Biblically, What’s the Role of Women in Society and Marriage?

Biblically What's the Role of Women in Society and Marriage

This is the 6th article in our series about marriage.  In the previous article, we answered the question: Does God View Women as the (Social/Political) Equals of Men? (We weren’t talking about intrinsic worth; merely their role in society.) Based on a mountain of passages, we concluded that He doesn’t.

But that begs the question: What is the role of women in society?  A closely related question that we’ve been dancing around is “what is the role of women in marriage?

We’ll examine those now.

(Note: We’ll won’t spend much time on the role of men in society and marriage because more context is needed.  We’ll look at the man’s role in greater detail in the 8th article in this series.  This article was reorganized and expanded in early April 2023.)


Homemakers Only?

There is a sect of Christians who believe a woman belongs at home and nowhere else.  They say women should be raising children, keeping the home, and doing absolutely nothing else.

However, that’s not quite what Scripture teaches.

In a moment, we’ll examine the primary roles that the Bible lays out for women.  However, just because they’re the primary roles, doesn’t mean they’re the only roles.  The Bible is clear on the primary roles, but equally clear that other (secondary) roles are available to a woman who want them, assuming she doesn’t shirk her primary roles.  (And assuming her husband allows it, as we saw in a previous article on Authority and submission in marriage.)


The Primary Role of Men and Women According to God

In Genesis, God gives a reason/purpose for creating man and a different one for creating woman.  Afterwards God gave them both the same command.  Different stated purposes, same command.  (Note: as we already covered in the article on the “Why of submission in marriage, men and women were created to glorify God by imitating Him.  The roles below are how we do that.)

We’ll briefly discuss the purpose God had in mind when He created Adam.  Afterward, we’ll look at Eve’s purpose.  Finally we’ll look at the commands God gave to both of them.


Adam’s Purpose

In the Garden of Eden – before the fall and Eve’s creation – God gave the man (Adam) a purpose.

Genesis 2:15-18

15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

God put Adam in the garden “to cultivate it and keep it”.  That’s a statement of purpose; of reason.  That was Adam’s original mandate, given to him before Eve was created.   God placed Adam on the earth to “cultivate it and keep it”, a command God nowhere repeated to Eve.  That’s likely because it was Adam’s purpose, while Eve had a different purpose.

We’ll go much deeper into man’s role and what this means in the article after next.  (We need to discuss more biology and the interplay between the sexes more before we delve into the husband’s role.)


Eve’s Purpose

While God gave Adam and Eve the same commands, the stated purpose for their creation is quite different.

Genesis 2:18

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Adam’s purpose was to “cultivate and keep” the garden (the Earth).  Eve’s purpose was two-fold:

  1. Make sure Adam wasn’t alone.
  2. Help Adam.

Those two things are Eve’s purpose; they are the reason she was created, just as we saw in the article on the “why” of submission in marriage.


God’s Command to both Adam and Eve

Genesis 1:15-18

27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Here are the commands:

  1. Be fruitful (have lots of kids)
  2. Multiply (have lots and lots of kids)
  3. Fill the earth (Have so many children that you fill the whole earth)
  4. Rule over every living thing.

Notice that God repeated the command to have children three times.  Clearly, having children is important to God.  Also notice that “God said to them“; this command was directed at both Adam and Eve, not just Adam.


To summarize:

  • Adam’s purpose
    • Cultivate and keep the garden (We’ll look at the post-fall application to men in the article about the man’s role)
  • Eve’s Purpose
    • Make sure Adam isn’t alone
    • Help Adam
  • God’s command to both
    • Multiply and fill the earth (3x times)
    • Rule over every living creature. (Which we’ll ignore here because it’s not relevant to this particular discussion.)


The Three Primary Roles for Women

From the list above, we can extract the three primary roles that God intended for women:

  1. Make sure man isn’t alone = she should get married.
  2. Help man = she should be a good (supportive) wife and help her husband however she can, especially taking care of his home and raising his children.
  3. Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth = she should bear and help raise her husband’s children.

I’m not alone in this either.

I’m channeling God’s commands through the apostle Paul.  The context is about what younger widows should do, but I’ve yet to hear an argument that makes this verse inapplicable to other younger unmarried women.

1 Timothy 5:14 

14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

The order is different than the list above list, but it has the same items because those are a woman’s primary roles.  Marry, bear her husband’s children, and help their husband however she can, especially by managing his home.

The Greek word that’s translated “desire” above is “βούλομαι” (boulomai) and here’s a copy/paste of what it means:

Cognate: 1014 boúlomai – to plan with full resolve (determination). See 1012 (boulē).

1014 /boúlomai (“resolutely plan”) is a strong term that underlines the predetermined (and determined) intention driving the planning (wishing, resolving).

This isn’t just “I want/desire”, it’s much stronger than that.  A translation of “I’m determined” or “I’m resolved” would capture the force of the Greek better.

That isn’t the only place the Bible teaches these roles for women either:

Titus 2:3-5

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,

4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Again, this list contains similar items, only with slightly different wording.  It assumes the woman is married, so that’s #1.  Verse 5 has “workers at home” and “being subject to their own husbands”, which is item #2 on our list.  And “love their children” clearly indicates that children are present, which is item #3 on the list.

Those are a woman’s primary roles.  However, the Bible never says they must be her only roles.  In fact, it directly infers the opposite.  Yet despite this, the primary roles are clear and should remain primary.

To any woman reading this: those three things (marrying, being a good/supportive wife and bearing your husband’s children) should be your primary focus (second to God of course).  If you are a Christian woman who does those thing to the best of your ability, you can look forward to hearing “Well done my good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your master.”

However, just because those things are a woman’s primary roles, doesn’t mean they are her only roles.

Just like men, women have gifts, talents, hobbies, and interests that they can – and should – pursue.  They should never put them before their primary God-given roles, but they absolutely should pursue them! 

I venture to say most men aren’t after a mindless drone who makes babies.  We want a smart, talented wife who not only works hard, but plays hard and pursues her interests.  Such women shouldn’t pursue them to the exclusion of their primary roles, but they absolutely should pursue them.

There are only a couple of requirements on women’s behavior in the scriptures, and these are to ensure that she remains inside the roles God gave her.  As long as a woman falls inside the (broad) guidelines, she’s free to do whatever she wants… as long as she has her husband’s or father’s permission (as we saw in the previous article in this series).

We’ll look more closely at the three primary roles now, and afterward look at the few restrictions that God has placed on women.


Role #1: Make sure man isn’t alone = get married

This is the simplest in theory, but it can be harder in practice because there are fewer and fewer good Christian men to marry these days.


Finding a good Christian husband

The first thing a woman who’s looking for a husband should do is pray; a lot.  That should always be the first step.

Secondly, remember the previous article in this series and she should get her father involved.  In the modern world, it’s not legal for him to simply pick her husband.  However, she should definitely get his approval before marrying anyone, or even dating someone.  It’s not a bad idea to ask him who he thinks would be a good husband for her.

Now, many women don’t have their fathers in their lives, and that’s unfortunate.  It would still be a good idea to see the advice of a trusted older man for reasons that will become obvious in the next article in this series.

Third, a woman should make sure that she’s attractive as a wife, and I’m not talking about just physically.  She should focus on being a godly woman who a good Christian man would want to marry.  That includes things like learning the skills she needs to be a good wife, mother, and homemaker.  It means improving herself and becoming a better person.  Above all it means putting God first in everything and learning to seek Him first in every situation.  (Those last two apply to both men and women)

As for specifically where she could find a man, it depends.  Possibly your local church, but maybe not.  Friends of the family of course, friends of friends/your network, and there are apps and websites as well.  I’m not necessarily recommending anything in specific, but there are a lot of options to explore.  I’ll leave that topic to those who are better informed on it though.


“What about ‘career women’?”

Some women want to pursue a career instead of getting married.  However, that is an explicit rebellion against what God commanded and also against the purpose for which He created women.  God literally created woman to be man’s companion, so a woman who says “I won’t be a man’s companion” can’t fulfill her purpose; her reason for existing.  Further, such a woman is violating the clear command of God in Scripture.

In fact, such a woman is being outright rebellious.

To be clear: career women are failures in the eyes of God.

They are disobedient and rebellious.  They are shirking their primary roles and ignoring God’s command, and thus are more-or-less giving God “the finger”.

And to be clear, this does not apply to an unmarried woman who wants to get married, she just can’t find a husband and so needs to support herself.  That’s a completely different story.  It’s also not about when money is tight so a wife gets a job to supplement her husband’s income.  (That’s not ideal, but can happen.)

This doesn’t apply to that.

Not at all.

This applies to women who intentionally choose to have a career instead of getting married.

Again: women who choose to focus on having a career instead of getting married are rebelling against the command of God in scripture.

However, that begs an obvious question:


“So, can a woman work at all?”

Many patriarchal Christians would cite the phrase “to manage their household” in 1 Timothy 5:14 and/or the phrase “workers at home” in Titus 2:4 (both quoted above) to say that women can only work at home.

However, they have forgotten about Proverbs 31.

One of the biggest dangers when interpreting the Bible is making a verse say more than it actually does.  Yes, “manage their household” and “workers at home” is required, but nowhere does it say that that wives must “only manage their household” or “only be workers at home“.  In fact, Proverbs 31 gives the impression that some work is not only acceptable, but also a good thing.

Here are some excerpts from Proverbs 31, and we’ll start with some context from earlier in the proverb.

Proverbs 31:10

10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.

This verse sets the tone for the following verses.  The things that follow are examples of what an excellent wife does.  It doesn’t mean that she must do all these things.  However, these are things an excellent wife certainly can do.

Verses 11-12 talk about how she supports her husband.  Again, notice that the primary roles are primary.

Proverbs 31:11-12

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

Next, verses 13-15 talk about her role in managing the house, which we’ve already seen is a primary role of a wife.  (Wool and flax were used to make clothing, which was traditionally the woman’s job before modern times).

Proverbs 31:13-15

13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.

14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.

15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.

Notice the first things on the list are husband in verses 11-12 and household in 13-15.  That makes sense considering we’ve already discussed that a woman’s primary role is centered on her husband, home, and children.  The primary role is kept primary in Proverbs 31.

Afterward, other roles follow.

Proverbs 31:16

16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

According to God, real estate investment is definitely on the list of things a good wife can do.  She definitely is allowed to earn money from it because it specifically says “her earnings”.  But it seems to extend beyond investing into the marketplace and the world of business.  We can see this because she buys a vineyard, which is a business.  Another verse indicates this too.

Proverbs 31:24

24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

Not only does she invest in real estate, but she also makes and sells things, presumably at the market.  That sounds like an excellent wife can be a bit of an entrepreneur (assuming she wants to be and her husband allows her to be.)

Now, the primary roles must remain primary.

Further, she still must obey her husband.  (Which we’ll look more at soon.)

Notice that while she’s doing investments and running a business, it’s assumed her husband ultimately has control of the money (because she still must obey him).

Proverbs 31:31

31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

Assuming she has permission from her husband (or father if unmarried), a woman is allowed to work…  as long as the primary roles remain primary.

Now we’ll look at the second role for women.

(Random side note: In both Greek and Hebrew, “wife” and “woman” are the exact same word.  It’s interesting to see the cultural assumptions built into a language, because they assumed that all women would be wives.  Semi-related, the word for an unmarried woman means “virgin”.)


Role #2: Be a good/supportive wife

This breaks down into two basic components, and we’ll look at each in turn.

  • A wife should “manage the household”, which boils down to being the “Executive Officer” (often “XO” for short) of the home.  (Explained in the next section)
  • She should treat her husband as God commanded.

We’ll look at each in turn.


2.A. Manage the household (Be the Executive officer)

As we’ve already seen, 1 Tim 5:14 specifies “manage the house“, Titus 2:5 specifies “workers at home“, and Proverbs 31:15 says that a good wife “rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household.”  In modern times a woman probably won’t need to get up while it’s still night to feed her family, but the general admonition still stands.

For most of history, managing a household was a full-time occupation that required a TON of hard work.  Modern technology has greatly reduced both the amount of work and the time it takes, but there’s still a lot work that needs to be done.  Cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, and a thousand other little things are needed to make a house into a home.

That’s a woman’s job: managing the household. 

For a thorough explanation of this, please read my article:  How Crucial are Women to a Biblical Household? Very!  (Link opens in a new tabThe bulk of that article was originally in this article under this heading.  I moved it to its own separate article because it was so important that I wanted it to stand alone for easy reference.

That article is probably the single most critical article on this website for understanding not only how crucial a woman is to a household, but also what her specific “day-to-day” role is.

Again, its content was originally in this section because that’s where it “belongs”.  Later I decided it would make an excellent article to get a “bird’s eye” view of a woman’s role, and thus made it a “prologue” to this series so I could reference it independently.

Yes it’s that important.

If you haven’t read that article yet, please do so now, then come back here and continue reading after you’ve read it.  (If you haven’t already.)

To use the (Biblical) XO analogy from that article, it’s the XO’s job to ensure that the ship is ready for anything that the captain (husband) or admiral (God) might require of it.  In war, combat action can happen unexpectedly and it’s the XO’s job to make sure that the ship is ready whenever that combat action happens.

It’s the same with a household.

Once that’s taken care of, the wife will probably have free time and she should absolutely use it to pursue her interests…  but only when the “ship” is ready for action.  Further, a ship/house that’s in proper shape is a much safer and more relaxing atmosphere for the woman, her husband, and the children as well.

Proverbs says:

Proverbs 14:1

The wise woman builds [up] her house, But the woman of folly tears it down with her own hands.

Ladies, be a wise woman/wife.

Also, a wife shouldn’t forget that her husband might want the house to be kept a certain way, and she should respect that.  If she has another idea, then she absolutely should suggest it to her husband.  She needs to respect his wishes if he decides against it, but remember that it’s an XO’s job to provide advice and suggestions to her captain.

You should absolutely hear your wives out when they have a suggestion.  You don’t have to implement the suggestion, but husbands should absolutely give a fair hearing to ideas from their wives


2.B. Treat her husband as God commanded

Did you read that article that’s linked to in the previous section?  If not, please do because it’s applicable and the content there won’t be repeated here.  Now, there are two primary components to how a woman should treat her husband and we’ll look at each of them individually.



I’m sure you’ve heard that a wife should respect her husband.  However, that’s not quite what the Bible says in Greek.  We already covered this a bit in article 4, but it’s important enough to repeat with more detail.

Ephesians 5:33 (NASB95)

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

And 1 Peter says something very similar:

1 Peter 3:1-2

1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

Now, the words respect/respectful that I’ve highlighted are the verb “φοβέο” (phobeó) and the noun “φόβος” (phobos) forms respectively.  They are different forms of a Greek word that primarily means “fear”, but in this context it has a different nuance.  Here’s what Thayer’s lexicon has for the verb form:

1. to be put to flight, to flee

2. to fear, be afraid; the Sept. very often for יָרֵא; absolutely to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm: o

3. to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience

The noun form is very similar, which should come as no surprise because they are merely different forms of the same word (Think “She fears spiders” which is a verbal construction, versus “She has a fear of spiders”, which is a noun construction.  Same idea, different forms.)  Here’s a copy/paste for the noun form:

1. fear, dread, terror; in a subjective sense

2. reverence, respect (for authority, rank, dignity)

It’s worth noting that the verb form phobeó is the same word that’s used in the phrase “fear of the Lord/God”.  The sense here is a “reverent fear” that doesn’t drive someone away, but closer because your opinion of the person is so high.  That’s how we are supposed to be towards God…  and how a wife is supposed to be towards her husband.

Thus, a wife should revere her husband.

The lexicon is helpful in telling us what that means: “to treat with deference or reverential obedience“.  Now this absolutely does not mean a wife should worship her husband; worship belongs to God alone.  It also does not mean that she needs to pretend she thinks he’s amazing when he isn’t.

This about a wife’s behavior towards a husband, NOT her opinion of her husband. 

There’s a difference.

1 Peter 3 makes this clear when it talks about “respectful behavior”, and Ephesians 5:33 is clearly about behavior as well.  A wife can think her husband is a complete and utter moron and still treat him with reverence.  This is about behavior, not opinion.

(By the way, reverence doesn’t mean you have to be super serious. 🙂  A wife is certainly free to joke with and even tease her husband, just so long as she is respectful/reverent while doing so.)


Okay, so what does this mean practically?”  

Often, the difference is in tone.  Not always, but often.  It’s often the attitude behind the words, not the words themselves.  For example, I often tease my wife and in response she often calls me a brat in a tongue-in-cheek way.  It’s a term of endearment for her and it comes across that way in her tone.  With a different tone, it wouldn’t be endearing at all.

Wives, if you just watch the tone of your voice and change nothing else, that can make a HUGE difference.

Consider how you might speak to a boss or supervisor at work, or perhaps your father (if you were raised by a good one).  A similar tone with your husband is a good place to start if you’re not sure where to start.  Honestly, the best place a wife can learn this is from her husband.  Simply ask him how you can be more respectful as an honest question.

Again, how you might address a boss or supervisor is a good indication of where to start with verbal tone if you’re not sure.



Ladies, I’m sure you’ve heard Ephesians 5 many times before, and we even covered it in the 4th article in this series.  This will be mostly a recap, but with some important added detail.

Ephesians 5:22-24 (NASB95)

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

As you probably know, that’s the Greek word “ὑποτάσσω” (hupotassó).  Here’s some definition terms straight from Thayer’s lexicon.

(Emphasis original)

present middle ὑποτάσσομαιto arrange under, to subordinate; to subject, put in subjection

middle to subject oneself, to obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice

The idea behind hupotassó is stronger than simply “obey”, thus it absolutely does include the sense of obey.  It’s right there in the definition as you can see.  The idea in the Greek middle voice (the middle voice is explained in my Greek 101 article) is – as I’m sure you’ve heard – voluntarily submitting yourself to someone else; i.e. his authority.

That’s the idea.

So yes “submit” means obey. 

However, the passage goes on to clarify how this should be done, even describing the exact extent of this authority.  Verse 22 has “as to the Lord”.  The word translated “as” there is “ὡς” (hós) and here’s Thayer’s Greek lexicon on the word:

an adverbial form of the relative pronoun ὅς which is used in comparison, as, like as, even as, according as, in the same manner as,

ὡς joined to a verb makes reference to the ‘substance’ of the act expressed by the verb, i. e. the action designated by the verb is itself said to be done ὡςin like manner (just) as, something else:

ὡς so makes reference to the quality of a person, thing, or action, as to be equivalent to such as, exactly like, as it were.

So a wife’s submission (obedience) to her husband should be done “in the same manner as” or “exactly like” to the Lord.  Yes, that means a wife should obey/submit to her husband “exactly like” she does the Lord.  And it seems that God (writing through Paul) added verse 24 to make this perfectly crystal clear to make sure He wasn’t misunderstood.

Ephesians 5:24 But as (“hos”, the word we just looked at) the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

That’s pretty clear.

Now, there are exceptions to this.  However, before we talk about exceptions we must first agree that there’s a rule.  God’s rule – His command – for a wife is that she should obey her husband in the same way that she obeys God himself.

Wives, you need to “be subject to” (obey) your husbands the same way that you obey/submit to God Himself. 

We’ll get to the exceptions and objections in a minute, but first realize something: the husband’s authority over his wife is the strongest authority structure that God ever instituted.  Nowhere else in scripture is anyone commanded to obey someone in the same way he obeys God.  It’s not in there.

This authority can be abused, but the authority itself exists and was instituted by God Himself.

Now, I can almost hear the objections rolling in, so let’s deal with them right now.


Objections and exceptions

Here are a few, and a “catch all” for situations we won’t cover.


But What if he tells me to do something that’s morally wrong?

You don’t have to listen.

Acts 4:18-20

18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;

20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

The story continues in the next chapter:

Acts 5:27-29

27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them,

28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

If God says “don’t do XYZ”, and your husband tells you: “do XYZ”, you aren’t allowed to listen to your husband.  Your allegiance should be to God first and your husband second.  Just as Christians are required to obey the laws unless they require immoral action, so too wives must obey their husband unless the husband requires immoral action.

That said, this isn’t an exception you can use very often.  Very rarely will a woman need to choose between obeying God and her husband.  It happens, but not very often.


But what if my husband wants sex and I don’t feel like it?

A disclaimer before we begin: God’s command for husbands to love their wives “as their own bodies” applies during sex.  In fact, the “as their own bodies” phrase seems like it has an obvious application to sex.  We’ll talk more about this topic in the article on a man’s role in marriage.

To answer the question, this is what the God said about it:

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

3The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The Greek word translated “depriving there is “ἀποστερέω” (apostereó) and it means:

650 aposteréō (from 575 /apó, “away from” and 4732 /stereóō, “deprive”) – properly, keep away from someone, i.e. by defrauding (depriving); to cheat, taking away what rightfully belongs to someone else.

This same word is also used in James:

James 5:4

4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud (aposteréō), cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

The word is only used 6 times and every time it means to “defraud”.  (Mark 10:19, 1 Corinthians 6:7, 1 Corinthians 6:8, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 1 Timothy 6:5, James 5:4).  Husbands are required to have sex with their wives, just as a wife is required to have sex with her husband.  If either the husband or the wife refuses to have sex (on an ongoing basis) this is defrauding.

And just to demonstrate that this isn’t a new idea, the KJV got this one right over 400 years ago:

1 Corinthians 7:5

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

In fact, “sexual defrauding” is so serious that the Bible explicitly makes it a reason that a husband or wife can divorce a spouse.  Yes, that’s true and the verses are clear and explicit, though oddly they’re usually ignored in most discussions of divorce.  Full details in my article on Divorce.  That said, there’s a good case that refusing sex one time it isn’t grounds for divorce.  Again, full details in the divorce article, but this more about an ongoing thing, not a “one time” thing.

So wives: yes you should have sex if your husband wants sex. 

(Husbands shouldn’t be tyrannical about this, which we’ll discuss in the article on a man’s role.)

A wife is doubly bound to “fulfill her duty” to her husband.  Once because of his authority in general; twice because of his authority over her sexually.  A husband has every right to expect sex from his wife…  just as a wife has every right to expect sex from her husband.  Again, habitual refusal of sex is a legitimate biblical reason for a divorce.

So if he wants sex, a wife is twice bound to oblige.

Wives, let me be crystal clear: if your husband wants sex, you should oblige him in obedience/submission to both him and to God and have sex with him – with a good attitude – whether you want to or not.

Remember Ephesians 5:22 and obey your husband as you would the Lord Himself.  (Men don’t abuse this; we’ll talk more about this in the 8th article and I’ll have some stern words for men who abuse this authority.)


But what if he wants me to do oral or anal sex?  They’re disgusting and I don’t want to.

Anal sex is clearly prohibited in Romans 1:26 if you read it in Greek.  (Most Christians apply Romans 1:26 to lesbian sex when it’s really about men having anal sex with women.)  You can read my complete analysis of this verse in my article on homosexuality.  Further, anal sex carries large health risks for both parties, especially the penetrated person, including the risk of infection and possible tearing of the colon which could lead to sepsis and death.

Anal sex is specifically prohibited by the Bible.  Therefore, you don’t have to do it.


Ladies, if you husband wants anal sex you can say no every time.  If he tries to force the issue (physically or otherwise), you can fight him on it because it’s clearly and explicitly stated to be morally wrong in the Bible.

Oral sex though…

That’s different.

It’s spoken of positively in Song of Solomon, though euphemistically.  And he mentions both men and women giving/receiving.  Here are the verses on women receiving:

Song of Solomon 4:16 & 8:2 (the woman speaking, ESV)

4:16 Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow. Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits.

8:2 would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother— she who used to teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the juice of my pomegranate.

The only part of a woman’s body that could be called a “garden” is the area covered in pubic hair.  The reference to pomegranate makes sense if you’ve ever seen one split open; it bears a striking resemblance to a woman’s labia when engorged/aroused.  The “spiced wine” should need no explanation given the context, neither should the phrase “blow on my garden” or “eat its choicest fruits”.

Yeah, there’s stuff in the Bible that would make most Christians blush.

But Solomon doesn’t leave the men out either.

Song of Solomon 2:3 (ESV)

3 As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

If you look at an apple tree upside down, the resemblance to a man’s penis, testicles, and scrotum are fairly unmistakable (at least in this context).  Plus, “his fruit” could hardly be anything but his sperm/semen, of which the woman loves the taste.  The woman speaks of sitting “in his shadow” with great delight.  If a woman kneels to perform oral sex on a man, his shadow will naturally fall over her.

(Note: some experts say the apple tree was a common euphemism for male genitalia in ancient Middle Eastern poetry.  Regardless of if that’s the case or not, the symbolism seems pretty clear in this context.)

So anal sex, absolutely not, even if you both want to.  But a husband has the right to expect/command his wife to perform oral sex on him.  You can certainly enjoy it too if he’s willing.

Some women will say: “But what if he wants me to swallow?  Ugh!  It’s gross.”  Wives, remember that you are required to obey your husband.  So if he tells you to swallow, you should swallow even if you think it’s gross.  (And men, don’t be jerks about this.)  A wife can also reverently ask him not to make her do it.  But if he tells her to do it anyway over her objections, then she should obey God by obeying her husband.

See the following point.

(And I repeat: men, don’t be jerks about this.)


But what if he tells me to _____ (that’s not immoral) and I don’t want to?

You can reverently ask not to, or reverently suggest an alternate course of action.  But ultimately if he tells you to do it anyway, you should do it.

Ephesians 5:24

24 “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

In the article on head coverings, we talked about how rebellion is a very serious sin that God judges harshly.  Don’t be rebellious.

Wives, obedience to your husband isn’t because your husband is perfect (he isn’t).  It’s because God commanded it.  You might not want to obey him, but disobeying God (by disobeying your husband) is a very bad idea.  You can do it, but not without consequences for you and your family.  You are free to do what you want; you aren’t free of the consequences.

Husbands, don’t you dare abuse the authority you have.  Make sure you treat her with honor or you will answer to the Almighty God Himself for your actions.  (More about this in the 8th article about the man’s role)


But what if he says we’re going to do _____ and it’s a horrible idea!?

Unfortunately, men can be pig headed and get rotten ideas stuck in their heads sometimes (as women can too).  There are perhaps times when a wife can ignored her ignore her husband’s command (we’ll look at that in a moment).  But for the most part Scripture is quite clear:

Ephesians 5:24

24 “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

Wives, do you know what’s even worse than following your husband into a terrible idea?

Disobeying God.

That’s much worse.

Now, you definitely should say something in a reverent way.

Follow the example of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25, and remember the role of the XO we talked about above.  Further, in a life-and-death situation Abigail went around her husband, ignoring his clearly expressed desires to save herself and her family.  She was never called wicked for that, but rather was lauded.  So perhaps a wife could disobey her husband in a life-and-death scenario, or one that places herself and/or her family/children in grave danger.  That’s a pretty high bar though, and it would basically never apply in ordinary life for most wives.

And further, the wife should definitely talk to her husband first.  As we’ve already talked about, women are lauded for giving their husbands sound council.

However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Wives: go to your husband reverently and without an attitude.  Then tell him you’ll trust his decision and follow his lead.  Then calmly and respectfully explain why you think it’s a bad idea.

Men: hear your wives out when she has an objection.

You do not have to follow her advice.

But hear her out anyway.

I’m not saying you need to follow her advice, because you don’t.  However, she is your wife and the loving thing to do is hear her out when she objects.  And “hear her out” means giving her your undivided attention when she’s worried a decision is a bad idea.

She might have a legitimate and/or brilliant objection that you hadn’t thought of.  She might be just reacting on emotion or impulse too.   Regardless, you won’t know unless you hear her out. Further, she will almost certainly feel more loved – and probably better about the decision – if you hear her out.

It’s often a good idea to explain why you made a decision too.  I’ve personally found that simply explaining why I made a decision is often enough to get my wife on board…  but I listen to her objections first.

Good captains always make time for their XOs and hear what they have to say (even if they don’t change their plans).

Be a good captain of your home and hear your XO out, even – perhaps especially – when you decide not to follow her advice.

Ladies: if he decides to continue with the idea you think is horrible, follow him with a good attitude and support him however you can.  That’s what God Himself commanded you to do.  You are not responsible for the outcome; that burden lies on your husband’s shoulders.  You are responsible to be obedient to God by obeying your husband.  If you do that, you’ll come out blameless before God, even if your husband makes a foolish choice.

Now, there seems to be an exception for when something puts life and limb in danger.  Again, read about Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 for more information.  However, that’s a rare exception in the modern world.


But what if I believe spanking our kids is wrong?

Many men get severe kickback (aka rebellion) from their wives about spanking.  However, the Bible is clear on this topic.

Proverbs 23:13

Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

Proverbs 13:24

He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Ladies, do you hate your children?


Then stop fighting spanking as a legitimate form of discipline.  True, it can be abused.  However, excess by some isn’t an excuse to ban for all.  This is doubly true when the Bible talks about it.  We’ll go into some detail about how discipline should be done in the 8th article in this series.  Just know this: I never – not even once – felt unloved when I was spanked because my parents did it properly.

(We’ll go into more detail in the 8th article, but here’s a super short version.  They reserved spanking for only the most serious offenses like dishonesty and rebellion.  They used a 1/4 – 3/8″ thin bamboo stick which stung like you wouldn’t believe, but couldn’t injure or even leave a bruise.  Before each spanking, Pa would look me in the eye, calmly tell me what I did wrong, and then reminded me that they’d told me I would get spanked if I did it.  Then came the spanking and he would always hug/hold me afterwards.)

Again, I never felt unloved because I was spanked.


Not even once.

Ladies, I know that you don’t want to cause your child pain.  However, it’s better that they learn with a stick now than with Law Enforcement later.  If you remember from the first article in this series, children who grow up with a father – who is typically the primary disciplinarian – grow up to be happier and more law-abiding people with better outcomes in life.

Do you want that for your children?  If so, then realize it can be done in a healthy manner and produce good results. 

We’ll talk more about proper discipline and how it should be done in the 8th article of this series.


What about when my husband won’t lead?

Some men won’t take the lead even when it’s offered, or are very hesitant to.  In this case, the solution is rather easy.

Pray for him and act like he’s the leader anyway.

For example, ask him what he wants to do when there’s a decision to be made.

  • If he makes a decision, great.
  • Offer some thoughts/advice/perspective in a gentle, reverent way; talk about it with him and then ask him what he wants to do.
  • If he doesn’t want to make the decision and tells you to make it, great.  His decision was to let you decide.  Perhaps not ideal, but obey him by making the decision.
  • If he procrastinates terribly – especially if he’s worried about making the wrong choice – some subtle encouragement can work wonders.  Tell him you trust him to make the decision and will follow his lead.  That can work wonders in a man’s confidence, which is often the problem when procrastination is in play.

A reluctant leader is still a leader and it’s not your job to make him lead.  Your job is to obey/submit to him even when he’s reluctant to lead.


Addendum: pray

I don’t have a “thus saith the Lord” for this, but it almost goes without saying that a wife should pray for her husband (as husbands should pray for their wives).  At least daily, and more often can’t hurt.  Wives, if you aren’t sure what to pray for, I would suggest praying for his relationship with God, his character/maturity, his role as a husband and father, and his work.  That’s a good start.


Role #3: bear (and raise) her husband’s children

This includes raising the children too.  Raising the children might fit better under the previous section, but it seemed better to keep everything about children together.


3.a.  Have children

Once you have a husband, you know what to do. 😉

As a side note, at least one study says:

Stay-at-home moms’ happiness factor was another counterintuitive finding. In general, this was a very content group of 558 survey respondents, with one standout: Moms of four or more showed an outsized proclivity to be “very” or “extremely” happy. This was true despite the constant activity four or more children create and these families’ lower-than-average incomes.

Ladies, if you’d like to show an “outsized proclivity” to being very or extremely happy, marry and bear your husbands children (at least four).  Shocker: God set it up so women being obedient would lead to them being happy.  It’s almost like He loves us or something…  😉


“But what about Infertility?”

Notice that the bulk of this article has been about how to be a good wife without much mention of children.  A woman can still fulfill her God-given role if she can’t have children because while children are a part of that role, they are only part of it; not all of itA woman’s worth doesn’t come from her womb, ovaries, or the children she’s birthed; it comes from the fact that she is made in the image of God.

That’s important.

That said, sometimes infertility can be fixed with diet and lifestyle changes.  (Though sometimes it can’t.)  I know one family that couldn’t conceive, then they discovered there were a lot of pollutants in their water, including (oddly) a lot of residue from “the pill”.  They installed a high-quality water filter and were pregnant less than a year later.  Another family was eating in a very unhealthy manner, cleaned up their diet and started exercising and then was able to get pregnant.

That said, sometimes the problem can’t be fixed like that, and sometimes it can’t be fixed at all.  In that case, perhaps consider adoption.  Beyond that, I’m afraid I don’t have much advice other than to repeat the bold and underlined sentence above, and suggest prayer.


3.b. Model Obedience to The Father

This section could also fit under role #2.  But while the command is explicit, this subheading is more about the effect on children so it’s in this section.  So let’s talk about the effect that a wife’s obedience can have on the children.

Children are incredible mimics.

They copy almost everything around them, especially their parents.  They learn how to behave by watching how others in their life behave, especially their parents.  This is so self-evident that it’s one of the rare times where I don’t feel the need to cite sources.  (If you need proof, have a child.)

Therefore, the way the parents behave on a regular basis is how the children learn to behave.

Consider that in the context of marriage.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Husband Head Wife Neck Gif

^Funny, but also unbiblical and the reason the Greeks lost control of the world to Rome.

The sassy/sarcastic wife is very much in vogue these days.  It’s expected that the wife will “put her husband in his place” when he gets out of line.  How about that memorable line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding:The man is the head, but the woman is the neck.  And she can turn the head any way she wants.”  Quotes like that tell children that their mother – not their father – is in charge.

I certainly thought that growing up.

My mother and father got a set of mugs one Christmas.  My father’s mug said “Rooster: I rule the Roost.”  My mother’s mug said “Hen: I rule the rooster.”

Think about what that tells the children.

Most wives have zero problem contradicting her husband in a derisive way.  The children see that and in their brains which are wired to mimic will subconsciously think “Oh, it’s perfectly fine, even expected, for me correct and disrespect my father.

I can barely step outside without seeing a woman treat “her man” with derision.  You can see wives giving sassy wisecracks and jokes at their husband’s expense practically anywhere, even (perhaps especially) among believers.  Then under the guise of good fun, these wives “jokingly” order their husbands around and the husbands comply.

Think about what that tells the children.

The children mimic this behavior because that’s what children are wired to do.  They learn that this sassy, disrespectful and disobedient behavior is normal.  If you wonder why children don’t behave these days, that’s half the reason.  (The other half is poor discipline.)

Children must learn how a father should be treated somewhere.

They learn how a father should be treated by watching how their mother treats him.  If she treats him reverently as the Bible commands, they will mimic that.  If she treats him disrespectfully or derisively, they will mimic that as well.  Mothers provide a crucial example of how a father should be treated.  This example can be positive or negative depending on the mother.

Plus, this has a profound effect on their view of God the Father.

Right or wrong, accurate or inaccurate, children learn about their Heavenly Father by watching their earthly father.

It’s true.

  • If kids see their mother arguing with/ignoring/overruling their father, they’ll subconsciously learn it’s okay to ignore or disrespect their father…  Including God Their Heavenly Father Himself.
  • But if they see their mother obeying and revering their father, they’ll learn they have to obey and revere their father…  Including God Their Heavenly Father Himself.

It’s true.

Showing kids (by example) that it’s okay to disobey, disrespect, or deride their earthly father makes them think it’s okay to disobey, disrespect, or deride their Heavenly Father too. 

Women are actually teaching their children to disobey God when they don’t obey their husbands.  They don’t do it on purpose, but that’s what they’re doing.

But it gets worse.

Think about the derision that wives – even Christian wives – throw at their husbands.  It’s often done jokingly, but that’s even worse.  Women – even Christian women – have made fathers into a completely joke; an utter laughing stock in today’s society.

And they wonder why God The Father is a complete joke; an utter laughing stock in today’s society.

  • All throughout the Bible – Old Testament and New – we are told to revere the Lord.
  • Is it a coincidence that wives are told to revere their husbands… with the same Greek word?  (which we’ve already looked at)

But it gets worse.


Remember that Marriage is a Picture of Christ and His Church

In this picture, the husband is analogous to Christ and the wife is analogous to the Church.

Think about that.

Think about what it says to children when they see their mother (the wife, who pictures the Church) bossing around, disrespecting, and often deriding her husband (who pictures Christ).  Really, truly, and deeply think about what they will mimic when they learn that marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride (the Church).

It subconsciously teaches everyone – especially children who mimic everything – that we can boss around disrespect, or even deride Jesus Himself (or at least ignore Him).

Is that a lesson you want your children to learn? 

Further, as we saw in the first article in this series, it destroys entire civilizations.  Yes, a woman back-talking to her husband can bring low a civilization not conquered by a million-man army.  (The Greeks defeated Persia, but rotted from the inside out when they became egalitarian.)

To any woman reading this: please rethink that biting retort the next time your husband says something you don’t like.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that the fate of your country and your children’s faith – and thus their fate in the afterlife – may depend on it.

No joke.


Addendum: the children’s education

I add this mostly as an appeal to wisdom, not as a “thus saith the Lord”.  In this day and age, one must be careful about what their children are being taught.  Schools are often trying to indoctrinate the children into blatantly anti-Christian worldviews and children need protecting.  One simple way a mother can help is by being in charge of her children’s schooling.  I don’t necessarily mean that the children must be homeschooled – though that’s an excellent option – but rather a mother should be aware of what her children are bring taught.

If she homeschools, then she should look into the curriculum before teaching it to her children.  Likewise, if someone else is educating the children (public school, private school, tutor, etc.) she should know what her child is being taught, examine the curriculum, and know what the teachers are like.

Again, this is an appeal to wisdom not a “thus saith the Lord”.


What Women Can’t Do

Now that we’ve looked at a woman’s roles, we’ll take a few minutes to look at what roles women aren’t allowed to take.  The list isn’t long, but it’s important.  There actually isn’t much a woman isn’t allowed to do, assuming her father (if never-married) or husband (if married) allows it.  Women have a lot of freedom  As long as their primary roles remain primary.  However, there are a few things women aren’t allowed to do.


#1 – Women shouldn’t have a position of authority over a man. 

To put a woman in charge of a man violates created order, as seen in 1 Corinthians 11, especially verses 9 and 10.  As we saw in a previous article, women have an obligation to be under a man’s authority according to Scripture.  (If you look at the Greek words; see the article for details.)  Putting a woman in charge of a man violates God’s created order, as you can see in the article on the Why of Submission in marriage.

Most importantly, Scripture declares this plainly: 

1 Timothy 2:11-12

11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.

12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

We already covered this verse in much detail in the 4th article, so we won’t rehash it here other than to point out that this is a direct commandment from God Himself.  Notice to that the reason for this isn’t cultural, but because of created order.  Thus, a woman shouldn’t be in authority over a man.

That includes areas outside the church too. 

For example, women shouldn’t serve as elected officials because that puts them in a position of authority over men.  That would probably include her husband, which is a huge no-no.  Therefore, women don’t belong in governmental authority positions either.

God makes this clear in Isaiah.

Isaiah 3:11-12

11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly for him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.

12 My people! Their oppressors treat them violently,
And women rule over them.
My people! Those who guide you lead you astray
And confuse the direction of your paths.

Women being in national leadership roles is a sign of wickedness.  If women (and children) ruling over the people is a sign of wickedness, then God clearly considers women in governmental leadership positions to be wrong.

This would apply to voting too, because voting is a leadership function in the sense of choosing leaders.  Women are supposed to be under authority, not electing it.  It wouldn’t make sense for women to vote either because they could only double their husbands vote obediently or nullify it disobediently.  Besides, we’ve already seen that women voting ruins a civilization.

In countries where women have the ability to vote, a wife should ask her husband how to vote and then vote exactly as he instructs… whether she likes it or not.  This helps her husband by exactly doubling his vote.


#1.a – Can women be in an authority position in a business?  (Or have male employees?)

This is an interesting question.  If you look back at the Proverbs 31 woman, it says this:

Proverbs 31:16

16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

Vineyards are a lot of work, and not the kind of thing you’d do without hired hands.  However, I might argue that there’s no actual authority here…  sort of.  The owner of the vineyard pays the workers to perform a service, which is very little different from paying a hairdresser for a haircut.  It’s a voluntary exchange: X amount of money for Y amount of work.

That’s not quite authority.

Fundamentally, what’s the difference between these two:

  • A woman paying a man to skillfully cut her hair (at a salon for example)
  • A woman paying a man to skillfully cut her grapes (pruning)

Fundamentally they are very similar.  Not identical perhaps, but very similar.

Remember that an employee is not required to obey; he can quit.

He is voluntarily trading his time, skill, or services to get something in return.  At any point, he can cease providing the service and forego the pay.  The only exception is if he has a contractual obligation.

However – as we saw in the previous article – a woman’s husband has the authority to nullify his wife’s vows and “obligations by which she has bound herself“, which would include contracts.  Given that, virtually all men would require her husband’s approval when singing the contract because they don’t want it nullified.  At that point, contractual work becomes the purview of the husband, not the wife.  Therefore, she still wouldn’t have authority over a man.

(And even then, contracts are voluntarily entered into.)

Further, since the husband has ultimate authority over the wife, it’s the husband who the men ultimately answer to.  That makes it perfectly acceptable in my mind.

(Note: we’re talking about businesses ultimately owned by the husband; not jobs.  A woman being in authority over men in a workplace such as a managerial position seems different enough that it’s almost certainly not allowable…  yet it’s not quite clear enough to attach “thus saith the Lord” .)

I see no problem with a woman hiring male workers or running a business…

But the primary roles MUST remain primary.

Any businesses, investments, or other projects shouldn’t prevent a woman from fulling her primary roles of wife, mother, and homemaker.  Many of those endeavors are time consuming, and therefore might prevent the woman from fulfilling her primary roles.  If they get to that point, it’s probably time to scale-back or quit.  Further, she must obey her husband in these other things, just like everything else.  So if he doesn’t like it and tells her to shut down her business, she needs to do it.  (Even if it’s very successful.)

Again, a wife is free to pursue almost anything as long as she abides by the requirements and restrictions we’re talking about, but again, her primary roles must remain primary.


#2 – Women Shouldn’t Teach Men in the context of the public teaching

(Example: a Sunday sermon or Christian conference)

As we will see in point 2.a, this is actually about authority, not men learning from women.  Acts 18:24-26 makes it abundantly clear that the Bible has no problem with men learning from women.  We’ll get to that passage in a moment, but first we’ll look at the passage with the prohibition:

1 Timothy 2:11-12

11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.

12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

Now, some people take this way too far and say that men shouldn’t learn from a woman.  That’s not the case as Acts makes clear:

Acts 18:24-26

24 Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.

25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John;

26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

The Greek word translated “explained” here is in the plural form, meaning both Priscilla and Aquila did the explaining.  The Bible never says that a man can’t learn something from a woman.


In that verse you have a couple – which included the wife – teaching a man some things he had missed.  Now, Priscilla might have been “merely” helping her husband explain and she kept mostly silent.  Perhaps Priscilla did most of the explaining and Aquila mostly kept silent.  We don’t know because the passage isn’t clear.

It simply doesn’t specify, but it does specify that they both explained it to him.

So no sermons on Sunday or other situations where women are in an “official” teaching position.  However, explaining things in other contexts is perfectly fine.  This doesn’t apply to teaching boys, who obviously aren’t men yet.  It also doesn’t apply to women teaching other women, such as at a women’s conference, Bible study, etc.


#2.a – “Why can’t women teach men publicly, but can elsewhere?

To be clear, it’s not because a woman can’t have something good to say (see the next point or that passage in Acts).  However, there is a huge problem in granting de facto authority to (female) teachers.

“De facto” is a Latin phrase that means “in fact”.  It refers to a practice that exists in reality, but often isn’t officially recognized by law, statute, or ordinance.  When you put a woman up on stage to teach, what you’re saying is “everyone should listen to/obey what she says.

That grants the woman who teaches de facto authority over everyone, including the men (a big no-no).

It’s okay in other contexts because the authority dynamic is totally different; i.e. non-existent. 

For example, if I’m talking to a woman and she’s sharing something she’s learned, there’s no authority conferred.  Think of Aquila and Priscilla talking to Apollos.  They sat down with him to persuade.  There was no authority granted and no de facto authority either.

  • When a woman teaches a sermon, she is granted de facto authority, including over any men in the congregation.  (A big no-no.)
  • When a woman tries to persuade a man outside of an “official teaching” context, there’s no de facto authority.  (And therefore no problem)

Again, it’s about not putting a woman in authority over a man.


#2.b – What about a woman running a blog or YouTube channel?  

For example, let’s say that there was a woman who wanted to start a theology blog like many others on the internet.  In my opinion, this is more like the example of Acts 18 with Priscilla and Aquila.  For example, if I tried to order my readers to do something, they would not only ignore me, but would probably find another website to read.  A blog writer or YouTuber has no authority over the readers/viewers, and thus I see no problem whatsoever.

Again though, the primary roles should remain primary.


A note before we leave this prohibition

A wife helping her husband by reverently providing him with advice or council is a good thing.  She must obey (with a good attitude) if he decides not to listen.  But there are examples in scripture of women advising men wisely and being praised for it.

  • Abigail in 1 Samuel 25.  Notice her approach to David.  She didn’t rebuke him; instead she pleaded with sound, logical council in a reverent way.  David blesses her and calls her discerning for this in verse 33.
  • Samson’s mother offered sage council to her husband in Judges 13:21-23.
  • In proverbs 31, it says of a good wife that “The heart of her husband trusts in her” and later that “she opens her mouth in wisdom“.

Clearly, women can – and should – reverently provide their perspective.

On a personal level, I’ve learned not to ignore my wife’s sense about the “feel” of a room or situation.  She’s incredibly intuitive and notices things I don’t.  I value her opinion in these areas because I’m far more logical and miss those things.  I’ve learned when something about a situation doesn’t feel right to her, it rarely is.  That’s a great “help” to me, which is part of why women were created (to help men).


#3 – Women must “keep it down” in the church assembly

We talked at length about this in a previous article, The Bible on Authority & Submission in Marriage.  See that article for proof and details.  (The sections on 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14.)  Basically, women are instructed to “keep it down” and “learn with entire submissiveness”.  Instead of being loud, active participants, they should be there to listen and learn.  As I see it – just my opinion – this is mostly about a woman “having the floor” so to speak.  Again, more details in the article.


Obey the Biblical Restrictions, but Never Add to Them

As we’ll see in a future article in this series, prohibiting something God hasn’t prohibited is directly responsible for nearly every social problem in the western world today.  (Yes it relates to marriage.  It’s the “safeguard” that prevents women from gaining equal social and political status to men, which destroys a society.)

The Bible is clear on adding to God’s commands:

Deuteronomy 12:32

32Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.

Deuteronomy 4:2

2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.

Proverbs 30:5-6

5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.

6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.


My personal favorite is a slight paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 6:4, turning an example into a command:

“Do Not Go Beyond What Is Written.”

Don’t do it.

Don’t add to the commands of God (or take away from them).


We’ve looked at the things a woman isn’t allowed to do.  The list isn’t long, but it’s important.  Assuming she abides by those commands, she can do almost anything else (with her husband’s permission).

Don’t forbid women from doing things the Bible doesn’t forbid them from doing.



Just don’t do it.

Her husband can forbid her from almost anything…

…but only her husband.

Her boyfriend can’t.

Her fiancée can’t.

Even her betrothed can’t (in a culture that practices betrothal).

Only her husband.  (Or father if never married.)

Teachers in the church should be careful not to go beyond what is written.  A woman’s primary role should remain primary and women do have a handful of requirements/restrictions.  These should be taught in church because they’re clear from scripture.  However, many churches put additional restrictions and limitations on women that the scripture doesn’t.  Mankind – especially the Pharisees – has done this since the Garden.  (God said: “don’t eat”; Eve ‘quoted’ Him as saying: “don’t touch”)

Adding to the commands of God is a serious problem.

The church leadership doesn’t get to decide what a woman can or can’t do outside of the things which are clear in scripture.  If a woman wants to do something that she’s Biblically allowed to do and some church leaders don’t like it; tough. They have no say because that’s her husband’s call; not theirs.  (Though they could go to her husband to try and convince him.)


A personal note to wives

I’ve just made it clear that we shouldn’t add to God’s commands, so I want to be 100% crystal clear that this section is my own personal opinion, and worth every penny you paid for it.  😉  Feel free to ignore this because it doesn’t have “thus saith the Lord” attached.  However, I do have a suggestion to women for how become the apple of their husband’s eye.

Now, this suggestion to women won’t be effective if the other parts aren’t lined up.  If you aren’t submitting yourself and being reverent, this won’t work very well at all.  So make sure that’s in place and read on if you are interested.

My suggestion to women is this: understand that while women want sex once they feel loved, men want sex in order to feel loved.

It’s how we are wired.

Not sure why, but we are.

You need to understand that he is wired differently that you are.  In fact, he’s wired almost the opposite of how women are.  Women tend to want sex after they feel love from someone.  For men, sex is part of feeling loved.  Not all of it of course, but from our wives it’s a big part.

If you want to be the apple of your husband’s eye, I suggest 2 things:  (In addition to making sure that the reverence and submission pieces are in place.)

(1) Initiate sex often and be an enthusiastic participant. 

I’m not saying you should become a wild and hyperactive lover, merely that you should be actively involved and initiate it regularly.

Feel free to get creative too.  Perhaps some sexy lingerie if he’s into that.  Perhaps do a striptease for him, or wake him up in an amorous way.  Flirt with him, letting him know that you’re ready for him if he’s interested.  Maybe flash him sometimes (when no one else will see of course).  Tell him that you have an “itch to scratch” and need some help.

Anything like that, and feel free to get creative.

When actually in bed with him, be involved and active.  You probably have an idea what he likes, so obviously try that.  Ask him what he enjoys in bed in case you’re missing anything (you might be surprised) and do it with him.  Perhaps ask if there’s anything he’d like to try.  Maybe try a new position.  Make it an adventure and try to have fun with it.

You would not believe how much of a difference this can make when coupled with reverence and submission.

I encourage you to try it.

(2) Be an enthusiastic participant when he wants sex.

Ladies, how would you feel if your husband turned you down most of the time when you tried to kiss or hug him?  Hurt?  How would you feel if your husband turned you down because he “wasn’t in the mood”?  More hurt?  He might not be hurt the same way, but there’s definitely hurt involved.

If you want to be the apple of your husband’s eye (and you already have reverence and submission covered), then being available and active/enthusiastic for him when he’s interested is like a cheat code in a video game.  I don’t mean you need to be wild, just happy to join him in bed.  Frankly, simply being willing and not complaining is a good start for most women.

Have the same attitude have during sex with him that you’d like him to have while on a date with you. 

You wouldn’t enjoy it if he his body language and/or tone communicated that he hated it, so don’t do that to him during sex.  Realize that in terms of relationship building in a marriage, men see sex much like women view dates.  Dates help you feel loved, sex helps him feel loved.

Willing/enthusiastic sex initiated by his wife (coupled with reverence) will definitely help him feel loved.  

That in turn will likely make you the apple of his eye.  I can’t promise, but it’s likely.  Unlike you, he doesn’t want sex after he feels loved; he (subconsciously) wants sex in order to feel loved.  If you want to improve your marriage to a good man, I can almost guarantee this will help; it certainly shouldn’t hurt.



We’ve covered the three primary roles of women and the reasons for them.  To that, we added a few more items based on Scripture.

A woman should:

  1. Marry
    1. Not be a “career woman” because such women are sinful/rebellious failures in God’s eyes
  2. Help her husband by being a good and supportive wife.
    1. Be the XO of the home, which includes managing the home and making sure it’s ready for whatever mission the captain (husband) or Admiral (God) needs it to undertake.
    2. Treat her husband as God commanded, which includes:
      1. Reverence (which doesn’t mean you need to be super-serious 🙂 )
      2. Submission/obedience (except in immoral acts)
  3. Bear her husband’s children
    1. Have children if you are able
    2. Model obedience to the father for those children

A Woman shouldn’t:

  1. Be in a position of authority over a man
    1. This includes governmental office
  2. Teach men in an official capacity as a public speaker
    1. This does include public speaking to men, it does not include non-public speaking where no “de facto” authority is granted; i.e. a personal conversation.
  3. Women must keep silent in the church assembly (covered in more detail in the 4th article)

Neither men nor women should add to the commands of the Bible, nor take away from them.

You might notice this list is long on broad generalizations and short on specifics.  There’s a reason for that.  Life is complicated and messy sometimes.  What works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for others.  The Bible gives some clear guidelines, but leaves the specifics to us because life is messy and unpredictable.

Lastly, if a wife wants to become the apple of her husband’s eye (once reverence and submission are in place) she should (1) initiate sex and be an enthusiastic participant, (2) be an enthusiastic participant when he wants sex.


In the next article in this series, we’ll examine what men and women really want in the opposite sex.  It flies in the face of everything you’ve ever been told.  However, it makes so much sense and is backed by mountains of data.  It will also explain almost everything you need to know about the relationships between the sexes, and also why nice girls fall for “bad boys” all the time.  It will also provide some crucial context for a man’s role in society and marriage, which we’ll talk about in the article after that.


Marriage Series Index:

  1. How Getting Marriage 'Wrong' Destroyed Every Great Civilization in World History
  2. Gender Differences and the Biology of leadership
  3. The “Why” Behind God Telling Wives to Submit to their Husbands in Marriage
  4. The Bible on Authority & Submission in Marriage
  5. Does God View Women as the (Social/Political) Equals of Men?
  6. Biblically, What’s the Role of Women in Society and Marriage?
  7. Gender and Attraction: What Men vs Women REALLY Want
  8. Biblically, What’s the Role of Men in Society and Marriage? (still writing it...)
  9. Is Polygamy (Polygyny) Biblical? Does God Allow it?
  10. Follow up articles coming...



  1. SF March 25, 2023
  2. otto April 24, 2023
  3. Ted May 26, 2024
  4. Ted May 26, 2024
    • Berean Patriot (admin) May 28, 2024

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