Practical Submission

Even for a woman who desires to be submissive for her husband, living that submission and responding with it daily, can be a challenge. It becomes much more of a challenge for women who have soaked heavily in the current culture, and learned a lifestyle of complete autonomy, and ideas of womanhood that are more or less the same as manhood. On top of that, they may have seen men repeatedly ridiculed, and treated as less intelligent, caring, or civilized as women. These are absurd notions (men built civilization as we know it), but it’s hard not to internalize some of those attitudes when it’s basically the air you breath. It takes a real act of will to humbly place yourself under your husband, and then to respond daily, in a soft, meek way. To let him make the decisions. To obey his will. To refrain from arguing, or from inflating your ego.

A Christian woman ought to have a good place to start. Yet sadly this is often not the case. She has clear teachings in the Bible on godly womanhood and on submission. She has descriptions of the godly feminine character, as gentle, quiet, chaste, and modest. She knows the spiritual meaning of the role of the wife — to portray a saved mankind in the Church, holy, content, humble, and submitting to Jesus. She knows all these things, but often still needs to grow in insight and discipline to practically apply them to her marriage, to her behavior with her husband. She needs to grow out of bad habits or wrong attitudes. That is where often the practical teachings makes the path easy to live out the submissive calling in life.

Nurture Gentle Character: A woman can first think of the character of the wife she is becoming. That is one that carries a quiet and gentle spirit. She can learn from this, and start to nurture it, by learning the value of silence. She does not need to speak all the time. She can intentionally hold back, and let her husband lead the conversation. This is especially true of she tends to gallop forward at the mouth, or if her man tends to be quiet. She can keep quiet so that he will speak, and direct affairs. Even her speech itself should carry gentleness. Her words should be soft, free of any angry abrasion, and gentle as her character. This may be hard to do if you are untrained in showing high respect for a man, and it may also be hard if you are having a frustrating day, but recognize in your mind and soul that the one you are speaking to is a picture of the King of Creation — Jesus Christ. He has been made lord of your household, and he represents the Lord of all. Think of how you approach someone of that kind of honor and responsibility. You come meekly, for sure. You are humble. You are not trying to put yourself above him.

Ask Questions, and Ask Permission: You speech can also affirm your submitted position before him. One way to affirm this to him, and remind this to yourself, is to ask questions of him. Ask what he thinks of a matter, with real interest in his thoughts and understanding. Ask so you can find out his will and plan for the home. Learn to ask his permission for things you desire. Ask “May I,” when it is appropriate. This immediately puts him in an authority position, know his response if what gives you permission or not. Get in the habit of expressing your desires with simply suggestions, or just mention what you’d like to do. Learn to drop the language of command, and replace it with questions and suggestions. This not only is appropriate because he is your lord, but helps you to shape your soul into one that submits more easily, and embraces her position. When your man speaks, keep silent and do not ever interrupt. If you do — and I realize it’s hard to never do this — simply apologize sincerely and let him continue.

Plan to Help: Since you are his helper — and wonderfully designed inside and out for this role — set your mind to thinking of ways you can help him. How can you help him in the home? In his ministry work? In any of his projects? In helping him find joy, delight, and fulfillment? Put your mind and heart to helping your man. Think of the skills, knowledge, or experience you might have that would be useful to him. Just like you’d do for an employer, think of how you can be of help to him. If you recognize the ease with which most people can do this for a job they really want, slide right into that same pattern in doing it for your husband. It can be much easier than many imagine at first. You just have to want to do it.

Delete “No” from Your Vocabulary: Learn to communicate and respond to your man without saying “no.” It’s simpler than you think. Your word and your attitude towards your man is “yes,” since this reflects your desire to do his will. Drop any language of refusal. Your words and your mind will work cooperatively in learning not to refuse him, but to follow him without resistance. Start trying it now. It’s true, there may be times when it’s absolutely impossible to do what he instructs you, but you can meekly let him know it’s not possible, without bluntly refusing. Even then, show your desire to help, and show a willing attitude. Lovingly apologize if you’re truly unable to do something. Of course, you can refuse to do an act of evil, but this can be expressed in your need to be faithful to God, rather than a rejection of your man. Anyway, in most marriages that would not be a common occurrence, and in many years of our marriage, my wife has never had to refuse my command because it was wicked.

Give Apologies for Wrongs: In general, show your deference to his authority, and your humble heart, by being quick to apologize. It shows him you are not trying to place yourself above him, and it reminds you to be trying to help your husband, and not hinder him. It shows him your wonderful character to be able to apologize. Such an expression of humility can be gorgeous, and awe inspiring. It lets him know you are fully under him and are soft to his hands. He will deeply appreciate it. There are always cases when you’re not sure if something is wrong or not, but the safe thing, and the humble thing, is to offer an apology anyway. It shows you place yourself under his rule.

Submit Sexually, Never Refuse: Give yourself to him fully sexually. Do your best to meet his needs and desires in the marriage bed, and put yourself to making him fully satisfied. One cannot claim to want to be submissive while holding back in this physical and emotional side of belonging to your husband. A real shift can occur in some women in learning submission when they first learn to submit in bed, completely to their husband. Their sense of autonomy, separateness, and desire to take authority from their husband just dissolve almost by themselves in a wave of sexual union. The power he has over his wife in bed, as well as the unspeakable closeness they enjoy, help teach a woman to submit. It is a physical lesson in the spiritual. What she does in bed, in bending to his will, carries over to her attitudes the next day, week, and month, also in bending to his will. It deeply softens her to her lord.

Learn Your Lessons: If your man needs to discipline you, or even correct you verbally, take it as an important lesson to learn. Don’t take it as a burden, or a blow at you. Correction is not an act of aggression. It is an opportunity to learn to get better at what you desire to be — which is a godly and submissive wife. You may have to take a step down to be punished, and it can make you feel small momentarily, but receive it into your heart as a chance to be cleansed and made better. Learn to hate your wrong. Long for and look forward to the good you will do when the cleansing is over. Cooperate fully with him. He is responsible for you.

Each of these steps in your submission, and in your growth, will help you with the character and behavior you desire. They are appropriate in any marriage and most are not unique to discipline. Remember, if you stumble and all will, do not cease on your journey into humble submission. Each of these exercises can work to soften heart to your man. They each help you to know his command, and rightly respond to his words. You are the beautiful and gentle helper of your husband. You are the pure, holy picture of the redeemed people following Christ. This sounds like a burdensome task to women who have been raised and trained to rely on ego, to be loud and assertive, but there is nothing beyond you. It is God’s path for the woman, and is written into how He designed you, and written into His supernatural teaching in the Holy Bible. You are built for it, regardless of your background or your feelings at the moment. The walk in submission is peaceful and full of joy. I hope you are blessed by these steps in gaining it.


26 responses to “Practical Submission”

  1. Rachel Rigg Avatar
    Rachel Rigg

    Thank you so much for this post — it is practical and informative and reads like an instruction manual, which is precisely what I need. We are newer to CDD, and while the disciplining is profitable for me and I can tell it is slowly yielding dividends, I have been defiant and disobedient toward my husband for so long that I still find I occasionally feel miffed or irked when he asks or commands something of me. At least for now, I have gone from arguing with him or snapping at him to keeping my mouth shut and obeying him, and instead of arguing with him in my mind I pray; for me this IS progress. Also, I am so accustomed to making decisions without consulting him that I find overcoming this to be a bit of a challenge, but slowly I am working my way there, and your advice has been invaluable in my journey.

    As daughters of Eve, rebellion is innate in us women, and because we live in such a sin-soaked world I harbor no illusions that any of us will be perfectly obedient at all times. Certainly the Israelites were far from obedient, and naturally we can say the same of Christians. Sin is a struggle for everyone, and my biggest struggle is in being an obedient and submissive wife. All our struggles are so different (yet all result from sin) — I imagine my husband feels he struggles with being the leader and authority figure God calls him to be.

    No real, true, lasting change happens overnight or by flipping a switch; it takes a goodly bit of time and introspection to realize what’s truly important in this life and to learn how we should comport ourselves, especially when we have been immersed in such a misandrist society for so long. Raised neither as a feminist nor as a quiet submissive woman who understands the proper respect for male authority or headship, it is no wonder I struggle now with my identity! Thank goodness God knows our struggles and hears our prayers, and He answers us in His ways — possibly one of His ways is in these constructive posts on this indispensable website?? God bless!

    1. Thank you for those beautiful words. I definitely find insight in them. One thing I can see is that you recognize in your heart your own obstacles to submission, and know you need to take steps to learn submission. That is a real place of growth, and reflects humility.

      Yes, it is a journey, and old habits need to be overcome. I certainly don’t imagine that a wife will be able to take the steps I advise overnight and find immediate change, but she will grow as she seeks it. Her husband will help her by guiding and correcting her.

      It reminds me of the need we all have to recognize our own sin. Once we recognize it, then we can know we need Christ to deal with it. Trying to hide it or deny it prevents the cure. You recognize the streak of rebellion in your own heart, and put yourself in a place to allow correction and to learn to submit and live at peace under your man’s lead. I see it is grace that softens the heart.

  2. Yes! Aron, these are wonderfully helpful reminders for any woman seeking to live as God intended, pleasing her husband by showing him loving, respectful submission. I know I will return to this post often in the years to come when I need to meditate on how I can better serve my husband, the lord of our loving home.

    1. Great. Thank you. That is why I wrote it. God bless you.

  3. This is just beautiful and really spoke to my heart, well done! Thank you for writing this.

    1. Thank you very much. I hope you are blessed by this teaching in your life.

  4. iamhissubmissive60 Avatar

    Thank you Aron, that was all beautifully written, I enjoyed every word of it. I am learning so much from you, I have been doing alot of things wrong and I need to get things right. I need to go to my husband and tell him I am sorry, God has shown me a couple of areas where I have been rebellious and I need to stop and be soft to my husband’s lead. I tend to get upset and angry when he tries to tell me what I am doing wrong, I take it personal and until I read your words today about a wife needing to accept correction as a learning time and not be offended when our man has to discipline us either with words or a spanking, I still have a lot to learn Aron. Please pray for me, thank you in advance.

    1. I am very happy and honored that my article had such an effect. I know you will be rewarded by growing as a submissive wife, and your husband will see the fruits of it. I will pray for you both. Thank you.

  5. My husband instructed me to ask for permission for everything, even the smallest things, he believes that this is a daily training of my submission
    I am also not allowed to make final decisions, so that the rebellion that lives inside every woman does not grow in me
    He also believes that sexual submission is a fundamental part of the couple’s life, not just in the wife’s availability, but in positions, to maintain the wife’s submissive energy
    to say NO to my husband, or refusing to grant a request, a good behavior after a first alert are considered serious faults in our home

    1. Thanks for sharing how you do things, Nina. It sounds like your husband trains you very well, and that you are fully embracing your submission.

      My wife needs to ask me permission for anything major, and sometimes she’ll ask just because it’s safer to. I don’t require it for the smallest of matters though.

      I will post another article in not too long on the use of commands in sexual submission. A husband should not neglect this in leading his wife.

  6. I believe this article about use of commands in sexual will be very useful.

    my husband also believes that orgasm control can be very useful in teaching a wife to better control her emotions, Do you use this in your wedding? as an educational tool or as punishment?

    1. Hello Nina, I hope it will be useful. I do not use control over her pleasure during sex as a form of training. I have an article DD Practices I Do Not Use, and I include this among others. I don’t extend discipline into controlling basic functions, and I find the ordinary way with intimacy is to both share in pleasure.

      I already touch on the use of commands in Sex in Submission (Part 1), and I’ll focus more on them and go a little more in depth in the new article.

      Let me know if that answers your questions. Thank you.

  7. […] a great deal of time and patience,  my wife has learned how to become a submissive wife and obey her man.   She has been over my knee many times for some very severe […]

  8. thanks for your reply and your attention
    we like the blog a lot, we love it when there is a new post
    it’s good to know how other people deal with this lifestyle, since we don’t have much to talk about in our social cycle

  9. My husband also had me ask his permission before I do anything. He makes all the decisions for us. Slowly he is training me. I feel his dress code of only dresses and skirts also helps me become more gentle and quieter in my mind. You are correct, the key is learning your lesson from the correction your husband gives you.

    1. Each time I read this I learn something new. My main failing is being gentle in speech. I know that I talk too much and need to be silent now whilst he is speaking. I have tried holding my tongue but it is so hard. Any suggestions for speaking more gently and less often.

      1. Hello Anne, I believe the key for that is within you, in your own submission. That’s something your husband can specifically work on with you also. If there is any advice I could give, it is that trust will help you. That is trust in your husband to take care of something without your desired addition, as well as trust in God, that the situation is in his hands. You don’t need to feel compelled to alter it, or make sure everything happens just right.

        Understand that others are in control. Your man is in control, and it is a blessing you have his covering and his protection. Almighty God is in control, and knows more and is mightier than any of us. You can feel peace in both of those things, which I think will help you not want to butt in if your husband is speaking, or to possibly compete with or correct him.

        You don’t have the control. Know that there is great contentment in that.

    2. Very wonderful you always ask permission from Husband Anne. Always remember your Husband has the final say in everything and you must submit to his commands.

  10. […] by her words and show by her life what the message is. She teaches young women what it takes to learn submission, to attain that quiet of soul a biblical wife has. She teaches to learn humility, and how to accept […]

  11. Surrendering Tess Avatar
    Surrendering Tess

    Wow. A lot of food for thought here. I am definitely struggling with some of these areas and need to work on becoming more submitted to my husband.

    Yesterday we had a very trying evening with our extended family, and I tend to come to my parents defense. I got quite argumentative and my husband is taking some time to think about how to deal with the issue as it is a sensitive issue for both of us. I apologized, but I realize not in the best way. “I apologize if you think I was arguing too much”. It was sincerely meant but not very well put, and I see now that it’s not very contrite as I felt I wasn’t in the wrong, but realized he might think so. What a mess I am some times….

    I am grateful for these articles as they help me reflect on my attitudes and behaviors. Writing lines isn’t really something on my husband’s radar when it comes to discipline, but I find it helpful to write lines as a tool to focus on an area I need to improve on, so I often spend time writing just to help myself grow.

    I can see I still have a lot of pride I need to let go of, and with God’s help, my husband’s guidance and me doing my best I pray I will let go of it all and become the humble wife I need to be.

    1. Dear Surrendering Tess, I’m glad the article’s been helpful to you. I find some women grow up without such a clear idea of what it means to submit, so it’s important they have the knowledge to put it into practice. Even women who already have an idea, can always benefit from trying out new ways to express their submission. There are certainly other ways beyond the simple ones mentioned here. You have a wonderful aim in being a humble wife.

      1. Surrendering Tess Avatar
        Surrendering Tess

        Thank you. I don’t feel like I have grown up with an example of submission in this way, at least not very clearly, so it is a process trying to put away the integrated ways of thinking and renewing my mind and actions.

        I have apologized in a more sincere manner to my husband, and feel quite embarrassed I want able to handle the situation better. Hopefully when another situation comes up, I’ll have a more mature way of responding.

        Thanks for the opportunity to reflect and ponder.

  12. Heather Avatar

    Okay so it’s been less than a week since my husband and I started walking out this new page in our marriage. So I have only taken the very first steps to embrace submission in our home and it is quite likely that I have almost no idea what I’m talking about. But I so badly want to talk about it, one thing that is standing out to me is how yes, this culture really has trained both me and my husband to despise and suppress and view as silly and even dangerous this overwhelming desire to come as fully under him as possible. And for him to DARE think it is his place to discipline me for anything at all in any way at all. When he even knows that God has given him authority over me for something, but no idea for what. He knows and acknowledges like most Christians that he is my head, but he is not supposed to expect anything from me, no less demand anything from me. I am grateful that he is slowly pushing some of that off as he sees me pushing off the shame of being his subordinate.

    To this end what has occurred to me is that whenever I have heard it’s submission taught in any church context, it was a very passive submission. It was the submission of, if you and your husband can’t quite come to an agreement of something, after all other avenues are exhausted, you’ll have to consider him being allowed to make the final decision. Along the way you have a right to expect that he has treated you mostly like an equal, that he is really heard your perspective, and given it a huge amount of weight before deciding against it. And then you / me as the wife, grits her teeth, and resigns herself to the extreme unpleasantness that once in awhile and only if absolutely necessary because of an impasse, he gets it last to make a final decision.

    From where I am now this seems like a super watered down version of submission, ultimately not satisfying to anyone involved. For a wife who believes that she is essentially meant to be heard by her husband as maybe even more than equal, this ultimate trump card sort of thing seems like a concession to submission that could be made but is in the end quite the annoying imposition. It is definitely not inspiring to say the least, although it may make everyone feel they have given a nod to scriptural instruction in the matter, while satisfying the cultural requirements for the most part that the wife in general is seen as a fully liberated independent woman except for this one small occasional gesture.

    But that’s not what has happened here in the past week. Instead my heart and I believe the Holy Spirit to some degree has been taking me along a road not of passive submission where I have to submit when the need arises, but active submission. This makes sense to me, that all of my sense of my own power and strength as a woman and as a person would not just be subdued or denied, but that it would actively be turned towards my husband so that with the full degree that I formerly pursued my own voice for myself in disregard to him, I turn that same energy and strength towards embracing obedience and submission to him.. as it is written, “in all things.”

    So I’m not waiting for some command or decision that I must begrudgingly adhere to. Rather I seek his commands. I ask for his decisions. I think of my day and I consult with him as to how he would want me to proceed. I actively ask permission for things I perceive he may want some say on. I make sure my attention is turned towards his desires even when he will not be present with me. And I confess my failings to him and ask for his discipline, letting him know I have a strong need of it but ultimately letting him decide what his judgments will be.

    I feel like years and years of spankings are due me, would be good for me, at this moment I can’t imagine disputing with him or making any excuse to get out of a spanking because I would rather take a spanking for no reason whatsoever than to be without chastisement at this point, and I certainly don’t want to purposely do anything wrong to get a spanking because that would defeat the whole point of what this is: rectifying the displacement of my husband’s rightful place, evoking and stirring his own dormant sense of leadership, and the restoration of what it means for me to fear him and fear the Lord in righteousness in my marriage. This whole thing feels like a damn breaking forth, cravings and desires and lust mixed with fulfillments in my husband’s holy authority and love. It is really too much and I feel a little bit obsessed in the moment as this damn breaks forth of all this new passion and beauty. It is a gift to be able to run with this desire, and to know that the Lord is for it and not against it and that it is right.

    What occured to me yesterday too is that sex is worship, that it always has been worship. Pagans and Greece and Rome had their Temple prostitutes where twisted unspeakable sexual things were done before their false gods. But our God also expects sex to be offered in worship; as a single person my sex was offered to the Lord in the sacrifice of abstinence. And now as a married person, I glorify and worship the Lord by always being willing to receive my husband taking what is his, and offering to him what is his. Not that I don’t enjoy it also! But as an offering placed on the altar is consumed with fire, I now desire that my husband might consume me entirely, in real life with his commands and his instruction and his will and his discipline, as well as with his love and tenderness.

    I would like to be punished if I ever hold anything back from him, but I also want to be punished if I fail to offer anything to him. So to sum up what I am perceiving is that it is my duty and privilege to actively, and not just passively, submit. I pray I don’t run too far into this in any wrong way but I do enjoy the opportunity to take my fill of what is good in this newfound realization of the beauty that my husband is allowed and even ought to take authority over me, and that I can have that as I actively surrender to him.

    Thank you for this post Aron.

    1. That is a very good analysis of it. Churches soften headship and submission to the point nearly of denying it, and some do deny it. Being submissive involves needing to obey commands, and follow the rules. It offers no attitude, and it does not resist.

      However, being husband and wife, submission is not total silence either. A wife can give her counsel, and offer her opinion, as a godly woman. A husband will naturally not need to ask his wife about a number of matters, and she will just need to respond with obedience immediately. However, there are SOME issues he will want to discuss with her. That does not make her equal in role or position, but reflects the fact that he cares about her feelings, and wants to hear what knowledge she has to offer.

      What churches don’t make clear is that it is real authority and obedience in marriage, and a wife must obey. Her husband is her lord. They soften that either because they’re afraid of offending people, or because privately they just don’t believe it. It needs to be said, and be said clearly. It’s very good you desire to submit, and to do so fully.

      Yes, sex is communion between body and soul of man and wife. It is very much like worship. Sex is a kind of sacrament, and carries with it a reflection of the intimate union God has with man. There is a certain loss of self. A surrender. There is a body and a sacrifice. That union, like the union with God, comes with the possibility of new life — with children springing forth from their love, and being a divine miracle. They have life for the future, down through generations, because of the worship that occurs in sex.

      1. Heather Avatar

        Thanks Aron for making sure that it doesn’t get left in the shuffle that a woman is a full thinking person with ideas and viewpoints and logic to offer her husband (and others!). I can see how my words might be read that she has no role to share her heart and opinions and nor share these things with her husband, definitely was not what I was trying to get across but only that he gets the right to make a decision whether she feels she was adequately heard or not. I would hope he wants to hear her but still he is in charge. But I can see how that got lost and it’s an important thing to not get lost in the discussion.

    2. “WITH this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow….”

      From the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony,

      I am not Anglican, but I saw this I think in a biography of CS Lewis.

      Heather you always inspire me.



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