Can Christian Man Marry A Woman Intending to Tame Her?

Can a Christian man marry a feminist Christian woman with the intent of taming her like Petruchio did with Katherine in Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”? Or must a Christian husband always seek a woman who is submissive and believes in and follows Biblical gender roles?

Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Here are some excerpts from synopsis of Taming of the Shrew by www.sparknotes.com:

“In the Italian city of Padua, a rich young man named Lucentio arrives with his servants, Tranio and Biondello, to attend the local university. Lucentio is excited to begin his studies, but his priorities change when he sees Bianca, a beautiful, mild young woman with whom Lucentio instantly falls in love. There are two problems: first, Bianca already has two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio; second, Bianca’s father, a wealthy old man named Baptista Minola, has declared that no one may court Bianca until first her older sister, the vicious, ill-tempered Katherine, is married…

The Katherine problem is solved for Bianca’s suitors when Hortensio’s friend Petruchio, a brash young man from Verona, arrives in Padua to find a wife. He intends to marry a rich woman, and does not care what she is like as long as she will bring him a fortune. He agrees to marry Katherine sight unseen. The next day, he goes to Baptista’s house to meet her, and they have a tremendous duel of words. As Katherine insults Petruchio repeatedly, Petruchio tells her that he will marry her whether she agrees or not. He tells Baptista, falsely, that Katherine has consented to marry him on Sunday. Hearing this claim, Katherine is strangely silent, and the wedding is set.

On Sunday, Petruchio is late to his own wedding, leaving Katherine to fear she will become an old maid. When Petruchio arrives, he is dressed in a ridiculous outfit and rides on a broken-down horse. After the wedding, Petruchio forces Katherine to leave for his country house before the feast, telling all in earshot that she is now his property and that he may do with her as he pleases. Once they reach his country house, Petruchio continues the process of “taming” Katherine by keeping her from eating or sleeping for several days—he pretends that he loves her so much he cannot allow her to eat his inferior food or to sleep in his poorly made bed

Katherine and Petruchio soon return to Padua to visit Baptista. On the way, Petruchio forces Katherine to say that the sun is the moon and that an old man is really a beautiful young maiden. Since Katherine’s willfulness is dissipating, she agrees that all is as her husband says

At the banquet following Hortensio’s wedding to the widow, the other characters are shocked to see that Katherine seems to have been “tamed”—she obeys everything that Petruchio says and gives a long speech advocating the loyalty of wives to their husbands. When the three new husbands stage a contest to see which of their wives will obey first when summoned, everyone expects Lucentio to win. Bianca, however, sends a message back refusing to obey, while Katherine comes immediately. The others acknowledge that Petruchio has won an astonishing victory, and the happy Katherine and Petruchio leave the banquet to go to bed.”

A lot of Christians who are ignorant of history and even the Bible would say a person is wrong for marrying for economic reasons. If you believe that, I would invite you to read the story of Ruth in the Bible.  She married Boaz to redeem her mother-in-law’s husband’s family land.  We falsely have been taught today that a person must marry because they first “fall in love with a person” – that command is found nowhere in the Bible. It is wishful thinking, mostly on the part of women.   Some will say – what about Jacob? He loved Rachel so much he served seven years for her.  But again, this is not a command, it is an example. And why did he love her? Check the story – it was because of how beautiful she was.

And let’s not forget Jacob’s mother and father. What a whirlwind romance they had right? They just met each other and went into his mother’s tent had sex and became man and wife.  No long courtship, no discussion.   Isaac followed his father’s advice for him in finding a wife and Rebekah followed her father’s command for her to go back and marry Isaac.  It was that simple.

But the most important question the Taming of the Shrew presents us with is whether or not it is sinful or immoral for a Christian man to marry a rebellious woman with the intention of taming her into submission?

However, before we can answer this question, we must first answer another very important question for Christians.

Can a Christian Marry an Unbeliever?

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 the Apostle Paul gives the following command regarding Christians entering into relationships with non-believers:

“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

As we can see from the above Scriptures, it is clear that believers are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

This is why a Christian church has no business having an inter-faith conference with the Muslim church down the street. And it is also why a Christian man or woman can never enter into the most intimate of human relationships God ever designed which is marriage, with a non-believer.

Some Christians have falsely used 1 Corinthians 7:13-16 to say that the Apostle Paul was ok with Christians marrying non-Christians:

“13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”

However, such an interpretation betrays the entire context of the passage which Paul states in verse 20 of this same chapter:

“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.”

Paul is saying that if you become a believer and your spouses does not come to the faith as you have that you are to remain with them if they want to stay.  He is not saying it is ok for a Christian to purposefully marry a non-believer which would then conflict with what he said in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

Now that we have established this important principle of the Scriptures, we can go on to answer the question at the center of this article.

Can a Christian Man Marry a Christian Feminist Woman with the Intent to Tame Her?

Throughout the Bible God’s relationship with humanity is pictured in two different ways.  As individuals our relationship with God is pictured as a father and child relationship.  But God’s relationship with his people in the collective sense is always pictured as that of a husband to his wife.

We can see this concept shown where God pictures the nation of Israel as a treacherous wife in Jeremiah 3:20:

“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”

Notice how he refers to his wife – “O house of Israel”.

Now let’s look further in this book to Jeremiah 18:1-6:

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”

What do we see here? God presents the picture of a potter who had a marred, meaning it had defects.  So, he reshaped it against as a whole new vessel.  God tells Israel, his wife, that she is like that clay.  He saw defects in her and wanted to reshape her in another vessel but she would not allow him to do so.

Now let’s look to the New Testament in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

There is an important parallel here between God as a husband to Israel and Christ as a husband to the Church.  How does a potter shape his clay into the form he wishes it to be? He uses water.  In the same way we as Christian husbands are told to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her so he could wash her with “water by the word”, so she would not have “spot, or wrinkle”, so he could present her to “himself a glorious church”.

Why did God want to reshape Israel as his wife? Because she was “marred” which parallels the “spot or wrinkle” shown to us here with Christ and his wife, the Church, in the New Testament.

The point is that God is a consistent husband.  Christ is not a different kind of husband to the Church than God was to Israel.  We as Christian husbands can learn just a much from God’s example as a husband to Israel as we can learn from Christ’s example as a husband to the Church.  This is a fundamental truth that all Christian husbands must embrace.

With that being said can a Christian man marry a Christian woman whom he perceives is marred by feminist tendencies with the intention that he is going to attempt to wash her of those tendencies?

The answer based on God’s own example with both Israel and the Church is a resounding YES!

Am I recommending Men Marry Feminist Women with the Intent to Tame Them?

I have proven the case from the Scriptures that nothing in the Scriptures stops a man from marrying a woman whom he genuinely believes to be a Christian but is marred by feminism.

I made the following statement about my second wife in a post I wrote a few years ago that include my story about how I met my second wife and married her:

“While we were dating, I detected feminist tendencies in her that she had from her upbringing (her mom was a career woman as well).  Her mom even told me on one occasion that she taught her daughters to “be independent and not need a man”.  So even though my wife had become a Christian a few years before she met me, the feminism ran deep in her.  I also detected that her job as a manager might cause some friction in her commitment to our marriage and our home.

But she was so different from my first wife, and such a good Christian woman with great character that I chose to overlook some of these areas that would later come back to haunt me, naively thinking I could help her to see what God says a Christian woman’s priorities should be in regard to her husband, her children and her home.

I mentioned in that same post that my wife displayed many marks of a true believer in Christ.  She was so dedicated to seeing people saved.  She witnessed to her friends at work and relatives and she was concerned for her lost loved ones.  She went on missions’ trips with her church.  I spoke with her Pastor and some deacons at her church and saw in her a woman that had many great character traits and a passion for God.  But she was a new Christian, saved only few years before I met her.

So, I believed when I saw the feminist tendencies in her that I could just teach her and help her to learn those ways were not right.  She told me she believed the passages about submission that I showed her. But she also believed that men and women were equal and she was trying to square that with what the Bible said about submission.

I thought I could wash this feminism from her, but alas after almost 9 years of marriage much of it remains.  There has been some progress and some change but not nearly as much as I had hoped.

The question though is this – does my failure to be able to wash away my wife’s feminism with the Word of God mean that no man could do this with another woman?

The answer is no.  It is in fact possible.

In the three years since I wrote about my story with my failure to completely wash away my wife’s feminism, I have had many men write me telling they had success with their wives in this.  I have actually even had many young women write me telling me that my writings helped to convince them that feminism was wrong and they came out of it on their own before marriage.

So, what is the variable that makes for success in the taming of a feminist Christian wife?  The answer is it comes down to whether the woman will recognize this sinful thought process in her own life and then allow her husband in conjunction with the Holy Spirit to wash it from her.

In James 1:23-24 the Bible tells us about a man looking in a glass seeing his reflection:

“23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

Now let’s apply what James is saying to a feminist Christian wife.  A man can take his wife to the spiritual mirror which is the Word of God.  He can show her the reflection of herself.  He can show her the sin of feminism all over her face.  But she must choose to humble herself before God and accept what she sees right there in the mirror.  She must then submit herself to her husband’s washing and see him as a God given instrument for sanctification in her life.

Some may argue “Well I am fine with trying to tame her before marriage, but you should not marry her until she is completely tamed of feminism”.  And I understand where that thinking comes from.   But just because something presents a lot more risk does not make it wrong.  Marriage itself is a risk.  Even marriage to a woman who seems to be a good Christian and one who fully embraces Biblical gender roles. It is simply a matter of how much risk is involved.

Is This a Change in My Position on Christian Men Marrying Feminist Women?

The answer is Yes. Throughout this ministry over the last four years I have made changes on several positions.  Really – over my entire Christian life I have made changes in my beliefs as the Lord has led me to do so.  We must never be so rigid or get to the point where God cannot change our position on something and teach us new things.

Up until now I have taught people on this blog as well as my own sons that I made a grave mistake in marrying their step mother with the intent to help her understand the errors of her feminist thinking.  I have taught young men on this blog and elsewhere that they should avoid interactions with feminist Christian women and at the first sign of feminist tendencies when dating or courting they should abandon such a woman.

If you or my sons want to follow the advice I have previously given there is no sin in following it still.  If you decide that the potential costs in this spiritual warfare to attempt to tame a feminist Christian wife is too much I completely understand and there is no sin in avoiding feminist women like the plague.

So here is my change. 

I have thought back to when I met my second wife and after I talked to all the people that knew her from her church as well as her family.  My intentions were noble.  I saw the potential in her for change.  I went into this marriage fully intent on washing her feminism away and believing she would allow me over time to do it. I believed her passion to see souls saved would result in a similar passion to conform herself as a wife to the will of God for her life. The problem was not in my intent, but in her continued unwillingness to fully yield to the Holy Spirit on this issue, so in turn she could not fully yield to me either.

If you find a woman who has the markings of a true believer in Christ as my second wife had, but this appears to be a blind spot in her life and you are intent on doing spiritual battle, even if takes the rest of your life married to her, to wash the spiritual wrinkles and spots of feminism from her then this is a noble cause. But be forewarned, this is not for the faint of heart. It could greatly affect your future children and in some cases the battle could even lead to divorce.

However, if you are marrying a feminist Christian woman with the intent that you are going to tolerate her feminism and will just give up your headship role over her then you are wrong.  As a Christian God does not allow you to surrender your position as head to your wife. So, if you know you are not willing to do battle to attempt to wash the feminism from a woman then you should not marry her.  You should only marry a woman who fully embraces Biblical gender roles before you marry her.

So here is the conclusion of the matter.  Is it a sin before God for a man to marry a Christian woman with the intent of taming her of her feminist tendencies and beliefs? The answer is no it is not a sin.

But I would leave any Christian man who intends to go into such a spiritual battle with this admonition from Christ found in Luke 14:31:

“Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” 

Be sure before you go to war, that you count the costs that may be incurred on you in the process of that war.

125 thoughts on “Can Christian Man Marry A Woman Intending to Tame Her?

  1. @Alice Yes, that is 100% me as well. I’m not going to be a rebel just for the sake of causing problems like some women do. However, if I don’t see a valid reason why I should or should not do something there’s a good chance I’m just going to do things the way that makes sense for me. Also, I get to the point where I just don’t care anymore. I work a high paying job and I can technically obtain the same success that any man can. It makes it nearly impossible to hold any man up to this high ranking position without any credibility that I haven’t also personally earned myself. I was raised in a family where your level of superiority was obtained directly from your success. Respect is earned and nobody is born into a position of authority- you earn that level of respect. This is the mindset I was raised in.

  2. Sunny, I think I have it a little easier than you do, my husband is very displeased if I am deferential to any other man. He does not accept that anyone has authority over me other than himself, law enforcement excepted. He wants me to be “masculine” (his word) in my interactions with other men. On the other hand, his authority over me is absolute and I have to ask permission for anything I do, except personal hygiene. I also get to the “I don’t care” point, more often than I should. It’s just that at some point, my husband’s authority/dominance becomes too heavy and I just can’t. I am getting better at that, it happens less frequently, but he knows something is up when I get very quiet. I’m not being purposefully rebellious, I’m just feeling despair, like nothing I do will ever be good enough, so why bother trying?

    @BGR, I’m sorry if I’m hijacking the thread. Your writings have helped me understand a lot about submission, but the result is I have a lot of questions and new ideas and you have provided a forum for exploring those. I will stop posting comments if you want me to.

  3. @Alice, My husband is similar in some ways. When I am around other people (mostly men) he pretty much gets really annoyed if I ever give my opinion around them. He doesn’t prefer that I talk very much in groups of people. He wants me to stay quiet and stay less opinionated. Also, if I tell him a better way to go about something he will get mad or annoyed. However, if one of his friends tells him the exact same thing he will do it. He used to be less obvious around other people but as we’ve gotten older it’s gotten worse. He has become more comfortable talking to me in certain ways around people, it’s really embarrassing. One time he told me if I didn’t do something I wasn’t “allowed” to go have coffee with my friend. He said this right in front of her, I was so embarrassed. Of course when we left the house she mentioned it and asked why I let him talk to me like that. How is what he did any different than grounding your kid because they had a bad tone with you? Kids need that sort of direction because they are young and have not lived long enough to understand proper decision making. Women are completely able to function in society and make their own choices. This is why I find domestic discipline so strange. Besides if a woman sins, that’s technically between God and them not between husbands. Adults are responsible for their own actions. It makes sense that adults get arrested or fined if they commit a crime. Those crimes often have a direct effect on society. A wife’s sins are her own.

  4. Anm1, I completely agree with you. There is much joy and freedom in submission. But when he’s grumpy and snaps at me a lot, or I’m tired and grumpy, I wonder “why do I have to do this?” It doesn’t happen very often and I hate it because I feel lost and lonely when it does, but it gets better and is less and less frequent.

  5. Alice, no problem. I believe these things need to be discussed. I have my sons 21st birthday bash I am getting ready for now, will respond either later tonight or tommorow. Anyone else who responds, please keep it civil. Refute the argument, dont attack the person. In other words, speak the truth in love.

  6. Sunny, I went and googled “domestic discipline” and was kind of horrified by what I found. The whole concept seems to turn a wife into a child and it was revolting, to me. My husband physically disciplines me because other methods won’t work. I don’t care about money, I hate shopping and if he cut off my credit cards it’s unlikely I would notice until I went to fill the minivan with gas. If he cuts out his free time with me, I withdraw into myself. I was abused, both physically and sexually, as a child/adolescent so my reaction to getting my feelings hurt is to hide inside myself, where it’s safe. Physical discipline prevents me from doing that.

    I have noticed, for myself, that looking at other people’s marriages often backfires. I find myself thinking “This guy is an abusive jerk!” or “that woman is a manipulative harpy!”. So I try and keep my focus on my marriage and the way we follow God’s laws and accept that following God’s law will look different for different couples. I also find that there is a difference in not liking discipline and feeling that something is off. When I feel something is off, I respectfully approach my husband and tell him. He is very good about always listening to me and sometimes he will change his mind, and sometimes he won’t. Either way, I trust that we are doing what God commands, or at least trying our best to.

  7. >Besides if a woman sins, that’s technically between God and them not between husbands.
    It is also her husband’s business if she sins. Ephesians 5:25-27 gives the husband instruction to love his wife in such a way that he washes her with the water through the word (teach, instruct) and to present her to himself without stain or wrinkle or blemish (Holy and sin free). He is responsible for and literally in the business to teaching and leading his wife into Holiness. In the OT, it says that husbands had the right to undo any decision or commitment their wives or children made when they heard about it if they disagreed with it. It reflects badly on a husband when his wife sins or is in sin.
    A wife should work hard to earn her husband’s confidence in every way she can. It is certainly possible that she is trying, but does not have his confidence because of some issue with him, but that is outside of her hands. It is also possible that he may not have confidence in her for good reason, from his experiences and knowledge of how she is. A wife should do what she can is what I am trying to say. I can see that she might be embarrassed in front of someone to be told she can’t do something, but it is what it is. If he doesn’t want you to do something, as long as it is not sinful, you need to obey his instruction. At the same time, you could respectfully ask him why privately and see what he says. He doesn’t have to give an answer, but he may choose to. Maybe he doesn’t like the friend or thinks she is a bad influence. Maybe he needed you to do something else. With me at least, when my wife approaches me from a place of respect, I am almost always willing to discuss the reasons for the decisions I have made and consider her point of view.
    Again, one mission a wife should be on is knowing what her husband expects and she should work very hard to show him that she is indeed his helpmate. That she is on board with what he is trying to accomplish. That, even if she doesn’t agree with it or feel like it, she will do what he asks. If a husband sees that his wife has this attitude, and is not rebelling against him, it frees him up to focus on other things which strengthens him and his capability which helps everyone.
    It is a classic that a wife misbehaves to get her husband’s attention, but such foolishness is much more costly to their marriage than they realize. Despite getting his attention, if they knew how he felt about such games and what he thought of her for it, she would not do it. Do what is right and hopefully this can blossom into real appreciation, confidence, and love.
    Another such game that foolish wives play is the I will sexually withhold their body game, either by outright denial, or by not being an active participant. Firstly, sex is a huge blessing God has given HER to keep her husband connected to her, giving that up is a huge mistake and puts her man in a huge place of temptation that can destroy the marriage and family. Secondly, again, if she knew what goes on in his mind about this game, and what he will think of her for it, she would not do it. It will be very difficult for him to hold strong when another woman shows up offering him respect, appreciation, sex, or other things that his wife is foolishly keeping from him.
    Husbands are not perfect. Husbands need to step up, be men, be strong, take responsibility, teach, and lead a family into growth and stability. A Godly wife is one who will also do what she can to assist and encourage her husband into these places, though it is not her calling or instruction to do so. She is part of the “ship” he is the captain of and will certainly benefit however.
    On the subject of how much who makes, it is irrelevant. If a wife makes twice what her husband makes, it makes no difference. Before the Lord she belongs to him. If he wishes her to quit and stay at home, she would be in sin for not obeying him. Her income also belongs to her husband though there is the concept of her sharing in the blessing she creates, so I believe her husband should give her a portion.
    At every turn there is some sort of “but this” and “but that”, but none of it changes that God made men men and made women women. Woman was made for man, and when she serves herself instead of what God her for, she is no better than a man who serves himself instead of what God made him for. God made woman to be a helpmeet to her husband. God made men to bring Him glory by reflecting His holy nature. Everyone should appreciate how the Lord has blessed them no matter their position. We need to stop being so petty about position (pride pride pride!) when God has already spoken and defined it. We need to accept our position in His creation with gladness and joy and let Him lift us as He lovingly does.
    In summary to wives, find a way to earn your husband’s confidence! Find ways to impress him. Show him that you desire to be his helpmeet and that you are not in competition with him! Be humble! The path is narrow and is not easy, but you will know that you please God by doing what is right.
    I am not trying to come against wives only here, there are plenty of things I can say to men who create hardship on their wives that they themselves should step up and be men and endure. Maybe that would be a good idea for another article if bgr hasn’t already done it. Wives choosing to marry a man who lacks in some areas to be a Godly husband. That is a lot harder because a wife is not in a place to correct her husband, but some blemishes might be workable and others not.

  8. Anm1, I agree that playing games is very destructive, but I’m wondering WHY a woman needs to play games to get her husband’s attention? That seems so sad. As to sex, playing games with sex is vile. My husband requires sex twice a day, sometimes more, and I am always available to him, no matter whether or not I am struggling with my submission. Playing games with sexual denial seems like a terrible sin to me, perhaps because it looks like a power play.

    I think some men, and maybe all men some of the time, enjoy that they are the ultimate authority and if they are grumpy, it doesn’t matter, the wife still needs to submit. So, no matter what, the wife has to submit and the husband can choose to be Godly, or no. And to be honest, that’s tough. I don’t get to stop submitting because I’m having a rotten day, but my husband sure gets to snap at me unfairly all evening because he had a rotten day and I have no recourse.

  9. @Alice. Well, a woman doesn’t “need” to. She may choose to. I agree that it is sad and what I would like to convey is that it doesn’t help a wife, it just makes her look bad and irritates a husband. The bottom line is that even if it gets her what she wants int he short term, it sure won’t in the long term.

    I commend you for doing right with your husband!

    Sometimes husbands do enjoy that they are the authority, and sometimes it is a hardship that they don’t enjoy at all when things are hard or the weight comes down on them. I absolutely get what you are saying though.

  10. I really don’t feel that my income belongs to my husband. I’m very good at saving money, making sure all out bills are paid and not overspending. However, I spend 9 hours or more a day working my butt off at a job that certainly isn’t basic or easy I’m pretty much going to expect that I get an equal say in where my money goes. If I made poor spending choices then it would be easier for me to accept that I shouldn’t be in control of my money.

    On the topic of withholding sex- I’ve never done that directly to cause problems or “play games.” For instance, if a couple gets into a fight the wife might consider withholding only because she doesn’t want to be touched when she is upset. I’m sure some women withhold just to be hurtful but I can’t say that is the sole reason for all women.

    I’m a bit perplexed by this repeating idea being thrown out there that women have gone downhill or that we aren’t as submissive as we used to be? We live in a totally different society. I believe a large reason why more women were so much more “submissive” was literally because they were forced and grew up in a society with different standards. My husband has outwardly admitted that if social standards and laws were changed, he would deal with things differently. So let’s say society shifts and men and women revert back to discipline? Does that mean women are “more submissive”? Does that mean we’ve changed or does it just mean we are afraid of dealing with consequences from our husbands and society? Maybe it doesn’t matter but obeying my husband out of fear seems to hold no integrity. I’d rather just have the desire to do so (which for the most part I do) but there are certainly things that just seem petty.

  11. Sunny, for me, a big problem is that men feel entitled. A wife has to submit to a Godly husband, she has to submit to an unbeliever, she has to submit to an abusive creep, etc. A wife has to give all her income to her husband and if he’s Godly, she got lucky, and if he’s an alcoholic drunk, well, that’s too bad, she still has to turn over her income. There is a great deal of talk about what is required from a wife (and it seems like we never measure up), but very little about what is required from a husband. Personally, I would be very worried if my daughter wanted to marry a Godly Christian man, as much as men have lost trust in women, I have no trust in men.

    I am very lucky. My husband, while very strict with me, is absolutely wonderful. I worry that my feeling for him violates the first commandment, frankly. My point, however, is that my distrust of men does not come from my experience of marriage.

  12. Is a man entitled for having a wife be a wife? Is it wrong of him to expect the things that the bible says a wife should do? Is he wrong for expecting her to be obedient to him, help him, to be open and workable with him, to respect him?
    Is a woman entitled to having a husband be a husband? Is it wrong of her to expect the things that the bible says a husband should do? Is she wrong for expecting him to provide her with shelter, clothes, food, sex, and love?
    That is the “deal” called biblical marriage. The thing is that culture has no problem with all of the expectations a wife has these days, and more much. Culture has every problem with a husband having any proper biblical expectations for a wife. This is not an accident, it is the enemy working in the world to destroy what God has said is good.

  13. @Alice, I agree with you on that entire statement. Also, I will add that I feel gender roles are only a small part of living a “Godly lifestyle”. I could be wrong but it seems like a detail within the whole picture. It’s a detail I’m trying to achieve but still nothing but a detail.

  14. Anm1, a man is certainly not wrong for expecting his wife to follow the Bible. Nor is a woman wrong for expecting her husband to follow the Bible. My problem is, I find that a lot of men abuse the power that is granted them. I don’t mean they abuse their wives, although that happens too, I mean they are much more focussed on their wife’s obedience than they are on Godly leading. The websites on gender roles are more like “directions on how to be a Godly wife” and seem to assume men know and do what they are supposed to be doing. If a man’s role is as difficult as a woman’s, why is there such a lack of instruction for men?

  15. Sunny, I understand what you mean about gender roles being a “detail”, but I don’t agree. When I am doing what I am supposed to be doing as a wife, it spills into everything in my life. I think my relationship with my husband is the most important thing (next to God, obviously) in my life and it affects everything. Fo me, being properly submissive means I am always aware of what my husband would want me to do, no matter what situation I’m in. So it’s an all encompassing thing.

  16. Anm1, I’ve been re-reading the comments and one of yours hits specifically on what I mean. You say “A wife should work hard to earn her husband’s confidence in every way she can.” and of course, you’re right, she should.

    But you never mention that a husband should work hard to obtain his wife’s confidence. I understand her submission is not dependent on that, but don’t you think, he should anyways? If a woman is to live in obedience and subjection to her husband, it would be really great if she knew that he was leading in a Godly manner and she could trust him. And that is the entitlement of which I am speaking, women must obey and work to get their husband’s confidence, but he doesn’t need to worry himself about whether or not she feels safe in giving her life to him (which is what complete submission comes down to). That is an abuse of power.

  17. One more thought – the bible tells a wife that she needs to obey and respect her husband. I am not sure if it specifically says she should earn his confidence, although it likely hints at it, and of course that makes sense. When I mentioned that above, I was advising it as the thing to do to bring blessing on her specifically. It will bless him too, but my thinking was about something that benefits her. When she earns his confidence, he has confidence in her and doesn’t need to manage her as much as he can trust her. Think of the Proverbs 31 – “Her husband has full confidence in her”. There is a reason he does. It is her actions and the way she behaves with him. That is why she has the freedom also found in these verses. It isn’t because she was due that freedom just be being a wife, she is absolutely still under his full authority. A lot of feminist Christians want to argue that the Proverbs 31 woman is a woman outside of her husband’s authority because after all, look at all she does, but they are flat wrong. She earned the freedom, trust, and confidence through her Godly heart, work, and actions. Nothing she does is outside of his authority, rather, this speaks to the level of confidence he has in her. That is the lesson to a wife here, be a Godly woman who earns this place with your husband, not you should be able to do whatever you want outside of his authority. Now there are those husbands who don’t trust when their wife has given them no reason not to, but that doesn’t mean she should act any differently, that is just the result of sin.
    I’ll say it again, coming at it from an equality thing or a this is an unfair thing is looking at it from a human perspective and not a God perspective. Instead, take gladness in what God made you and seek to please Him first. Everything else will fall in line by doing what He asks.
    Someone said somewhere (maybe not these comments specifically) that the only opinion that matters is your husband’s and God’s. They are right about this. I don’t want to come off prideful. God has blessed me so I know that doing it His way brings incredible blessing and peace for everyone, which is why I try to share what He has blessed me with. That doesn’t mean I always have good advice, or always get it right, I’m not perfect. I agree that sin affects everything badly and it hurts all creation, often in unfair and tough ways.

  18. I completely agree that doing things God’s way brings peace and joy. My husband has complete confidence in me (or so he says) but I am fully aware that I am under his authority for everything. That is as it should be and we are both very happy with the way things are. I do not have any difficulties with biblical roles in my marriage, but I worry for my sons and daughters. I wish men were half as concerned with knowing their wives and loving them as they are with obedience and submission. It seems self-serving, at best.

  19. It is a very real concern. Teach them what is right and to look for what is right in a husband/wife. Teach them to find a young man or young woman who has a real, authentic relationship with Jesus based on who the bible says Jesus really is. Too many people think Jesus is unconcerned with holiness and that Jesus is fine with them living their life as if they do not know Him at all. They should read the rebuke He does of His churches in Revelation to see how serious He is. Too many people fake a relationship with God to impress others. Those looking for a biblical marriage need to single out and eliminate people that fit these two categories. They also need to know what the bible says about marriage and what their and their spouses responsibilities will be.

    I would really advise young people to get to know the heart of anyone they are considering before they get engaged to that person. That takes some time. Be careful not to let “love” or “wishful thinking” mask away issues that will be a huge deal later. Yes, it is much harder for a wife to facilitate change in her husband so she needs to be even more careful during the selection process.

    All this is what is ideal; surely there are those of us who came into knowledge later. That is a riskier proposition however than good planning up front.

  20. Anm1, I really appreciate your perspective, even if I don’t necessarily agree with everything. Getting to know someone’s heart is a good idea, but life happens and people change. My husband is no longer a believer, although he was when we were married. It hasn’t changed how we embrace gender roles in our marriage, but it does mean he cannot lead me spiritually. Well, I suppose he could, but since his perspective on the Bible is that “it’s all a load of crap” I don’t think this is the leadership I’m supposed to follow! I keep my mouth shut and hope that he sees how much comfort and peace I draw from my faith, which will hopefully guide him back to his. I certainly do not try to teach him anything, I know that is not my place.

  21. Alice,

    Sorry it took me a bit to get back to you – very busy weekend with family stuff and getting ready for Christmas. I am the family Calendar guy – I make 3 Calendars each year, one for my family, one for my parents and one for my in-laws and I also do a lot of other custom gifts with pictures I take throughout the year (I am the family photographer for both sides of the family). Its a lot of fun, but it takes a lot of time for me this time of year.

    So let’s try and take this in bite sized pieces.

    Your Statement:

    “I do not worry overmuch about whether God is logical or not. I think Isaiah 55; 8-9 covers that. His ways are not our ways. I simply mean that complete submission is difficult and I don’t believe that a man can understand that. Women are called to submit and, unfortunately, we are gifted with intelligence and free will, which makes it difficult.”

    “8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
    Isaiah 55:8-9

    Isaiah 55:8-9 is not saying that God’s ways “lack sense or sound reasoning” which is what the definition of illogical is. It is simply telling us that we will not always understand his reasoning. We don’t know the end from the beginning like God does, we do not know his master plan. This is where faith comes in, we may not fully understand why God does what it he does but we can be assured that there is also a reasoned approach in keeping with his master plan for everything God does.

    Let’s look at another passage from the same book of Isaiah:

    “9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
    11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
    Isaiah 46:9-10

    Everything God does has a purpose, a reasoning for what he made it or why he causes something to happen. Our lack of understanding its purpose does not make it illogical – it just demonstrates that we are limited in our understanding.

    From your statement I am guessing you think it was illogical for God to gift women with intelligence and free will if they were simply made to submit to men. But God also gifted men with free will and intelligence and we are called to submit to God. I understand what you are saying about women having to submit 24/7 being different than a man having to submit at his work place or other places. What you are saying is that in your personal life away from work, church and other places you always have another human being that you must submit to in regard to your personal decisions. A man’s personal life decisions, are between him and God.

    So in this way a woman has a human authority between her and God and that is why I Corinthians states:

    “7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
    8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
    9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”
    I Corinthians 11:7-10

    God commands that a woman have a sign of authority, or power on her head as a reminder to her that there is a human spiritual authority in her life between her and God. And God has place that authority there. And there is a logical reason as we for this as we have seen in this passage above and that is because God created the woman for the man, not the man for the woman. God created man to image him and by doing so bring him glory. But he created woman for a very different purpose – she was created for man to be his helpmeet, to be his crown and to bring him glory. As a woman your free will and you intelligence were meant to be a blessing to your husband, not something that causes you to rebel against him or contend with him.

    But the sin nature corrupted women as it did men. And it causes women to take pride in their intelligence and it instead of using it as way to bless their husband and to be his crown and glory the sin nature causes women to use their intelligence as a shame and reproach to their husbands.

  22. Sunny,

    Your Statement:

    “Respect is earned and nobody is born into a position of authority- you earn that level of respect. This is the mindset I was raised in.”

    The Bible tells us the following in Romans:

    “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
    Romans 12:2

    Literally this is telling us we must unlearn what our culture has taught us, and that often includes things our parents taught us when these philosophies or teachings go against God’s design and will for our lives. There are two kinds of respect, one is earned the other people are born or appointed into.

    A father and mother by the very fact that they gave birth to a child are entitled to honor and respect by that child. This is a what is sometimes called “positional respect”. The same goes for a husband, he entitled to honor and respect and obedience by his very position, not because he has earned it.

    Then there is a different kind of respect – that is earned by how one conducts their life in a righteous way that is honoring to God. Included in that would be a husband or father treating their wife or child in a loving way and looking out for their best spiritual interests.

    So I would agree that some men make it very hard to respect their person because of how they conduct themselves, but the woman must respect her husband’s position regardless.

  23. Alice,

    Your Question:

    “@BGR, I am confused by your statement:
    “Happiness in marriage can be a wonderful byproduct but we must guard against making our spouse’s happiness the core purpose of our marriage.”

    I thought making my husband happy is my secondary (primary being God) purpose/goal. Since he does not ever ask me to sin, isn’t making him happy the most important thing in my life? I know that him making me happy should not be his primary focus, as he is called to lead, but since I am free of that responsibility I though that my focus should be on doing what pleases him and to make him as happy as possible?”

    Holiness is the most important thing for both the husband and the wife.
    For man, his personal holiness as well him washing his wife to help her be holy is of the utmost importance. His personal happiness and her happiness come second to that primary objective.
    For the wife her personal holiness comes before making her husband happy as well. If he asks her to do something sinful then she must respectfully decline even if that thing would make him happy. For instance if he were to ask her to join in a threesome with another man or for her to have sex with another man while he watches she must tell him no. She must obey God rather than man. And this is not a far fetched thing – I have had women write me of stories where their husbands asked them to have sex with other men.

    But these are extreme cases. Most women are never faced with that kind of situation.

    For you as a woman, your husband, and then your children and home are to be your primary focus. And yes you should absolutely seek to please your husband and make him happy as your driving force in life as long as what he is asking you to do is not a sin against God.

    But from a husband’s perspective things are VERY different. God did not create a husband for his wife, he created his wife for him. That is a critical principle to understand. A man’s loving leadership, provision for and protection of his wife are a part of the mission God has given him. A very important part. But they are not the ONLY important part of his mission. God designed men to go out into the world and make their mark. God wants men to work and have ministries. Each man’s impact will look different, but all men are called to have an impact both in their homes and outside their homes.

    A man who is a good father and husband but a horrible worker outside the home has failed in the mission God has given him.
    Likewise, a man who has a fabulous ministry and or great business impact on the world but fails to be the husband and father God calls him to be has failed in his mission as well.

    Not I will just say that all men and women are sinners. We all fail in different ways and we will not be perfect. No wife is perfect in her duties to her husband, children and home and no husband is perfect in his duty to his work, his ministry, his wife and his children. But we must realize the difference between the mission of a man and woman.

    Another way of putting this truth is this – in 99 percent of cases if a wife is making the pleasing of her husband her top priority she will at the same time be doing exactly what God wants her to do. But on the other hand, if a man is making pleasing his wife his top priority in 100 percent cases this will mean he is failing the mission God has given him. This does not mean a man cannot do nice things for his wife or seek to please her. But that cannot be the driving force in his life. He must realize that his wife is “a” priority that God has given him, but not the only priority.

  24. BGR, I did not mean to imply that God was illogical, I simply mean that when I do not understand His ways, I assume it is because of a failing on my part. I also know that I am not meant to understand. I also agree that my intelligence should be a blessing to my husband, but there are times when it gets in the way of my submission. It is very difficult to give up thinking for myself!

    I completely agree that my husband’s priority should not be my happiness, but I do believe that *my* priority should be his happiness. My understanding is that my priorities are as follows: God, husband, children, home.

  25. @Alice, sorry to hear that your husband is no longer a believer, that is certainly a serious hardship. You can’t always please people, but you can please God. That is what I would focus on.

  26. Alice,

    Your Statement:

    “My understanding is that my priorities are as follows: God, husband, children, home.”

    Amen.

    Your Statement:

    “I also agree that my intelligence should be a blessing to my husband, but there are times when it gets in the way of my submission. It is very difficult to give up thinking for myself!”

    God does not tell you that you cannot think for yourself. Instead give you these principles to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”(2 Corinthians 10:5) and a big part of being obedient to Christ for you as a wife is to obey your husband(1 Peter 3:6). So it is what you do with your thoughts. Do you go out and use your thoughts like club to beat your husband up with? Are you contentious with your thoughts? Or do you speak your thoughts in the right place and time in humility and kindness? So often it is what you do with your thoughts, and not necessarily that you have your own thoughts.

    But on some things a woman may need to work over time to change her thoughts. Often times you may start off with just pure obedience, following him even though you very much disagree on something. And that is a good first step. But you need to over time work to see if you can change your thought pattern to his if it is possible.

  27. Thank you, Anm1. It truly is not much of a hardship, my husband continues to live in a Biblical way. It’s only that I cannot bring my spiritual questions to him. He does not mind if I practice my faith, he will even come to Mass with me, he just thinks it’s all a scam. We are (were?) both Roman Catholic and the scandals that hit our Church made it very difficult for him. I am stuck on Matthew 16:18, so it is easier for me. The Lord never promised us a perfect Church any more than he promised my husband a perfect wife. I am lucky that my faith is still strong, and I firmly believe if I keep my mouth shut and live as God commands, God will use me to bring my husband back.

  28. BGR, yes, I have learned that I should work on changing my thought pattern. That is much more difficult than obedience! I also realize it is necessary, but that is where my rebellion comes in. I can *do* what my husband commands, but *thinking* the way he wants me to presents much more of a problem for me.

  29. Alice,

    Your Statement:

    ” My problem is, I find that a lot of men abuse the power that is granted them. I don’t mean they abuse their wives, although that happens too, I mean they are much more focussed on their wife’s obedience than they are on Godly leading. The websites on gender roles are more like “directions on how to be a Godly wife” and seem to assume men know and do what they are supposed to be doing. If a man’s role is as difficult as a woman’s, why is there such a lack of instruction for men?”

    Alice I exhort men all over this site with what it means to be a godly man and a godly leader:

    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/11/24/16-ways-to-instill-biblical-masculinity-in-your-sons/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/05/30/12-ways-to-honor-your-wife/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/05/30/10-ways-to-know-your-wife/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/06/18/what-does-it-mean-for-a-husband-to-love-his-wife-as-christ-loves-the-church/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2018/10/10/the-husbands-call-to-love-is-a-call-to-rule/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/06/18/10-ways-to-know-if-you-are-sacrificing-your-faith-for-your-wife/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2016/10/03/how-to-train-your-wife-not-to-be-jealous/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2016/03/29/7-steps-to-dealing-with-a-lazy-wife/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/10/03/7-ways-to-discipline-your-wife/

    And not just in articles, but in comments I repeat these principles all the time.

    It is interesting that you stated most gender role sites are “more focussed on their wife’s obedience than they are on Godly leading”. That might be the case in the Christian manosphere, but it certainly is not the case in main stream sites like John Piper’s or Focus on the Family. They deal with gender roles but they hit the men much harder than the women and in many cases give women a free pass.

    The basic false teaching of most Christian marriage and gender role sites are “If men were just better godly husbands loving and leading their wives as they should be then women would just fall in line and submit to them. Women are made to submit to godly men, its the ungodly ones they won’t submit to”. That is heresy. That is false teaching that I and others are combating. Eve had a perfect husband and a perfect God and she failed them both utterly. And then her husband failed by God by going along with his wife even though he knew she was wrong.

    Along the same false teaching these sites also teach then men can only lead their wives by example and they should not be focused at all on their wife’s obedience as someone said on this thread. That again is false. The scriptures tell us in Ephesians 5 that they husband is the head of the wife “AS” Christ is the head of the Church and men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church by giving themselves up(giving up their happiness) to correct and wash their wives to present them holy to themselves and to God.

    How many men fail to give up their own happiness to correct their wives and show concern for their obedience as God has tasked them to do? I would argue the vast majority today. Most men want to just keep their wives happy (and doing so themselves happy) and as long as she gives sex they will follow her like a puppy dog instead of the leader God called them to be.

    If we were having this discussion 200 years ago before the rise of feminism in the mid-19th century than I would probably agree with you that we would need to lean a bit more toward helping men to show more grace and mercy toward their wives. But while there are still a small percentage of men today who abuse their God given authority over their wives, I would argue that the vast majority of women (probably 90 percent or higher) do not submit to and honor their husbands as God called them to do.

    So if you have a problem with maybe 10 percent of husbands abusing their authority in some way, and far less than that abusing in a highly dangerous way(like physical abuse) and you have women that have a 90 percent rate of un-submissiveness to God and their husbands as to their purpose and place in this world where should our primary focus be? I would argue the answer is what my fellow Christian blogger(who happens to be a Christian wife and mother) K. Q. Duane says and that is “It’s the Women, Not the Men!” that are primary source of problems we have today in western civilization.

    You can find her blog here – https://kqduane.com/

  30. Alice,

    Your Statement:

    “BGR, yes, I have learned that I should work on changing my thought pattern. That is much more difficult than obedience! I also realize it is necessary, but that is where my rebellion comes in. I can *do* what my husband commands, but *thinking* the way he wants me to presents much more of a problem for me.”

    Its great that you recognize that. None of us our perfect, but it is the struggle to follow God’s ways that we are called to do as we depend on the Holy Spirit for strength. And changing your thought patterns can be a slow and grueling process. But as long as that is your goal and you are truly working toward that no one can expect more than that.

  31. @Alice, it may not be a bad thing that scandals bother your husband. If he is so disappointed with or has theological disagreements with the RCC, have you considered trying another Christian church? Or are you saying that Matthew 16:18 means that only the RCC is a valid Christian church? Obviously there is no perfect church, but some are more suited to one person than another.

  32. @Amn1
    That is the “deal” called biblical marriage. The thing is that culture has no problem with all of the expectations a wife has these days, and more much. Culture has every problem with a husband having any proper biblical expectations for a wife”

    -No, I don’t think it is wrong to expect those things but one thing you should understand is that my husband is NOT a believer and I have little hope for him based on his stubborn mindset. He has already made it clear that he resents God for letting bad things happen in this world and that he can’t believe in something that he has no “proof” of. He knew I was a believer when he married me. I no longer try to have “God conversations” with him because he won’t listen to me, he listens to other MEN (I am finding that out the hard way.) The only tiny sliver of hope I have is that if I am the best wife I can be then maybe he will start to see that and consider why. Maybe one day some man that he admires will come along and show him the ways of God without my assistance which will lead him to reconsider.
    Things would most likely look different from my perspective if he were a believer.
    -No, I do NOT expect my husband to provide food, clothing, shelter for me. We live in a time period with extreme luxuries like washing machines, ovens, cars and grocery stores. Being a stay at home wife is a privilege that a lot of men these days might not be able to provide and that is understandable to me. As long as my husband is working full time and doing the best he can (which is does) I have zero problem helping provide income. We not living in a time period where keeping the house takes the entire day- in fact, it takes a very small portion of time in comparison to what it would have been in a different time period. I see no issue with a wife working as long as she can still complete her duties within the home. I don’t want to get off topic too much with that though.

    @BGR: “A father and mother by the very fact that they gave birth to a child are entitled to honor and respect by that child. This is a what is sometimes called “positional respect”. The same goes for a husband, he entitled to honor and respect and obedience by his very position, not because he has earned it.”

    Wow, okay you actually kind of got me on that one. I can’t even think of a rebuttal for that.

  33. @Sunny: >The only tiny sliver of hope I have is that if I am the best wife I can be
    >then maybe he will start to see that and consider why.

    I agree. Do this for the Lord, be the best wife you can be for God. Again, all the stuff I said above about earning his confidence. Even if he lacks faith in God, give him every reason to have confidence in your goodness.

    >Maybe one day some man that he admires will come along and
    >show him the ways of God without my assistance which will lead him to reconsider.

    Pray for this daily. If God reaches him as a result of your prayer through a man, this would be wonderful!

  34. BGR, I agree that women are responsible for the breakdown of marriage and the nuclear family. I also agree that your site exhorts men to lead in a Godly way. Maybe it is only 10% of men who abuse their power, but they seem more vocal than the other 90%!

    Amn1, my husband is “done with organized religion”. He has considered Buddhism, but I don’t think I could follow him in that. Am I required to? I think it would be very difficult for me to be anything but Catholic although I see a lot of Truth in Baptist churches, truth that the RCC sometimes seems to miss.

    Sunny, it is eerie how much we have in common. I do believe that your behavior as a wife can eventually show your husband the way back to God, but I think it is a slow process. It is also not our problem. Do what God says and trust He will take care of the rest. I will pray for you, please pray for me.

  35. @Alice, >He has considered Buddhism, but I don’t think I could follow him in that. Am I required to?
    Absolutely not. You shall serve the Lord only and have none before Him.
    My advice is to focus on what you _can_ do; be right for the Lord yourself. Do good. Grow in the Lord. Pray for your husband daily that the Lord will intervene. He will hear your prayers.

  36. @Alice – I feel compelled to speak the truth in love and even though this is not going to be popular (and BGR might not even post it), here goes. Regarding: “He does not mind if I practice my faith, he will even come to Mass with me, he just thinks it’s all a scam. We are (were?) both Roman Catholic and the scandals that hit our Church made it very difficult for him.”
    The Roman Catholic Church IS a scam and has been since isn’t inception. The RCC is NOT Christian, it’s a RELIGION. Religion is humanity’s attempt to reach out to God and to “work their way to heaven”. It involves human effort to become acceptable to God.
    Christianity is completely different. Christianity is centered on a personal relationship between the creator God and His human creation. It’s about a loving God who initiates the relationship by revealing Himself to His human creation by coming to us in the person of Jesus. Christianity is faith alone in Christ alone… PERIOD, no works. This link explains the RCC vs Christianity pretty well. https://carm.org/are-roman-catholics-christian
    The fact that your husband is seeing the hypocrisy and falsehood in the RCC is a good thing. I pray that God will lead him to lead you and your family to true Christianity.

  37. @Sunny: “The only tiny sliver of hope I have is that if I am the best wife I can be then maybe he will start to see that and consider why.”

    Take heart sister! My father openly credits my mother and her faith to leading him to Christ. My mother focused on being the most submissive and helpful wife that she could be. She prayed and constantly reminded God of His words in 1 Peter 3:1-6: that says in part “… In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior….”

    Sunny, I urge you to fully embrace putting on “the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” Become a true daughter of Sarah by considering your husband to be your lord…. (your OWNER and your MASTER) and do this without any fear. This will be pleasing in the sight of God and THEIR IS NOTHING HE CANNOT DO IF HE SO CHOOSES.

  38. Trey,

    I let your post go through about the RCC but I will add my position along with it for the readers.

    I agree that the RCC has many corrupted doctrines. I myself believe baptist churches, while also be imperfect in their doctrine, are the closest to what a New Testament church should teach and that is why I have attended and raised my family in Baptist churches for most of my life. However I think it is a bridge too far to say the RCC is not Christian. The RCC considers itself the only true church and I know many Baptists(Landmarkers) consider baptist churches the only true churches. I categorically reject both and reject church successionism (as did the first English baptists in London in the 1600’s). Also reject the RCC’s making Scripture and church tradition equal, as well as many other false doctrines they teach.

    But guess what – I also reject some false doctrines of the Methodist churches, Presbyterian churches and Pentecostal churches. I reject some false doctrines taught by the Quakers and Mennonites. But do I say they are not Christian? No. They are Christian churches that all have some false doctrines.

    On the matter of works and salvation. Anyone can read my position here https://biblicalgenderroles.com/what-is-the-gospel/
    I believe in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone apart from works. Amen and Amen.

    However I have differences with both my Catholic friends and also many Protestant friends on the issue of works. While the Catholics try and bring works in the front door with “Since the Holy Spirit does the works, its not really works” many Protestants bring works in the back door. They do this one of two ways. Some Protestants teach we can loose our salvation based on unrepentant sin(so bring works in the back door) while others say works are required not as merit for our salvation but as evidence.

    Now I agree that if any man be in Christ he is a new creature and that there will be some change if the salvation is genuine. There will also be spiritual growth but it may be much slower in some than in others.

    But over the years I have been highly disturbed by some statements from men like John MacArthur and John Piper who act like if you are true Christian sin will be just a blip on the screen and that your life will be “a pattern of righteousness” if you are truly saved. Basically if you are true Christian in their view, you will overcome all giants in your life and this teaching is false. There some habits and things that true Christians carry with them throughout their lives. We can debate about why that is(not surrendering certain areas, not depending on the Holy Spirit enough).

    So my point is – that from my view of studying Protestants(both historically and current) they still mix in works with salvation like the RCC does too – they just do it from a different angle.

  39. @Trey, thank you for your perspective. My husband has given up on all organized religion and feels the Bible is simply another tool used by men (human beings) to pervert God’s purpose. He is not interested in finding another church, although he thinks there is a lot of merit in Buddhism. I will not be able to follow him there, for I can not and will not give up the Lord as the Messiah.

    I am very aware of the criticisms leveled against the RCC and some of them are certainly valid. One of the things I appreciate the most about BGR’s site is he does not condemn Catholics the way a lot of other fundamentalist Christians do. I know the RCC is not perfect, I know the horrific history of the Church and the rampant hypocrisy. For me, however, the RCC contains the Truth and I cannot imagine switching religions.

  40. I also agree with bgr on this. While I am not on board with a number of RCC positions and theology, I do believe that they are a church that belongs to Jesus, amongst many others. My point above was that if your husband’s prinicipal issues are with the RCC specifically, would he consider looking at other Christian churches. To be a Christian church, you have to believe in Jesus as He is in the bible. I do not consider Mormons to be Christians however, like many of the other enemy tricks, I believe they are being deceived.

  41. Anm1,

    Your Statement:

    “To be a Christian church, you have to believe in Jesus as He is in the bible. I do not consider Mormons to be Christians however, like many of the other enemy tricks, I believe they are being deceived.”

    Amen! Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are falsely professing Christians. The Gospel is meaningless if Jesus was not God or you deny the trinity. And yes I know the tired old argument that the word “trinity” is not in the Bible, but the concept is seen all over the Scriptures. It is an undeniable tenant of true Christianity.

    This is why I still believe the RCC is a Christian church, although highly corrupted by centuries of false doctrines. They firmly teach and believe in the trinity and Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and that he was the sinless Son of God.

  42. Alice,

    Your Statement:

    “One of the things I appreciate the most about BGR’s site is he does not condemn Catholics the way a lot of other fundamentalist Christians do.”

    I grew up in fundamentalist churches for most of my life that said “You can’t be Catholic and a Christian”. But as I researched the Scriptures when I got older and then I also worked with some Bible believing Catholics in various jobs I had I came to a very different position. I could not deny their faith, their spirit witnessed with mine that they too were children of God by trusting in Jesus Christ as their savior.

    Really this goes back to the Protestant Reformation – the Protestants were calling the Catholics unbelievers and the Catholics were calling the Protestants unbelievers. The truth is that they were both believers and both sets of believers had errors in their doctrines. I certainly would side more with the Protestants on doctrine than the Catholics to be sure. But just because I have a lot more disagreements with Catholics does not mean I will say they are not saved. If they have placed their faith in trust in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, and God in the flesh they have crossed from death to life and are fellow believers in the universal body of Christ even if I would not attend their local manifestations of that body.

  43. I feel badly for Jehovah’s Witnesses. They seem so sincere and I used to talk to them when they rang the doorbell. I was (uselessly) trying to show them the truth, but it was very difficult. My husband got tired of it very quickly and now does not let me interact with them at all. I have never met a Mormon.

    I know the RCC is full of errors and definitely corrupted and has been for centuries. But at the core, I believe they teach the truth. If my husband wanted us to switch to another Christian denomination I would willingly follow, but I can not get on board with Buddhism. It is a philosophy with a lot of wisdom, but any religion that does not recognize the divinity of the Lord or that He is the Messiah will not work for me. For this reason, Islam is also out.

  44. Alice,

    You are right in taking a stand for your Christian faith:

    “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
    Matthew 10:37

    This is one of those clear exceptions to a woman submission to her husband as seen in the book of Acts:

    “8 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
    “Acts 5:28-29

    But also take heart in the fact that God may use you to bring your husband back to the faith:

    “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?…”
    I Corinthians 7:16

    I know a lot of people, especially men, who have completely lost faith in the organized Christian churches. And I can completely understand why in many cases. So many churches have lost their way and are more concerned with being accepted by the culture than being accepted by God. But I also teach here and try to encourage men that we can no more give up on our churches than we can our marriages. God created both the institution of the church and marriage and we are called to fight for purity in both.

  45. BGR, my husband is not requiring me to abandon my faith or church, so I do not need to do anything. I really do believe if I keep my mouth shut, God will lead him home. If he wants me to accompany him to religious services at a Buddhist temple, I will, but I do worry about the children. I do not contradict him in front of them, but I am worried because he is very vocal about his disdain for Christianity. They are in Catholic school and he does not want them to move, but his pint of view is in direct contradiction of what they are learning and I don’t know what to do. I don’t tell them privately that their father is wrong, that seems like the height of disrespect toward my husband, but I also don’t want my children thinking Christianity is wrong. I also know it is not my place to teach my husband anything spiritually, so I mostly try and steer conversations away from religion. Politics is always a good foil!

  46. But, why marry a woman who isn’t what you’d like in a wife. Hubby and I got a great deal on a camping set because a fellow married an absolute looker of a wife, but she loathes camping….his absolute favorite activity. So, he decided to give up the thing he loved the most and dreamed about sharing with his family.

    Hubby has told me of guys at work who are divorced because they married the hottie who turned into wifezilla. Now, many of them have found gals who aren’t supermodel types by any stretch of the imagination, but love the same things they do and these guys are ecstatic! They also report better sex.

    Why marry a woman who wants to be a stay at home mom of 8 when you want a career woman and fur-babies? Why marry a raging feminist when you want a submissive Christian? Why marry a high maintenance woman when you don’t want to work overtime to support her lifestyle?

    You won’t have to tame a wife if you marry the right one to begin with.

  47. livinginblurredlines,

    Your Statement:

    “But, why marry a woman who isn’t what you’d like in a wife…You won’t have to tame a wife if you marry the right one to begin with.”

    Well that was kind of the point of this post. No woman will perfectly align with a man. There are going to be some differences. And the perfect alignment you look for the less likely it will be you find her, or by the time you do you will be 40. So as a man you have to decide on what things are most important.

    I agree that many men stupidly marry a woman just because she is good looking and overlook all the other problems with her. I am certainly not arguing for that. But the point here is was the vast majority of women in America are at least a little infected by feministic thinking. It might be a smaller infection in some that is more easily rooted out. With others the infection might be so bad that the patient may never be cured.

    This is where men must decided how much of a job they are willing to take on with a future potential wife – knowing they may not succeed in taming the shrew in question. As I said in the article, it is not for the faint of heart.

    One of the things we also discussed here in the comments was the heart intent of the woman. Many women have a good heart and want to do what is right but they need a lot of guidance and occasional discipline methods from a husband to help make that happen. We were talking about a woman may not be perfect, but if her attitude is to do what God wants then there is hope.

    In other words some women are gems right from the start, while other women may be diamonds in the rough.

  48. Thank you, everyone for the comments and advice, I will take that to heart.
    @Alice: Yes, it does seem we are very similar! I was thinking that it would be really cool if the women on here set up a chat or page where we could connect and help each other out with things like this.
    Also, it’s funny you mentioned Jehovahs Witness because I studied with them very briefly. They are great people. There are just a few things that didn’t sit right with me. The majority of my family are within the LDS church (Mormon). I used to attend the LDS church with my cousins and I am very familiar with their practices. I was told by my mother that if I converted to either of those churches that she would no longer speak to me. I find this to be really weird considering most of our family is Mormon. My mother is just repeating the same words that her mother told her which is sad to me.

    I have been to a wide variety of churches and bible studies over the years trying to find the right one for me. I have given up looking for a church because it seems there is corruption in them, I’m overwhelmed by that. While I do great in my career life and overall I am very independent, I am at a loss when it comes to studying the bible. Sometimes, it feels like I have to be spoon fed and guided through all of it. I am terrible at biblical interpretation and lost most of the time. There are still many church groups that have held a special place in my heart, either because I have personally attended those churches or because I have looked fondly of them for other reasons. I absolutely have an infatuation with the Amish and Mennonites for various reasons. Also, I have a family lineage of Puritans, I realize they aren’t much of a practice anymore but I still adore them so much! I find it a bit odd because I tend to lean towards church groups that can easily be considered “extremists”. I hold up this high respect for some of these groups yet I feel I can’t attend any of them.

  49. Sunny, while I would enjoy speaking to other women about submission, I have my reservations. I think women need women, there are things men simply cannot understand, nor should they. But I’ve noticed, when you get a group of women together they almost inevitably start bashing the men in their lives, even if it’s a bunch of secretaries around a water cooler. I find this distasteful in the extreme. I might have my private difficulties with my husband, but I will never criticize him to anyone. So, in short, a lot of women getting together makes me a little nervous. I don’t do “girls night out”, although my husband would definitely allow me to.

    I also find it hard to study the Bible, that is part of why the RCC is good for me, the Church authorities interpret for me! When they say something that seems off to me, I cross reference it and I have found a lot of truth in Baptist churches.

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