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By Julie Sibert
My husband and I have a fairly traditional marriage. I stay home with the kids and he goes out into the world and “slays dragons.” (Well, he works for the local gas and water company, but “slays dragons” sounds more edgy, doesn’t it?) We are your typical chaotic family.
On any given day, I’m breaking up sibling squabbles, staring into my pantry to see if the “dinner fairy” has again overlooked me, and trying to tame the calendar. Oh, I also clean up the dog poop. Besides his regular job, my husband juggles his fair share of home responsibilities, too — cars, lawns, broken stuff, clogged pipes and precarious “about to fall” tree limbs. In addition to all this, we care for two elderly family members.
My husband and I are Christians and therefore I believe that it is my calling to be a “submissive” wife. So, what does submission look like for me? I am submissive in that while my husband and I openly discuss all major decisions that impact our family, I ultimately yield to his decisions. We agree on some things; we disagree on others. That’s marriage, but when it comes down to deciding time, I defer to him.
Certainly submission does not mean going against what I believe is right or moral. For example, if a husband tells his wife she should “steal,” then she would be completely justified in not submitting to him. And submission absolutely does not mean a woman should overlook abuse (either of herself or her children).
But I do seek my husband’s advice and opinion and defer to him on many decisions. I believe that he is the head of the house and I respect his leadership role. This isn’t hard for me. I am fortunate to have a husband who “loves his wife as Christ loved the church,” which is part of a verse from the Bible (Ephesians 5:21-32) that instructs husbands to care for their wives.
So, despite what many people think, submission for me is not so hard. The life of a submissive wife is a daily reality for many Christian couples. And I wouldn’t exchange roles for anything. In fact, our traditional roles and Christian values have led to a great sex life.
So what does this have to do with sex?
Let me clarify that when I say “submission” in regards to sexual intimacy, I am not talking about a wife automatically doing whatever her husband wants sexually, especially if what he wants flies in the face of what the Bible commands. For example, if your husband wants to have a threesome or wants you to view pornography, this would be adulterous, which certainly is outside the bounds of God’s design for sex.
If, on the other hand, your husband simply wants to try a new position or add some variety, I urge you to not instantly say “no” without some legitimate discussion and prayer.
The Christian model for a marriage encourages women to be modest, but that doesn’t inhibit us from sexual expression with our husbands. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, God says that husbands and wives should not withhold their bodies from each other. Sexual intimacy is a mutually-shared endeavor, where both the husband and wife bear responsibility. And let’s not forget, orgasms were designed by God. And orgasms feel really, really good.
Odds are that because the clitoris is a bit less predictable than the penis, your husband is going to need your help in understanding what it is going to take to make you climax. This is where sexual confidence can strengthen your marriage. You both need to learn with each other and from each other what arousal looks like for each of you.
Because I submit to my husband, I feel confident in his care and love and this gives me sexual confidence as well. We have a mutual sense of safety and trust that can’t help but lead to great sex. I believe God gives good gifts to married couples to be savored and enjoyed, not ignored and treated carelessly. My husband and I do enjoy a tremendously satisfying sex life, because we have grown in our sexual confidence and because we are secure in our roles for our marriage.
Another way that submissiveness outside of bed lends itself well in bed is that my husband and I have grown in our vulnerability. Without a doubt, because I am a submissive wife and my husband “loves me as Christ loved the church,” we have really learned to listen to each other with respect. This equips us to be able to say what we like sexually and to really listen to one another.
We have a foundation that allows us to be able to say when we make love, “I like it when you (fill in the blank with random exciting sexual details).” It’s so reassuring to have that kind of vulnerability that leads to great sex!
All too often, people think that a good Christian wife isn’t sexually confident; however, following the traditional plan for marriage that God has outlined in the Bible has given me an immense confidence not only in bed, but in my husband’s love and care for me.
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