You have most likely stumbled upon this post as a Christian woman who is looking for tips on ‘How to be a submissive wife’ or you are wondering What does submissiveness in marriage look like?
A woman being submissive or yielding to the leadership of her husband is seen as a wise and noble characteristic, especially in the Bible belt region. It’s like wearing a badge of honor.
As a former Christian, I understand the doctrine of submission wholeheartedly. So before you dive into this post, know that my intentions are from a curious standpoint and not from a condescending standpoint or mockery. I believe everyone has a right to practice whatever faith or religion they choose. And I respect others’ decision to follow this lifestyle, even if I do disagree with some of the agendas.
If you feel that my questioning of this submissiveness doctrine will be offensive to your belief or trigger you in an uncomfortable way, then I will warn that this may not be the post for you.
However, if you’re okay with reading a different perspective and are not easily offended by challenges of the doctrine, I welcome you to read this post and share your opinions/thoughts in the comment section below, especially if it will bring clarity.
This post was inspired by a video of Fantasia Taylor and her husband.
I have a few questions…
As a person who enjoys thinking critically and who is keen on word etymology, what was stated was very disturbing.
I asked myself…..
Are women single because they don’t know their place and refuse to be led by a man?
Are women evil for wanting to be leaders of their own vessel?
Is a woman out of line for not desiring to be controlled by a man?
Are women supposed to be followers for life? As long as they are married, they can in no way lead in the partnership?
Is submission a GIFT that many are failing to comprehend? Or does submission translate to a woman losing her own power or force? Notice how Fantasia says, she slowly became HER HUSBAND after watching him lead.
Why is a woman waiting to be married in order to experience guidance from a male on how to progress in life?
Why does it seem like women are being glorified when they agree to be “trained” by their husband? Shouldn’t a woman have received instruction from her father?
Definition of submission and terms closely related to submission.
One thing that I am fond of is using words in its proper context.
Because of this, I have attached the definition of submit, submissiveness, submission, and other closely related terms below.
- accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.
- to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.
- a lowering, letting down; sinking.
- to let down, put down, lower, reduce, yield.
- sense of humble obedience.
- having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.
- Compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority.
- ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive. “a submissive, almost sheeplike people.”
Is it just me? Or does something sound unsettling about this requirement?
No lie, even when I look up submissiveness to try to find a blog picture as representation, I see people in choke holds and horses with harnesses!
Concerns with submissiveness and domestic abuse.
Is it wrong to be concerned about this concept?
I guess as a former Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Victim Advocate and as a woman whose mother suffered abuse while I was in utero, this submissive requirement in Christian marriage has me worried for those who suffer behind emotional and physical abuse. For a wife who believes wholeheartedly that a deity smiles on her dedication to submissiveness, where is her protection?
Maybe we should rethink what we have been “told” is the right mode of operation concerning partnerships. Maybe? Or maybe we should be using a different term, such as a husband influencing his wife? Or what about…A husband practicing integrity so that his wife can trust his ability to make proper decisions on behalf of the family?
Even in all of this, I do not feel it is necessary for a wife to be submissive. I think it is just simply the man leading in the areas where he is more skilled. However, the wife should have the same ability to lead in the areas where she is more skilled. But according to Fantasia’s husband, two heads can cause dysfunction in a marriage, because they can bump heads.
As a disclaimer, and maybe I should have mentioned this early on, I have been married for 10 years. So, I am no stranger to the things that they are speaking of. I agree with trusting a partner. I understand the pride and honor of a man to take care of his wife and family to put his woman’s mind at ease. And trust me, I have ZERO complaints with my husband doing most of the work sometimes, because ‘A sista be ti’ed’ …and it brings me great joy to know that I have a hardworking man in my life who won’t let his family go without. But, I am clear that I have a PARTNER and we are equal as far as our contribution to our family. We are joint owners, joint heirs, we are balanced on the scales. I am the yin and he is the yang. There is a WE mentality with our partnership and not a little i, BIG I, mentality.
Top 4 signs that your partner loves you unconditionally.
I am happy that Fantasia and her husband were brave enough to put their opinion out on social media. And as she stated in an interview from the Breakfast Club, her intention is to break generational curses in our society. And that is my M.O. as well. I would love to see a world where balanced partnerships are normalized in the African American community, where children are reared by both their mother and father. Fantasia seems extremely sincere about what she is speaking on and I do sense she has a good heart.
Another thing that Fantasia stated in the interview was that she was a single mom taking care of her own household and raising children prior to meeting her husband. So, her LIFE EXPERIENCE is, in essence, what led her to this lifestyle.
You can catch that interview here.
My final thoughts on submissiveness in marriage.
I’m really disturbed by this. To me, it seems like this idea of submissiveness is outdated and serves no purpose in a world where women have the right to self-govern and make sound decisions for themselves.
What about a woman’s autonomy? What about her voice? Does her thoughts matter if her role is just to be a submissive wife and follow the authority of her husband? Does this not stifle a woman’s confidence in her decision-making capabilities?
There’s so many twists and turns to this idea of submission, I just don’t know what to think.
But as I stated in the audio, once our daughter leaves the nest, we will not advocate for her to go into another nest to be taken care of. My husband and I will be encouraging her to join a partnership, IF SHE CHOOSES, as a teammate and as an equal, and possessing all of the necessary skills and mental capacity to lead herself and make JOINT decisions with her spouse. By that time, she would have been led by her father, her guardian, her protector, for over 18 years. When she leaves the nest, her only responsibility is to be liberated from anyone else’s authoritative guidance.
Feel free to listen to the audio to hear more commentary of my thoughts.
After listening to the recording above and reviewing this post in its entirety, I would love to hear your thoughts as well! Is submissiveness in marriage necessary in modern day or is it outdated?
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2 Comments Add yours
I will be honest that I did not listen to either recordings. Personally, I see the words “submissive” and “marriage” together and it bristles me. Reading the definitions you had within your post bristle me even more! But I guess that framework works for some partnerships. Truthfully, I think it would be difficult for me to respect a female who resides in this space. And I don’t know if that right or wrong of me. Not very accepting or tolerant. Women have fought long and hard to be treated and established as equal so for a woman to be submissive because her husband is deemed “superior” feels like betrayal to our gender to me. As someone who has been married over 20 years I recognize that compromise and yielding is an absolute for success but that is on both sides. We harness eachother’s strengths and carry eachother through. Great post, very thought provoking. Thx!
I love your honesty! No worries. You probably would cringe watching the video, because it had me questioning even more. Is she being abused emotionally and/or physically? This requirement for women to be submissive is unsound. And 20 years?!! You definitely have a considerable amount of partnership experience. And if you feel this submissiveness is unnecessary, then that says a lot to me. I agree…mutual agreements, trust, yielding to one another’s opinions, and mutual respect is ultimately what leads to cohesiveness. But submissiveness? I’m not really seeing the necessity or benefits of that.