To the Girl Not Sold on Submission in Marriage…


Dear Skeptical Girl,


I’ve been meaning to write this post to you for a while…basically since the day after I posted my first blog post about submission in marriage. I totally get that it might have seemed like a weird concept, and I understand why you’re not sold on the whole idea, yet. I even understand if you’re a little angry at what I wrote. I was angry too, at first. I was so so so angry that women actually thought that they had to be less than their husbands. What made our men so amazing that they got to be the ones to lead? I’ve always been a better planner and organizer than my husband, so doesn’t it make sense that I should lead? Besides, he isn’t a perfect leader! I’m just as good as him, so we should both be equal in this marriage, and everything should be 50/50. It’s the 21st century!


Trust me, I thought ALL of the things listed above and more. I understand what you’re feeling if you’re not so happy about the whole idea of submitting to your husband. I get it. But that doesn’t mean I agree with you.


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I want to let you know that stepping back and letting your husband take the lead doesn’t make you insignificant or unimportant. 


Embracing submission in marriage doesn’t mean that the two of you aren’t equal. It’s not even so much about submitting to your husband as it is about submitting to the fact that God made husbands and wives to be different. We aren’t the same physically, mentally, or emotionally. And that’s totally fine! We were meant to compliment each other instead of feeling the need to compete with each other. Think of all the things that your husband is good at that you aren’t great at. Think of all the things you rock at that your husband just isn’t good at. That’s because men and women were created equally but not identically.


Ephesians 5:22-24 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.


Study the verses above. God made marriage as a union to mirror the relationship that He has with the church. Would you walk into church trying to steal all the spotlight from God? Would you ever try to tell the Lord that you don’t feel like being lead because it’s the 21st century, and you’re an independent woman? Probably not! 😉 It’s time that we take the passage above to heart. It starts in your own marriage, my friend. It’s not about stepping aside to be a slave, but encouraging your husband to lead your family toward God’s great plan. It’s about finding a way to be a loving, kind, mild wife even when your husband isn’t necessarily being the nicest guy on the planet. It’s all about giving our spouse grace and the room to lead our family the way Christ leads the church!


And in a marriage where God is present, you can rest assured that your husband isn’t going to take advantage of you. Your godly husband loves and respects you.



Related:  When You Can’t Find the Better in “For Better or Worse”


Respect and love are the keys to making submission in marriage work. I wouldn’t feel comfortable submitting to my husband if he didn’t value that act and love me with his whole heart in return. My deepest need, as a woman, is to be loved unconditionally and cherished wholeheartedly. His deepest need, as a man, is to be respected and valued by me. By submitting to my husband and being a noble wife to him, I am fulfilling that need. The same thing goes for you in your marriage. It’s all about giving each other what we need instead of withholding or being too scared to jump in with letting our men lead.


I don’t want this letter to be a billion words long, but I do want to make sure that I get one last thing across. I’ve received a few not so nice comments on blog posts or on social media (it’s all good!), so I’m aware that this isn’t the most popular stance. I don’t care if it’s popular or “acceptable.” Right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of popularity. Girl, I don’t want to scare you away or be too harsh, but I needed a wake-up-call, and maybe you do too. It’s time that we look to God’s Word for how to navigate our marriages, and it’s time that we stop trying to fit His Word into our own happy box. God is too powerful to be fit into our earthly box, and God says clearly to submit to our husbands.


If you’re still on the fence, I encourage you to dig into some more material on this topic. Don’t just shrug it off and say it’s not for you. This isn’t for someone else’s marriage, this is for all marriages! Maybe, the way I’m coming across just isn’t right for you. No big deal, just keep trying. Dig into the Word, find a mentor to speak with, read more on the topic, talk to your husband, pray about it, do something. Too many marriages are stuck in a lukewarm or cold place, and it’s well past time to make a change. Love you, girl.




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  • Reply
    July 3, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Me and my boyfriend are catholic and practising chastity before marriage. I would like to introduce the concept of submission in marriage, but he doesn’t seem to be open to it. I once made the suggestion to hear a podcast about marriage , where the subject of submission and authority was latently adressed. He commented on it as outdated.
    However, I’m to shy to tell him directly what I want for our relationship and I’m also anxious to tell him, because I do have the fear that he would use me and to lose his respect for me. But I am sure that I want this for my future marriage and I want to find out if he’s in for it.
    What would you recommend to do?
    Also, lately I have become very bratty sometimes, because I want him to take kind of charge of our relationship and to lead.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2016 at 9:31 am

    This is SO beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! I find it peaceful and joyful knowing that God made the heirarchy the way He did. That we submit to God first, then to our husbands. I continue to pray that my husband will be a leader in Christ and lead me and our family as Christ leads his bride.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      December 31, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks so much for your support and taking the time to comment! What a beautiful prayer!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Totally agree with everything you said here Carisa! God created men and women equal but purposefully different and we can’t ignore this. God has a much better plan in mind. It might be hard to put our pride aside in order to do this, but God’s ways are truly better for everyone in the end. What a huge responsibility and opportunity to showcase the submission of Christ to God! Thank you for speaking the truth, even when it’s hard (or unpopular) to do so! 🙂

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you so much for your support! Submission is a daily struggle, but it’s so important!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Wonderful article. I just went through reading the love and respect book and it’s amazing how much our men need our respect! Striving to be the wife God intended and after going through pricillas shirers fervent battle plan of prayer for women I’m praying more for my husband and our marriage then I ever have. Can’t wait to read more of your articles. This is the first one I’ve come across via Pinterest. Keep up the courage to writing biblical truths instead of what people want to hear.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      October 5, 2016 at 12:12 am

      What book is that? Sounds interesting! Thanks so much for the encouragement 🙂

  • Reply
    September 22, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    What a great post! My boyfriend and I were actually discussing this very thing the other day. Recently, we have been discussing getting married and what that might look like. This specific concept of being a “submissive wife” has always raised my hackles a bit. I come from a background with a very controlling and domineering father and as a very strong, independent, opinionated woman who has been on her own for almost a decade now, the thought of becoming submissive to anyone ever again made me boil. As we were discussing this very important issue, however, my boyfriend voiced this concept in such a loving and eloquent way that it made me pause and reconsider my stance on the matter. His view was this: God made men the head of the household not because women aren’t capable, but because women are the caretakers and “glue” of the family. Even now, in our society of non-conformity in regard to gender roles and feminism inclinations, women are still the primary caretakers of the children and household affairs. This puts women in a position to be more biased and less critical when it comes to making the difficult family decisions. This does not denote weakness, but rather is a proven fact that people who are extremely invested and close to a situation can’t always see or strictly follow the correct path. Men typically are physically and possibly emotionally removed enough from the heart of the household that making the tough decisions is less stressful and painful than it would be for a woman who had to be the caretaker and the enforcer and protector. God did not make men the head of the household as an insult or punishment to women, but rather as a loving act to prevent needless suffering. Men are the head and women are the heart and both are equally important and necessary for a household and family to run smoothly and happily.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      September 23, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Yes yes and more yes! I totally agree with you, and you said it beautifully! I love your perspective on how we are the caretakers and probably too close to some situations!

  • Reply
    Becca B.
    September 9, 2016 at 10:36 am

    This is a beautiful suggestion but unsurprisingly scoffed at in this selfish age. It’s all about me, me, me!!! My success, my life, my rules, my emotions – MINE!

    My boyfriend and I are not married and we have a 14 month old baby together. I have really been delving into God’s word since the baby because, to be honest, I had put Him on the back burner for a decade because I was selfishly living for me. My entire worldview has changed now because I am partly responsible for helping to cultivate someones soul. My biggest mission in life is showing my son God’s truth.

    I have asked God to help me be the girlfriend and mother that He have me be. I was raised by a single mom with ferociously independent ways and they sure did rub off. She never dated while I was growing up but now in my adult life she has a husband that she lovingly submits to. If only, I got to see that growing up! It is so refreshing to see her in that way now. It’s downright beautiful. My dad was in my life but always distracted by a slew of girlfriends so I got to see many failed relationships. My parents relationships or lack-thereof shaped my ideas about what is should look like.

    After many of my own failed relationships, God sent the most patient and loving man I know. He had been right under my nose the past 10 years! I feel God-led about submission because I know my true nature and it is not to be led!!! I have a severe and occasionally debilitating ‘I can do it myself’ mentality. With daily prayer, I now take pleasure in allowing my boyfriend to lead our family. I do sometimes still fight it and want control but I am so much more aware of what I am doing and the ways that it is destructive!

    I cant wait to be married and call him my husband. I am waiting on Gods perfect timing as I will not push him into marriage. I know we did things out of order but until then, I will keep asking God to help our little family seek to do His will. I am so grateful we have been given instruction from His word that helps us to be what He wants us to be. He didn’t design the family the way He did because He’s mean and unloving. It was with purpose and I am daily in awe of His magnificence. Thanks for your post. It’s so refreshing in this grossly self-obsessed world.

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      September 18, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      I am so glad that you took the time to comment! Keep digging into God’s word and discover what he desires of you now as a girlfriend, and later as a wife! Stick close to God above all else, and I believe that you will find true happiness in your role as he designed!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    *midnight musings*

    So then there was that time I became a mother to two little boys. And I realized how much anxiety I will have over what will become of them when it comes to finding a wife and beginning a family. I couldn’t want anything more than a submissive wife for my boys when they become men and husbands. A wife who respects his leadership role and recognizes that he was MADE to be in that position. One who doesn’t challenge or belittle him. A strong woman who can keep a safe, well-run household and take on raising the kids so that her husband can focus on providing for the family physically and spiritually. So to those still questioning who may have beautiful little boys at home who skin their knees and make mud pies, what kind of daughter-in-law would you want for your son?

    • Reply
      Carisa Alford
      September 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      That’s such a good question for us all to ask!

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