in the relationship.
Knowing how to be a good wife can sometimes get confusing with all the constant changes happening in our society at the moment.
So, what does it mean to submit to your husband?
Since I cannot dictate what you should or shouldn’t do in your marriage, I’m going to share with you a few guidelines on how to be a biblically submissive wife.
1. Make your husband feel loved and special
The first step in knowing how to be submissive to your husband is to learn his love language.
When you know what makes your husband happy, you’ll be able to give him exactly what he wants.
It’s important to spend some time studying your husband so you can know his likes and dislikes.
As a submissive wife, remember to make your husband feel loved by showing him affection through small gestures like holding his hand, giving him a kiss on the forehead, cooking his favorite meal, giving him a back rub and hugging him at least once a day.
When you have kids, you may struggle to find the time and energy to pay attention to your husband.
Discuss this with him and let him know that you’re doing the best you can despite the challenges.
2. Ask for his opinion before making big decisions
Women who are fiercely independent are not used to seeking approval or getting permission from anyone to do what they want.
In marriage, the way you do things will have to change a bit because you are now in a partnership with someone else.
It’s okay to make small decisions on your own without consulting your husband.
But, if you’re going to make a major decision that could alter your life in a big way, you need to make sure that your husband is on the same page with you.
Refrain from going down the path of temptation by doing sneaky things at his back simply because you know he won’t approve of them.
If he says “No” to your suggestion, give him a good reason why it’s important instead of nagging or getting angry.
Always try to come to a mutual agreement that will be beneficial for both of you as a couple.
3. Work on your appearance at home
A lot of men complain about how their wives let themselves go and never bother to look good for them.
It’s normal to feel comfortable with your spouse after you’ve been together for a long time.
But, being married doesn’t give you a free pass to look unattractive especially when you’re at home.
If your husband is around, pay attention to your appearance and try to dress well for him.
You may be more comfortable wearing sweats around the house but if your husband does not find you attractive in them, it could create a hindrance to your intimate life.
Ask him what type of clothes he loves to see you in and try to wear them regularly. Don’t let yourself go simply because you’re a wife and a mom.
Wear a new hairstyle as often as possible, moisturize your skin daily, shave your legs and use perfume even when you’re at home.
4. Be more open to his sexual advances
Sex is an expression of love and should be mutually enjoyed by both partners.
As a married couple, it’s important that you engage in regular intimacy to keep your bond strong but sometimes life happens and you neglect your intimate life.
If you want to be a good wife, learn to be more open to your husband’s sexual advances. Don’t refuse him intimacy without a good reason.
Women tend to reject their husbands in bed for no reason at all with the excuse that they’re not in the mood.
This is not a good idea if you want to enjoy a happy marriage with your husband.
It’s totally understandable if you refuse sex because you’re sick, too busy or on your period but don’t make it a habit of rejecting intimacy when you’re available.
Doing this regularly can push a man to seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere which will most likely end up in infidelity.
As a submissive wife, it’s your responsibility to keep your husband sexually satisfied to ensure he doesn’t look for pleasure outside your matrimonial home.
5. Always communicate in a peaceful manner
A happy marriage is built on unconditional love, mutual respect and healthy communication.
Whenever you communicate with your spouse, control your emotions, choose your words wisely and avoid emotional outbursts.
Be specific about your needs and what you want instead of fixating on the things that are not going well in your marriage.
Even if you have different opinions, don’t be tempted to force him to accept your own ideas by nagging or shouting at the top of your voice.
The moment you raise your voice during a conversation, you will lose your chance to make your husband reason with you.
As a wife, it’s important that you accept your husband for who he is. Don’t try to change him to someone he’s not.
Avoid criticizing him, playing the blame game or attacking his personality.
The goal of every conversation should be to improve your relationship and not to create a distance between you.
6. Let him lead the family in the best way he can
As the head of the family, your husband may make the final decisions in the house. If you’re new to being a submissive wife, you may object this at first.
You need to be aware that your husband’s role as the leader is not to dictate what you should do or think.
His responsibility is to take the initiative in your relationship but you also need to be in alignment with his plans.
Marital submission is when you respect your husband’s point of view while trusting in the choices he makes on your behalf.
This means humbly sharing your opinion with him and being careful not to invalidate him, especially in front of other people.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a say in your marriage or that you have to ask for his permission for every little thing but there has to be only one captain in the ship.
If everyone is fighting to take hold of the reins, your marriage could be heading for the wrong direction.
As a submissive wife, your leadership is made known in your personal conversations and through the support you offer to your husband.
Show him real support and be there for him through thick or thin. Let him know that you’ll always be by his side no matter what happens.
7. Don’t challenge his authority as the head of the family
Most men are conscious of the conduct of their wives especially when they are in public.
The way you treat your husband in the presence of other people is really important.
Being a submissive wife means that you trust your husband to be the leader of your family.
It does not mean that your husband is a dictator and you are a helpless servant who has no opinion.
As a submissive woman, your opinion matters as much as that of your husband’s but you don’t need to fight to get your point across.
Instead, it means that after everything has been discussed between you both, you allow your husband to take the lead and you trust him to make the best decision for the family without any resistance from you.
In a healthy marriage, respecting your husband’s wishes should align with God’s will.
There is a huge difference between being a submissive wife and being a slave to your husband.
If your husband wants you to engage in anything illegal, harmful or immoral without your consent, that is a form of manipulation and abuse.
A good husband would always want what is best for you and your family so you don’t need to monitor his actions or challenge his authority as the head of the household.
8. Appreciate and support your husband in a loving way
After a hard day at work, the only thing your husband may want to do is eat, watch a little TV and go to bed. Respect his need for space and some quiet time.
Even though you may prefer to play some games, go on a date or talk about something important, if he’s not in the mood, find a better time to bring up what’s bothering you.
Many people take their spouses for granted because they’ve been together for a while and no longer need to impress them.
Lack of appreciation creates feelings of being unloved or unwanted in a relationship.
As you go about your everyday life, remember to take a moment to genuinely appreciate your husband for everything he does for the family.
When you appreciate your spouse and offer him your support, he will be motivated to put in extra effort.
Most importantly, keep praying for your husband and your family because this is the key to building a successful Christian marriage.
9. Manage your household in a healthy way
A submissive wife has an important role to play in marriage and one of them involves taking care of the household in a healthy way.
Try to maintain a clean house that’s free from clutter and attend to the different needs of the children as they arise so that they don’t have to bother your husband about small things.
Being a good wife means doing whatever you can to increase the happiness of your husband and make his life less stressful.
Little things like bringing him a cup of coffee, preparing a warm bath for him and cooking delicious meals at home can go a long way in reducing your spouse’s stress after a long day.
When you create a comfortable home environment for your husband and your children, it will be easier to maintain peace and harmony in the home.
If you discover that you’re overburdened, don’t hesitate to ask him for help with some errands to reduce the workload so you can enjoy some rest too.
Being a submissive wife doesn’t mean you have to forego your own self-care or neglect your well-being. Speak up when you need help instead of suffering in silence.
There are numerous articles about the topic of submission in marriage and most of them portray marital submission as having a dominant husband who doesn’t consider his wife’s needs or feelings.
This is a wrong representation of the purpose of true biblical submission.
To a modern wife, submission sounds like a dirty word but, to a Christian woman or a Godly wife, it is the best way to allow the Holy Spirit to direct the family through his divine wisdom.
When a man is the head of the wife, he will do everything in his capacity to love her unconditionally and make sure she’s happy.
If you’ve been in an abusive relationship and you’re struggling to accept the idea of marital submission, it’s totally understandable.
The truth is, a God-fearing man who has a good heart will never hurt you whether you submit to him or not.
Marital submission is not an avenue for domestic violence or physical abuse in marriage. Submission is not the same as subservience.
Don’t mix up the two concepts because they’re totally different.
Being submissive in marriage simply means allowing your husband to be the leader of your household without any form of resistance. This is a true sign of strength from a woman.
The biblical model of submission is a great way for a married couple to attain unconditional love, mutual respect and a blissful marriage according to God’s word.
Most Christian women are confused about what it truly means to build a happy marriage.
If you’re looking for the perfect submissive wives’ guide to show you how to submit to your husband alongside Godly counsel, I recommend My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife by Sara Horn.
In this book, the author talks about her one-year experiment to explore what it means to be submissive as a wife and “helper” to her husband.
She also offers insight into deep questions like “Can a modern wife be submissive to her husband in marriage?” and “What does biblical submission look like for wives today?”
This bestselling book provides a unique, entertaining, and thought-provoking personal account that will challenge women to dump their preconceived notions of what a submissive wife looks like and seek new knowledge from God for their lives and marriages.
About The Author
Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life. As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.
She strongly believes communication and intimacy are important in building a successful relationship.
Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.