7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Christian Wife

“I have read your site for some time, but this is my first time writing you.  My wife and I have been married a year.  She is 18 and I am 24. Now I am trying to get my wife to follow her role as I begin to assume my role as leader.   I am six years older than her, but that seems to just make it worse.  She keeps saying “You are not my father!”  She was raised in a strict family and I guess she thinks now that she is married, she is free from all authority.   I have recently put both of us on a budget.  I have created a budget and I keep my side, but she keeps overspending on hers. 

I read your article on 7 ways to discipline your wife and you recommend taking away her debit card.  I know I could do this, but in my view, that should be the last option.   I am considering starting spanking her.  I have mentioned it to her, not on the budget, but in general and she is against it.  She thinks spanking is treating her like a child. 

I read your warning about a wife reporting a husband for spanking her and my wife would not do that.  She was taught to resolve family issues inside the family.   She complained to her mom about something in our marriage a few months into our marriage and her mom told her she did not want to hear about it; “You and your husband need to work that out” is what her mom told her. 

My question to you is, do you think I am making a mistake trying to incorporate spanking as a form of discipline in our marriage?  Should I just take away her debit card and give her some limited cash?

We are very early in our marriage and I know this is the time when we will set the pattern for the rest of our marriage and I really would appreciate your guidance in how to do that.”

What you just read was an email I received from a young Christian husband calling himself Robert.

Whether or not he realizes it, what Robert is really asking is “How can I as Christian husband groom my young wife?”

Grooming is Sinful in Humanism but Sacred in the Bible

Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the verb definition of groom as “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and this fits with the traditional understanding of this word.

But humanists see grooming as one person conditioning another person to allow them or someone else to abuse them.  The term is often associated with pedophiles preying on children, sex traffickers conditioning women for prostitution or husbands conditioning their wives to allow them to abuse them.

According to SecularHumanism.org, a core tenant of humanism is the freeing of “the individual from traditional controls by family, church, and state, increasingly empowering each of us to set the terms of his or her own life”.   This is why the concept of one person exerting control over another is heresy to a humanist while conversely consent is sacred. 

And this is why “grooming” is a trigger word for humanists. 

But from a Biblical perspective, grooming when used in the sense of a husband conditioning his wife to be in complete subjection to him and molding her behavior to his preferences is not evil or immoral.  But rather, these actions are righteous, holy and required of husbands by God.

Remember that Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of grooming was “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and now let’s compare that definition to what the Bible calls husbands to do toward their wives in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.”

Look at the striking parallels between the way God requires husbands to love their wives as Christ loves his church and what grooming actually is.  So, we can rightly say as Christians that the Biblical call for husbands to wash their wives with the Word of God to present their wives to themselves in a glorious fashion is a call for husbands to groom their wives.

And one thing I want to mention for my humanist friends out there that are in major trigger mode right now.  Some of them may be hung up on the word “animal” in the definition of grooming.  If you look at the definition here you will see these examples of grooming “an impeccably groomed woman, was being groomed as a presidential candidate”. So no, this term is not exclusively used of animals.

Important Prerequisites to Grooming Your Young Bride

Now that we have established that it is not wrong, but actually a man’s God given duty to groom his bride as Christ grooms his Church we need to talk about the prerequisites that should be met before a Christian husband attempts this grooming process with his wife.

Prerequisite #1 – You and Your Young Bride Must Both Be Believers

While there are certainly unbiblical and worldly ways to groom a young bride for her husband, the steps given in this guide are based upon the Biblical view of marriage as God designed it.  They will only work for a Christian husband and a Christian wife.  See my article “What is the Gospel” for more on what it means to be a believer in Christ.

Prerequisite #2 – You and Your Wife Need to Be Biblicist Christians

There are two kinds of Christians today.  Humanist Christians and Biblicist Christians.  Humanist Christians only believe the parts the Bible that do not conflict with the morals and values of humanism.  They rationalize this by saying they believe many parts of the Bible are “cultural” and were not meant for all peoples and all times.  Other humanists attempt to play the words of Christ in the Gospels against the words of the Apostle Paul not realizing that these words are equally the Word of God.

But for this grooming guide to work you must be Biblicist Christians. You and your young bride must believe what 2 Timothy 3:16 states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.  And you both must believe that God commands you to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Prerequisite #3 – Your Wife Needs to Be Young

Even if you are both Biblicist Christians, age is a major factor in a man grooming his wife. I have consistently heard from mentoring couples I have spoken with that the grooming of a bride has the most success in women under the age of 25.  After that the chances of success radically fall, even with believing wives.  I was given examples of Christian wives in their 30s and 40s trying to get into these mentoring programs.  At the beginning of the program they really seemed like they wanted to change, but in the vast majority of the cases they exit the programs not long after entering them when they cannot make the changes necessary.

If you and your wife meet these three prerequisites you will have a great chance of success in grooming your young bride.

7 Steps to Groom Your Young Bride

Now that we have discussed the prerequisites to being able to groom your young bride, we can now discuss the steps you as a Christian husband need to take.

Step #1 – Un-learn What Your Culture Has Taught You

“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 (KJV)

God calls us to un-learn the false teachings of this world that we have been conditioned with our entire lives.  This will require a radical world view change for both you and your wife.  One of the hardest changes to make for many couples is the rejection of the “adult/child” paradigm.  Our modern culture teaches us that there are only two primary social classes, adults and children.  Children have limited rights until they reach adulthood and then they have full autonomy.   The Bible does not recognize the adult/child paradigm but rather it specifies three primary classes of people within society and those are men, women and children.  Under God’s law, the social class of men are the only ones who have full autonomy.  Women are to be under the authority of men in the home, the church and society at large.  And children are to honor and obey their fathers and mothers. 

It is impossible to fully embrace the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles without a husband and wife first being willing to fully reject the modern teaching of the adult/child paradigm.  When a Christian wife comes to reject the adult/child paradigm, the whole “you are not my father” and “you are treating me like a child” will quickly disappear.

For more on this subject see my article “John Locke’s Invention of the “Adult” Social Class”.

Step #2 – You Must Learn and Embrace Biblical Gender Roles

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

An understanding and full acceptance of the doctrines of the Bible concerning gender roles is a critical first step for you as a husband to begin the grooming process with your wife.   You can find the Scripture references for all these doctrines on my main “Biblical Gender Roles” page.

Step #3 – Seek out a Male Spiritual Mentor

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)

Finding a wise and godly man to mentor you will be crucial to helping you as you seek to groom your young bride.

Step #4 – You must teach your wife Biblical Gender Roles

“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home…”

1 Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

God calls you to be your wife’s primary spiritual teacher.  Once you have fully absorbed and embraced the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles, you must then teach each of these doctrines to your wife.  I would suggest you use the order I give on my Biblical gender roles page, as each doctrine builds on the previous one given.  You should also seek advice from your mentor as to how to approach each of these important doctrines with your wife.

Step #5 – Get Your Wife A Female Spiritual Mentor

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

The Bible does not just support the concept of female mentorship, but it actually commands it.  You may hear some horror stories from older men whose wives were actually led astray by ungodly advice from their girlfriends at church or elsewhere.  But mentoring by good and godly women who fully embrace and live out Biblical gender roles can have life changing effects on women.  I have heard this from mentoring couples I have spoken with and seen it firsthand with younger Christian couples that I know.

Step #6 Mold Your Wife into the Glorious Wife You Want Her to Be

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

Christ did not give up his life for his wife’s happiness.  He gave up his life to purchase his wife (Acts 20:28) so that he could groom her into the wife he wanted her to be.  And this is what God has called you as a Christian husband to do.  In 1 Corinthians 11:7 the Bible tells us that “…the woman is the glory of the man” and in Proverbs 12:4 we read “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”.  In 1 Corinthians 11:9 the Bible says “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.  These Scriptures teach that God created your wife for you, to bring you glory and when your wife brings you glory this brings God glory.  So, you as a man bring glory to God by your submission and service to him and your wife brings glory to God by her submission and service to you.

What this means practically speaking is that you need to begin to mold your wife to your preferences for her behavior.  You should never feel guilting in desiring your wife’s submission and service to you, but rather you should enjoy this as God enjoys our submission and service to him.

So, what are some practical ways that you can groom your wife into the glorious wife you want her to be?

You can make her modify her clothing style to the styles you prefer.  You can make her learn to cook the foods you enjoy.  You can make her watch the TV shows you like to watch.  And in Proverbs 5:18-19 we read one of the greatest ways a husband is actually commanded to groom his wife:

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

While husbands are commanded not to deny sexual relations to their wives in Exodus 21:10-11 in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, the Bible never commands wives to make their husbands satisfy them sexually.  It does however command men to do just that in the passage above.

A Christian wife’s grooming, her God ordained subjection to her husband, is never complete until she has been groomed to be loving, pleasant and completely sexually satisfying to her husband.

Step #7 – Discipline Your Wife

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

The verse above is Christ speaking to his churches after having just rebuked them and threatening to discipline them if they did not repent.  Christ associates his rebuke and chastening with his love for his churches.  In Ephesians 5:25 the Scriptures tell us “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.  So, if a husband is loving his wife as Christ loves his church, then he will rebuke and discipline his wife.  Otherwise he is not loving her as Christ loves his church.  Discipline from you toward your wife is crucial for the grooming process to work in the life of your wife.

There are many ways to discipline your wife. 

Ten years ago, I would have been against wife spanking as the concept was so foreign to me.  I did not know any Christians who engaged in it.  But since I started this blog back in 2014, I have had the opportunity to interact with many Christian couples who engage in wife spanking which is commonly referred to as Christian domestic discipline or CDD for short. 

I have also had the opportunity to interact with some Christian husband/wife mentor teams who help teach husbands how to spank their wives and also teach the wives how to accept and embrace this kind of physical discipline from their husbands.

Based upon what I have learned and seen over these last few years I can now say the following. 

I used to be against wife spanking, then I was neutral to it as I could see no condemnation of it in the Bible and now over the last couple of years I come to see it as the most effective tool a husband can use in his role as a human instrument of sanctification in the life of his wife.  And this is not a newly invented disciplinary tool of husbands, but rather wife spanking was fairly common throughout history before the last 50 years or so.

Whenever I speak on wife spanking, I must issue the following cautionary note. 

While it is a husband’s God given right to use spanking as a form of discipline on his wife (with or without her consent), a husband should be wise in regard to the hostile culture we live in.  We live in culture which denies almost all the rights that God has given to a husband including his right to discipline his wife.   That means that if you do not have your wife’s consent to spank her and she calls the police on you, you may go to prison for domestic abuse. 

Some of the women who have contacted me over the years were raised in homes where their father spanked their mother and they expected it and even embraced the concept as they entered into their marriages.  Others learned of the benefits of CDD for their marriage from other wives and embraced this practice later in life.

But then there are wives who are conditioned to accept and receive spankings from their husbands through mentoring programs.  These are programs where the husband and wife work together with a husband/wife mentoring team and over time a couple learns to incorporate wife spanking into their marriage.

One of the most important things I have learned from these wife spanking mentoring couples is that it is very difficult and rare to get a wife to accept wife spanking if she is past her mid-20’s and especially into her 30’s.   So, it is important to reach women with these mentoring programs while they are still young and moldable.

For more on the subject of wife spanking see my article “Does the Bible allow a husband to spank his wife?

And whenever I teach on wife spanking, I always get asked if I spank my wife.  The answer is no.  And the reason is because my wife comes from a moderate feminist background and she is in her mid-40s which makes her a far less moldable wife.  She would never submit to wife spanking or even a mentoring program with another couple.   Again, this is not to say that we as Christian husbands cannot or should not engage in discipline toward our wives even if they are older and far less moldable than younger wives.  It just means we have to use a different set of non-physical disciplinary tools with our wives.  I outline some of these tools in my article “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”.

Conclusion

Robert’s question of how to handle his wife’s statement “You are not my father!” will go away quickly once she begins to understand based upon the Bible that she must reject the entire adult/child paradigm that our culture has taught her.  When she replaces that with that knowledge that her husband’s authority over her is actually greater, not less than what her father’s authority was things will fall nicely into place.

And Robert’s concern of the six-year age difference is also a result of modern cultural conditioning.  Before our post-feminist society, a man being older than his wife was considered an asset, not a liability.  It made it easier for him to exercise his authority over her and it made it easier for her to submit to him and respect him.

Another great asset for Robert is his wife’s parents.  Too many parents today undermine the authority of their daughter’s husband.  But thankfully this is not something Robert will have to worry about.

On the question of whether to pull her debtor card or spank her.  I have recently had this question come up from another husband and my answer to him was “both”.  While I think that spanking is the most effective disciplinary tool husbands can use with their wives, that does not mean husbands should dismiss other disciplinary tools.  Especially when the infractions are financially related, taking away the debtor card is a punishment that truly does fit the sin the wife has committed.

Finally, any husband reading this needs to accept the possibility that his grooming attempts will be met with complete rejection by his wife. Even if she claims to be a Biblicist Christian and even if she is young. This is because sin corrupts us all in different ways.

The feminine human nature that God designed was a submissive one, one which desired to be dominated by the masculine human nature. But sin corrupted both the masculine and feminine human natures that God designed. And sin corrupts these natures in many different ways. Sin can sometimes corrupt the feminine nature making it more dominant than submissive while at the same time it can corrupt the masculine nature making it more passive or submissive rather than dominant as God designed it to be.

All women have their God given submissive natures corrupted to one degree or another. But some have their natures so corrupted that there is little to nothing left of the sweet and submissive nature God meant for women to have.

So, if you find after years of attempting to groom your wife that you are running int a brick wall with her should you just give up on trying to incorporate Biblical gender roles in your marriage? The answer is NO.

You as the man are responsible before God to do everything you can do on your end. If your wife will not submit to spankings as a form of discipline then you move to non-physical forms of discipline like removing the debit card and credit cards while still providing for all her basic needs. You call her out when she disrespects you even she does not receive this. You limit her access to your free time. You lead even if your wife will not follow.

But one thing you never do is surrender to her desire to control your marriage.

And do not fall for the lie of partnership marriage. No marriage is ever a true partnership. Marriage is always a patriarchy or a matriarchy. It might be a soft patriarchy or soft matriarchy where no one explicitly acknowledges being in charge, and the one in charge might actually allow great freedom to the other. But make no mistake, someone is ALWAYS in charge in a marriage. Power vacuums are never left unfilled.

And if you have to dig in for a real spiritual battle with your wife, you must be prepared for the weapons she may attempt to you use against you. You can find out more about that in my article entitled “3 Ways Wives Try to Control Their Husbands“.