Practical Headship

It is easy to speak in big and broad language about a man’s headship in marriage. It takes getting into smaller matters to really put it into practice. Just as we’ve looked at how a woman can live out her submission towards her husband daily, I want to spend some time with how a man practices headship daily. There are significant steps he can take to make it easier for him to lead, and for his wife to follow. His wife will get used to seeing them, and know immediately how to follow him, and more easily step into her own place of gentle submission.

To begin with, before acting on your authority, the man needs to realize he has that authority. It is a real position. He doesn’t have to earn it. He doesn’t have to have special skills. He doesn’t have to take classes in rhetoric. He already has it. That means he is the one to set the goals, make the rules; he gives instructions, commands which must be obeyed, and corrects his wife when needed. The husband carries that position with him every day regardless of how great his performance has been, and regardless of whether much of the world denies he has it. He is not in a position to impress his wife to get her to obey, but is in a position to govern her and the whole household. A man needs to accept and take hold of his authority. 

Just as a husband sets goals for his life, he will set goals for his household and for his wife. He should be very clear with his wife what those goals are, and what kind of household he will run. He should let her know what his expectations are for her. That includes how she handles money, her dress, her behavior, or any special tasks he has her to do. Any boss at work knows that he sketches out a plan and gives responsibilities to his assistant, and a husband does much the same; he has an assistant as well. That is his wife. She is his helpmeet, and from day one in marriage, should want to work to help him. So he needs to give her the means, and specific direction of how to help, as well as work on growing her skills, and growing her as a virtuous woman. That means he ought to instruct her in this from the start, verbally, or in writing if necessary, being confident that she will do his will.

On that note, it is important to remember, that what you expect of your wife will grow and change with time. Standards develop. As a husband grows as a man of God, his standards in some areas certainly will increase. Likewise, some things he thought necessary, or very important at the start will not seem so later. He is running the ship and over time will be flexible, and add more and change with newer understanding, or as necessity dictates. This is normal. Similarly, do not expect to meet all of your goals at once. Some matters take time and learning, so you can set a timeframe for them, and initiate them over the time that you need. It takes time for your wife to learn. Certain standards can also be brought in step by step. 

It is good that your wife know what her responsibilities are. They may include caring for the home, making purchases, handling other financial matters, hosting guests, and caring for the children. It is natural that early in marriage, before children come along, and before more than one child comes along, a wife has more time, and can handle more new activities. However, as she grows more involved in caring for the children, naturally, judge what other responsibilities are truly necessary and which are not. Be a little more lenient with her not getting things done, or being a little late with things, since it becomes an impossibility to do everything when a wife is extremely busy. I generally give my wife a reminder if she has forgotten something, or had to put something off out of necessity. However, if I see she is simply ignoring responsibilities I have given her, or procrastinating in a prolonged fashion, I will punish her, and she gets back on the ball.

Speaking is very important in your leadership of your wife. This is something I emphasize many times in this discipline guide. In leading your wife, keep your speech clear and focused on the point of the matter. Do not drift into feminized speech, as much of the culture has gone. Each of your words has meaning and she should know what it is. Be sure to speak in command language as well. There may be times for suggestions, and there may be time for polite requests, but when you lead your wife, she should know the difference between a command and a mere suggested idea. Use imperative language. You can say “Do this.” You can alternately say, “You need to do this,” or “I need you to do this,” or something very similar. That lets her know she is receiving words that must be obeyed, and that she is responsible before you to do it. If you want to say something is true, so that it “is.” Don’t say that it may be, might be, or could be. You are not a relativist, and you should not be shy of truth claims. 

One helpful method of keeping your wife on her path, and responding well to you, is to give her regular reviews. Plan a short time to go over her responsibilities, as well as to see how they are going. Let her self assess to some degree, and see if she has failed in some area, and show that she has gotten her work done. Have her discuss her coming duties she will do in the week or month before the next review. Some husbands have a review time which is a simple discussion. Others have it in a similar fashion as a discipline session, but without the discipline. She is to appear before you, undress, and have her review on her knees. You may also have her review her speech, to see that it has been respectful and meek, both to you, and towards others. Since many wives err in the area of speech, I believe many husbands will find that element of the review helpful. While you have her self assess, you also assess her. If there is anything she needs to improve on, but is not a matter for punishment, go over it with her. Let her know where she has done well also. Give her verbal corrections as needed. Express your confidence in her that she will continue to do well, and your appreciation for all of her work.

Naturally, the subject of this website itself plays a role in practical headship. You should be regularly guiding your wife by correcting her. She needs to hear that. It helps her have direction and to stay in line. It also helps her respect you. Your wife needs to know what the rails are, and to really understand it is wrong to step out of line. If you see behavior begin to drift in the wrong direction, correct her. For small matters, that could be a gentle verbal correction, or if needed a stern verbal correction and warning. For the larger ones, such as disobedience, bad mouth, dishonesty, and other offenses, give her a sound spanking without waiting too long to do it. Lecture her firmly and spank her hard. She needs to know the seriousness of stepping out of line, and the harm it brings to the home. She also needs to know you are her lord, something that is easy to forget with the passage of time, with friendship, and with daily familiarity. A spanking will assure she remembers her submissive position, and bring more gentleness and meekness to her heart. 

A wise husband will lead his wife by keeping her submissive sexually. If you have not started, it is never too late. Learning sexual submission is one of the most valuable things for a woman in learning daily submission to her husband. You should be intimate with her regularly, express to her your strength, as well as your tenderness, and your complete knowledge of her body. Have her learn to serve you sexually at will, without resistance. This can take the form of having her give head when you tell her, or fulfill other sexual duties. You may have her undress, pose as you wish her to pose, bend over, and give herself to you as you wish. A wife who finds she can easily do this for her husband, following his commands, and doing her best to please him with her body, will find it easy to do his will otherwise. It establishes her deeply in a submissive mindset. It helps her learn to look at her man as her king and to obey him.

Leadership is not a far-off skill or a rare one. Men are bult for it, and nearly any man can learn to do it well. When you get married you take on that position when you say, “I do” and you start living it right out of the starting gate. You should have been preparing with your wife for those roles even before you were married. It is easy to write off these responsibilities because of the effort they require, but that is destructive, and is a wrongful shirking of duties. Live out your headship, guide your wife, and if you are unsure about how, some of the methods I have reviewed here will help you. Instruct your wife in the goals of your marriage, and in her particular duties. Speak clearly and with command language. Review her behavior, and correct her with words and discipline. Keep her loving, soft, and submissive in bed, so she knows to serve you at well. You are ultimately responsible for your wife. That includes that she does her job and that she is a virtuous woman. Do not fail to put your effort into your job. The rewards for you are a more joyous home and a fulfilling marriage for both of you. The rewards for all of us are more godly women.

NOTE: Thank you to whomever is sharing my link on Tumblr. I’ve been getting some viewers from over there. I encourage others who want to share the right order in marriage, and the use of discipline, to post the link online, anonymously if you wish to be safe. I’ve seen many couple begin discipline within only the four-plus years I’ve been running this website. We want to see more.


7 responses to “Practical Headship”

  1. Monica Avatar

    Everything you wrote goes along with my experience serving my husband. It’s not enough that God decided that my husband is the head of our family. My husband imposes his authority on a daily basis and constantly communicates his rules and decisions very clearly. I don’t think his leadership would be nearly as strong if he didn’t make this commitment. It’s a lot of work for him but I’m grateful.

    Every evening we meet and he reviews my behavior that day and sets his expectations for the next day: chores and tasks that I need to do, personal things that I need to work on, diet, exercise and sometimes clothing. It keeps me on course and keeps our family running smoothly.

    Like you said, he corrects my behavior and punishes me when necessary. But he also is generous in praising my behavior and rewarding me in different ways. It’s a good balance between carrot and stick.

    1. aronhusband Avatar

      Hello Monica, Thank you for explaining how your husband leads you. He sounds very clear and thorough in his management of your work. Some husbands will be more or less detailed in their oversight, but either way it needs to be done, and it assures a woman knows what is expected, and whether she is meeting the goals. I’m glad your marriage is blessed with his attentive guidance.

    2. Sophia Avatar

      Monica, you are a treasure to your husband and an example for all wives. Wishing you continued blessings under the sovereign authority of your husband!

  2. Sophia Avatar

    Aron, as you are helping men learn how to govern their wives by providing such detailed advice, you are truly honoring God. He calls His men to exercise headship in marriage, and those who heed His call are happier for it. Men would do well to listen to you and follow your example.

    My own gentle submission and (generally) good behavior are a direct result of my loving husband’s careful oversight of me. I don’t believe that I would be in God’s good graces right now were it not for the training he has provided me as he practices holy headship in our marriage. This includes providing clear expectations for me and regular feedback on my behavior and duties, along with pointed warnings when necessary. Because God designed women to need the care of a husband, these actions alone do not always guarantee my obedience, and so I am firmly and righteously punished, a bit more often than I would care to admit.

    But my husband’s spankings never generate resentment or bitterness on my part. Once my tears have dried and my shame has faded, I can enjoy the balm of his forgiveness and the peace of his love, knowing that the fires he lit on my poor bottom are nothing compared to the fires of hell. The tenderness I feel in the days that follow reminds me that I have a sinful nature, as do all daughters of Eve, and God’s mighty vengeance is all I should truly be afraid of. A spanking from my husband, even a rough one, is well within my capacity to endure, but spending eternity without the light of God’s love would be unbearable. As long as I remain under the authority of my husband, I’m confident that I’ll never know that type of torture.

    In the here and now, my husband’s leadership provides peace and harmony in our home. I pray that more men will find the God-given strength within them to govern their wives as He commands and that they will allow their feminine hearts to soften in response, just as He has designed them to do. Don’t be afraid to command your wife! Deep within her, she will feel the pull to respond to your authority with obedience and submission. Those feelings may unsettle her at first, but she knows they are genuine. If you stay firm, your lovely wife will soon bend to your will. I secretly believe there are more wives longing for the structure of clear boundaries and stern consequences than there are husbands willing to provide it for them. Take a chance and watch how she responds to her man. Don’t ask. Don’t say please. Command your wife as God has commanded you.

    1. aronhusband Avatar

      Hello Sophie, Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and giving a good word of encouragement to men. So many men today don’t have a clear idea of what leadership in marriage looks like, and others are simply afraid to apply it. I do hope the ideas I offer will give the guidance and help men need to take charge of their wife. Getting down to the specifics of how it is done definitely matters, even if there may be some variety. You need those specifics to put it into practice. I love to see more men begin to lead their wives.

      I hope you and your family are greatly blessed.

  3. EmmieKate Avatar


    I’ve been reading and studying your essays daily for some time now and I wanted to thank you. What you’re doing is hard, time-consuming work but it is so helpful to those of us who wish to learn. There are not very many good, wholesome, Christian resources teaching true hoh leadership and wifely submission and obedience. I have tried to find different resources to supplement what you write, but I find most extremely disappointing, and either veering too far into a slavery mindset or otherwise being offensive or pornographic. I think it’s a sad state of affairs that a woman who truly wants to be a good wife and learn to grow in her traditional marriage and be more submissive and obedient to her husband can’t readily access volumes of materials like yours. You’re a true leader and I am grateful for your ministry.

    I’ve noticed that since I began faithfully reading your essays, my behavior is changing and I’m growing in my submission. My husband seems pleased and proud of me. He told me that other day that he was happy to see that my training was working. I’ve also started to be disciplined less often (although it is still not an uncommon occurrence, unfortunately). When I am disciplined now, it is usually because I have forgotten my place and have been snappy and rude with him in response to his telling me what to do or correcting me verbally. I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m trying, and your writings are helping immensely.

    Your article on practical submission for wives is one I’ve read many times, and I recently called it to my memory and put it into action with respect to giving a heartfelt apology soon after making a misstep. It worked just as you predicted it would, and more importantly, it softened and humbled me to respectfully apologize. In the past, I would have ignored my transgression, hoping that it would be forgotten. My husband is kind and gentle, and does not always discipline me when I make verbal missteps by being snappy with him. He often lets it go. What I hadn’t realized though, was that I have a role in this process and it isn’t solely his responsibility to correct me — I should be able to self-correct when I realize that I’ve made a mistake. If I ignore my missteps when they happen, I’m allowing the disrespect to continue and fester and I’m probably reinforcing bad behavior in myself. Even if he doesn’t punish me in the moment, he deserves an apology when I know that I’ve been rude or disrespectful in my tone or words to him, and as hard as it may be to do in the moment, I realize now that I should be self-correcting when this happens, by finding the humility and respect to humble myself to him quickly and apologize when this happens, articulating what I did wrong, sincerely apologizing and telling him that I will try harder. I am hoping that by instituting this new self-corrective attitude, I will help in my own training, and find that this behavior stops occurring.

    Thank you so much for the ministry you are providing here. I know from experience that it is changing lives and marriages. I hope that you will let me know if you think I am misunderstanding or misapplying your teachings.

    1. aronhusband Avatar

      You’re welcome, EmmieKate. I am very happy that you are rewarded by my writings, and that they help you as you grow in submission. That is my aim through my work. I love to see marriages improve, and see more men and women recognize the truth. If you have any questions about how you apply the teachings, feel free to write my e-mail, or ask me here. Blessing.

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