MARRIAGE ON HARD MODE: How Gender Role Ideas Can Backfire

by | Sep 20, 2021 | Resolving Conflict | 44 comments

How Believing in Gender Roles Can Backfire
Merchandise is Here!
Instagram Follow Mobile ad

What if our underlying understanding of gender roles makes marriage harder than it needs to be?

We’re talking about doing marriage on hard mode in the month of September–how so often we can make our lives harder, and thus make marriage harder, than it needs to be. And we’re urging everyone to go back to basics and strip away the stuff that isn’t necessary and try to do marriage on as easy a mode as possible!

Today, let me ask you: What is your fundamental understanding of the dynamics of the relationship between a husband and a wife?

There are two main of viewing marriage in the Christian tradition: Marriage as a hierarchy, and marriage as teamwork.

Marriage as a Hierarchy

The husband and wife are made with different roles, and the husband’s role is to lead, while the wife follows her husband. When they can’t decide something, the husband is responsible for making the final decision, and will be held accountable by God for it.

Marriage as Teamwork

The husband and wife, in unity, follow Jesus together. The goal is mutuality and unity, and if they don’t agree, then they’ll pray and seek God’s voice. They are both created to obey God and serve each other. 

Both views use the same Scripture, but interpret it differently.

Now, let me ask you: Based on those two views, what is the expectation of how the genders will tend to relate?

In marriage as hierarchy, the underlying assumption is that there will be disagreement, and the husband will make the final decision.

In marriage as teamwork, the underlying assumption is that, with prayer, you can be unified and work it out together.

One view sees marriage as a battle of wills where the husband’s opinion triumphs; the other sees marriage as mutuality where you seek God’s will together. (I know that’s a simplification, but that seems to be the end result of these teachings).

Okay, now let’s imagine how this plays out with a couple who gets married.

They go through the normal ups and downs of adjusting to marriage. She feels like he paid more attention to her before they were married; he feels like she is more critical since they got married.

She feels like he is hanging out with the boys too much, going out to hang out with his friends on Fridays and Saturdays, and not spending time with her. She brings this up, but he says he’s tired after the work week and he needs this to wind down.

What might a woman in a “marriage as hierarchy” mentality think?

I guess this is an opportunity for me to submit to my husband and love him, because he says this is what he needs, and my role is to support him. So she may say nothing and go on being lonely.

What might a woman in a “marriage as teamwork” mentality think?

Well, this isn’t good! We’re growing apart from each other and I’m lonely. We need to work this out and figure out good guidelines of when we’ll have “me” time and when we’ll have “us” time so that our relationship is the priority. 

You see, in one scenario you feel as if you’re supporting the marriage by giving in to what he wants; in the other you feel as if you’re supporting the marriage by figuring out what will build intimacy and make you feel close. The aim in the marriage as hierarchy relationship is to follow the husband; the aim in the marriage as teamwork is to build intimacy.

This is one of the reasons that, in our survey of 20,000 women for The Great Sex Rescue we found that in marriages where he makes the final decision, even if he consults with her first, the divorce rate increases for 7.4 times, and wives are far less likely to feel heard or as if their opinion matters in marriage.

I realize this is an oversimplification, and things may be different for individual couples. But the simple fact is that the emphasis in both marriages is very different. One aims for intimacy by considering both people’s needs; one aims for unity by the wife deferring to the husband. But as we found in our survey, when women feel as if their opinions don’t matter as much as their husbands’ opinions do, bad things happen. But when women feel as if their opinions matter as much, things turn around! Here’s a chart of some of our findings that appears in chapter 2 of The Great Sex Rescue:

Great Sex Rescue Voice Matters During Sex

When we think of marriage as hierarchy, we often assume that marriage is full of disagreements.

After all, if the definition of submission is letting him make the decision when we disagree, then it’s assumed you’re going to disagree a lot. As one woman told me on Twitter last week: “My pastor told me that submission only counts when I disagree with my husband’s decision.”

So unless they’re in disagreement, she can’t submit.

This is a misunderstanding of submission. In Ephesians 5:21, all believers are told to submit to one another. Submission is not about decision-making but about serving (as Jesus clearly laid out in Matthew 20:25-28). Then in verse 22, when women are told to submit, the verb “submit” isn’t even there. It’s inferred from verse 21, meaning that it takes on the same connotation in verse 22 directed to wives as it does in verse 21. It can’t mean one thing in verse 21–serve one another–and something else in verse 22–let him decide–especially if the verb only appears in verse 21.

Submission is about serving, not allowing someone to lead, or else verse 21 would make no sense. I encourage you to read my whole submission series for more on this.

When we assume, though, that marriage is full of disagreements, then when we’re upsest at our spouse, or we feel hurt, or we’re just not happy, we may assume that this is just normal marriage. This is what we have to learn to adjust to. And so we take things that are highly solvable, like normal communication problems, and elevate them to a moral issue of her deferring and submitting to him. Instead of working it out and building unity, her needs are suppressed and it’s assumed that the couple is just having normal disagreements.

If, on the other hand, you assume that marriage is about feeling close and having unity, then when these things come up, you think, “well, that’s odd! We better get to the bottom of this and fix it!” And you’re more likely to attack it head on.

Often when I talk about this, people will say, “Oh, but you need someone to make the final decision!”, as if they’ve just played the trump card.

How can I argue with that, after all?

But I just say, “Well, I’ve been married 30 years, and we’ve always just worked it out. We pray more, we talk more, we don’t do anything until we’re in agreement, we seek other advice.” And we figure it out. If you let him make the decision, then how often are you taking a short-cut? How often could you have worked that out if you just prayed longer or talked longer?

Here’s how I introduced the chapter on this in my book 9 Thoughts that Can Change Your Marriage:

From 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage

Unfortunately, instead of understanding this teamwork dynamic, we often see submission in terms of obedience. I was discussing this idea recently with my friend and fellow marriage conference speaker Sharol. Using the “obey your husband” definition of submission, she realized that in her whole four-decade-long marriage, she had submitted only once. On that occasion, her husband felt called to a particular ministry that required relocating to another city. She didn’t feel that calling, but she knew it was important to him, so she decided to go. Within a few months she felt the calling too…

Usually in the marriage, though, when Sharol and her husband don’t agree, they work through it until they do. And they’ve tackled big issues: whether she would quit her full-time job; who should be the stay-at-home parent; whether to pursue a pastoring opportunity. They wanted to agree, so they wrestled together until they did.

I don’t understand why some women take pride in saying, “I let him make all the decisions, even if I think he’s wrong.” If you think your husband is wrong, you have an issue in your relationship. A disagreement by definition means that one of you—or both of you—is not listening to God. Wouldn’t it be better, and more in line with Scripture, to do as Sharol and her husband, Neil, do: wrestle it through together, pray fervently together and individually, and seek counsel until you’re on the same page? If you’re always deferring to your husband without wrestling and talking things through, then you could easily prevent oneness, not enhance it.

If you want a healthier way to build unity, please see 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage instead. 

Do you see how our underlying beliefs about marriage can influence our ability to grow oneness?

Assume conflict is normal and is resolved by her deferring to him, and you may not tackle things that come up in marriage that build distance. Assume that unity is normal and is resolved by talking and praying together and wrestling through together, and you’re more likely to tackle anything that hinders unity. 

So let me ask: Could your fundamental beliefs about marriage mean that you’re doing marriage on hard mode? And how could seeing marriage as teamwork change that? 

Are you PeaceKEEPING or PeaceMAKING?

There’s a huge difference between the two. And if you don’t get it right–you’ll never be able to feel truly intimate in your marriage.

There’s a better way!

How Believing in Gender Roles Can Backfire

What do you think? Can gender roles backfire? Or do you think they’re necessary? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

SDB Coming Soon Desktop

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

Who Is the Focus of Marriage Teaching?

Who is the person who is most likely to read a marriage book and try to get help with their marriage? Someone whose marriage is a source of strain. If you're in a great marriage, you don't need to read a marriage book. You might read one if you're part of a small...


We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!


  1. Jame Eyre

    I have always been grossed out by “when we are really at loggerheads, he makes the final decision.” That means he ALWAYS wins, except when it doesn’t really matter to him.

    It is weird how many people think it is a “blessing” for a woman to give up her dreams, career, family, and friends for marriage. I do not hold those beliefs, but being immersed in a culture that does is deeply hurtful. It has a lot of analogies to the bedroom, too: sexual pleasure is so easy for men that it really feels like God hates women. He wins, she loses = great marriage. Do not stop to think about how this is reflective of Christ and His church or you might never set foot in a church again.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      So good–he always wins, except when it doesn’t matter. Yep.

  2. Carrie

    My hubby and I have worked on communication our whole marriage. Usually we discuss topics until we figure out what is best. Occasionally there isn’t time or energy to talk the through everything. When that happens the person it affects the most makes the decision. Or the person who is in charge of that thing.
    For example- we figured out our basic budget years ago. My husband is an accountant and is better with money. So each payday he puts together the spreadsheet with all of our categories and puts the appropriate amount in each. Once that is done he asks me what other things need money. I’ll say- the boys need haircuts, or child b needs more pants. He puts enough money in those categories. Then the rest goes into savings. We both want money to go into savings each paycheck, and to have the things we need. We have the same goals, but my hubby figures out the details.
    When we’re talking about anything regarding running the household, or the kids, that’s my area and I make things work. He backs me up and asks what he can do to help.
    It’s all about teamwork and communication.

    • Laura

      Love this Carrie!

      It’s awesome to let the person who is more skilled at something (like finances) to be in charge of that area while the other person has other areas like the household tasks. My parents, who were married almost 40 years before my dad passed away, had divisions of labor in their marriage and it worked well for them; those divisions may have seemed gender-specific due to the era they were raised in. However, my mom handled the finances because my dad worked long hours in the mines, then eventually worked as a mechanic before he had an office job and he did not want to come home and deal with the checkbook. He actually insisted that Mom handle the finances. When I got saved as a teenager and attended church (my parents were Catholic, but later left the church), I was told the opposite: the husband was supposed to be in charge of the finances because “that was the man’s job.” I was shocked to hear that and there was not any specific reason why the pastor said the finances was the man’s job. I just knew from talk that he never let his wife see a phone bill, because he was the man and insisted on handling the finances.

      Back to the divisions of labor: Mom was the stay-at-home parent until my brother and I both finished high school so she did the cooking, cleaning (both my brother and I helped out), and laundry. Not because she was the mother, that’s just what my parents agreed on. Dad did the yard work, the car repairs, and fixed computers (that happened to be his line of work eventually). Of course, when I was younger, I thought those were gender-specific roles (except for computer maintenance) and I was surprised to have uncles who did all the cooking, while some of my aunts liked to do yard work.

      Now that I’m grown, I think it all comes down to what the person is skilled at and likes to do. In my first marriage, I handled the finances because that is my strength. Since we both worked, we each contributed to the cooking, cleaning (he was more of a neat freak than I was), and laundry. We lived in an apartment and condo so we never had to deal with yard work. Since he was not good at dealing with car maintenance, we went to a mechanic. I have learned not to assume that all men are good with cars or yard work.

      If I remarry, the divisions of labor will depend on our skills and interests, not our gender.

  3. Laura

    100% agree that marriage should be about oneness and teamwork! Unfortunately, it’s contrary to what the church still teaches on marriage. Some like to say that marriage is a team with the husband as the head coach (I’ve seen this on several marriage blogs; I think one of those was the husband from XO Marriage Ministries). Therefore, he makes the final call.

    Instead, how about this: There’s no I in team as my high school track coach often said. So, for a marriage to be about a team, there is no I. It’s not all about one person; it’s about two people and the goal is to create oneness.

    • Laura

      I want to expand on the woman who takes pride in saying that she lets her husband make all the decisions, even if she thinks he’s wrong. Often, I’ve heard women in Bible studies talk about doing that in their marriage. It’s like they are trying to portray that this act makes them more holy or more spiritual. Almost like they want to display a martyr complex: Their marriage may be unhealthy, but they’re going to stick it out because God’s going to take whatever is evil and turn it around for good.

      I have such problems with this mentality and before I could ever put this into words, I was always troubled by women who felt like they had to stay in a bad marriage because they believed it made them holy and they were doing God’s will. I had been that woman once, but after 2.5 years of abuse (mostly verbal and eventually sexual), I could NOT take it anymore and knew that God wanted more and better for me. The church still holds to the mentality that a marriage (no matter how bad it is) must be saved at all costs.

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes! I do think many individual churches are coming around, though. I know many churches that are awesome on the subject of abuse and getting women (or men) to safety. But too many in the higher ups of evangelicalism still do say that you have to stay in such a marriage (that’s Focus on the Family’s take, for instance: you can separate but not divorce). Very problematic.

    • CMT

      “ marriage is a team with the husband as the head coach.” Gag.

      The harder people try to sanitize patriarchy the worse they make it sound. Or maybe its just that I’m wise to their bs now.

      • Jo R

        Do the people who say things like this not understand how sports teams function???

        The head coach is just that: the coach. The head coach most certainly does not put on the same clothes as the actual players and go out on the field or court. The people all wearing the uniform are the TEAM.

        The coach stands on the sidelines and does the directing but does not actually play the game.

        Oh. Well. I guess I just answered my own objection, didn’t I? If the husband is the “head coach” in a marriage, then I guess he’s perfectly legitimate in his desire to just direct rather than actually participate in the playing part of it.

        If that’s the case, then the wife is reduced to a one-player “team,” all alone, getting “guided” into actions she has to carry out by herself, since the “coach” isn’t allowed on the playing field. And the “coach” is well within his rights to ignore any feedback from a mere “player,” because a mere player couldn’t possibly have any ideas; they are, after all, just players. If the players were capable of being head coaches, they would be.

        Wow, that is an absolutely horrible analogy when you carry it out to its logical end. And please, no one say that analogies have their limits and are not absolutes, because too many people take the analogy as the actual thing and simply ignore or choose to not recognize the analogy’s limits (the standard “interpretation” of Ephesians 5, anyone???). Probably because the people making the analogies are not the ones bumping up against said limits trying to cope with the negative aspects forced by the analogy, since they’re probably enjoying all the benefits and positive aspects of the analogy.

  4. Maria Bernadette

    Trump card? Then flip a coin. Let the wife have the final say. Take turns.

    Obviously that was tongue and cheek. For some marriages, though, they really cannot come to consensus.

    What if one spouse is abusive and being unreasonable to hurt the other? Subscribing to the hierarchy model isn’t the answer. It won’t work, regardless of whether the man is the victim or the perpetrator in that scenario.

    Disagreements? They happen. Maybe keep asking why until finding the root cause. It could be just a difference of opinion. Communication problems. Something like that. Or the reason for being “at loggerheads” could be something serious.

    If the focus is on how to get them to stop talking with each other about the disagreement and just do something already, then the hierarchy model is great for that. But that’s the wrong focus.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Exactly, Maria! If the focus is intimacy, then a trump card will never work.

      • Angela

        This is exactly what happened in my marriage with a “Gothard guy” and me reading typical marriage books in the 80’s. We never learned to communicate, deal with any problems, etc and he eventually became abusive. I sometimes wonder if things could have gone in a different direction if we hadn’t both imbibed toxic teachings…

  5. A2bbethany

    Yeah this is the one misunderstanding of a concept, that seems to lead to a lot of unnecessary suffering. It took me a short time to realize, unless I want to hate my husband for being stupid, because im not being honest; I had to speak up. (Not that he’s at all stupid, but if you silently suffer through letting him make all final decisions, you won’t love him for long! He’ll become a jailer)

  6. Anon

    It’s always struck me as really odd that so many Christians EXPECT serious conflict in marriage. As believers, surely our aim should be to follow the Lord, and He’s never going to lead a Christian couple in a direction that forces them apart. I’ve heard the tale more than once of a man who believed he was called to be a pastor/missionary and the wife didn’t agree, so eventually she ‘submitted’ to him and everything was wonderful – even though she still didn’t agree. But here’s the thing I have an issue with – God is never going to call a husband to be a pastor/missionary and his wife NOT to be a pastor’s/missionary’s wife – so if they have this disagreement over calling, then one of them is not listening to God. So instead of the whole ‘submit’ thing, surely they should be saying ‘ok, God isn’t going to be calling just one of us to make this move – He’s either calling both or neither, so we need to figure out which of us isn’t listening to Him’.

    The other weird thing is that it just sends a whole wrong message about marriage – we were told by a few people that we should NOT get married until we had at least one major row, so that we could know we were ‘able to resolve conflict’. When the Bible tells us to be self controlled, gracious, gentle, patient…how on earth do Christians think it’s ok to ADVISE couples to have massive rows with each other?!!!

    • Bec

      Haha my husband and I would never had gotten married if we waited for a big disagreement to come up 🤣

      • Anon

        We’re only 14 months into marriage, but it’s become a bit of a joke – ‘We really are running late with this blazing argument thing – we really must get it sorted soon. I know, shall we row about what pizza to order tonight?!’

  7. Lisa M

    We have also been married a long time (almost 25 years) and we’ve never needed a trump card. We work through every conflict together. And, it is through working through those conflicts that we’ve come to understand each other better and help each other grow. I cannot fathom how immature and shallow we would still be if my husband just made all the final decisions. It’s really a childish way to solve conflict, to assume that there is no real resolution.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s how I see it, too. That’s why when people say, “Ah, but someone has to make the final decision!”, as if this proves their point, I feel sad for them. Do they not have relationships where there’s give and take, where you work it out together? Do they not know that this is quite possible, and even probable, when you treat each other well and rely on God.

      • CMT

        This logic is very strange when you stop to think about it. I recently had a conversation with a very dear wise older family member. I was asking her advice about some problems in the church my husband and I had been attending. We had a long and helpful conversation, but at one point she gave me the line about my husband being the head of the household so “of course” I would defer to his judgement about something we disagreed on. Then later mentioned that in her church, all major decisions are made by the elder board and must be UNANIMOUS. Yep. A group of eight or ten people (ahem- men) making decisions that affect hundreds of congregants has to work for 100% agreement or they can’t do squat. But just two people who are supposed to be one flesh? Nope.

        Now I will say, I’m sure she would agree that the ideal for marriage is closer to unanimity than the trump card. But “the Bible says he’s the head,” and there is only one way to interpret that. This logic is so ingrained that I think people kind of forget that it is an interpretation and don’t see any inconsistency.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Yes! I often use that argument as well–the pastors who push “the husband makes the final decisions” often require unanimity in their elders’ boards! It does make no sense.

  8. Cynthia

    I interpret the “it’s not good for man to be alone” part as being a sign that the marriage relationship is one where neither husband nor wife decide things alone. Yes, it takes real work to make decisions together and jointly come to the best conclusion, but that is an essential part of marriage and making us better as people. Both of us bring something to the table, and both perspectives are necessary and valuable.

    When we do things this way, there is no power struggle, because we know that nobody is doing anything unilaterally. I’ve found that we sometimes forget who originally suggested something. We also both take ownership of any decision made. One of our biggest decisions was moving to our current house – we struggled with the decision for a few years, and when we finally moved, the renovation ran over time and over budget, forcing us to max out our line of credit and spend a few weeks sleeping on mattresses in his parents’ basement. It was a moment of maximum stress, but when my husband admitted how worried he was, I was able to reassure him that even though he originally wanted the move, I had fully agreed to it and this was OUR decision. That moment of stress passed, thankfully, and we’ve been happy here ever since.

    • A2bbethany

      Yep my 1st chance to do that sort of decision, I bailed and just pretended to help him decide. He had 2 job offers and he had a tiny window to decide. I silently thought option #1 was risky but the best choice. But after helping him neutrally verbalize his thoughts, he of course was leaning towards #2 because it’s was more sure. Afterwards we both agree, WORST decision was made! And all because I was too scared to voice my opinion.
      I promised myself to never again traumatize our family by not contributing.

  9. Jo R

    So what’s to stop a husband who believes in hierarchical marriage from saying, “Well, I disagree, this is what I think, end of discussion” anytime he doesn’t want to talk about something, no matter how big or small?

    If the wife tries to object, he just says his magic phrase to put a stop to the proceedings. She literally could not do anything he disagreed with, from what she might make for supper to the clothes she wears around the house even when he isn’t at home to whether she is “allowed” to get a job.

    The bigger question is, why do Christian women get married in such a system????

    • Anonymous305

      Why we get married is that the initial “in love” feelings overpower any rational analysis of how painful it will be to submit and/or we literally don’t know that it will be painful because the husband hides his true character until after marriage.

      After marriage it gets complicated when 2 core beliefs are in opposition to each other. Perhaps we believe in submission and responsibility, but we literally don’t know if God would prefer that we submit to an irresponsible decision or take an unsubmissive action to force a responsible outcome.

      Or perhaps we believe in good communication and avoiding bitterness, but the husband’s behavior causes attempts at good communication to result in bitterness, and we literally don’t know if God wants the communication more or the avoiding bitterness when we can’t do both.

      • Jo R

        Your idea about him hiding his true character…

        I’ll give guys the benefit of the doubt, but it does seem like they know instinctively what to do to woo and win a woman, but then after they say “I do,” the men seem to think they don’t need to do any of that anymore, while women double down on focusing on the relationship.

        It also reminded me of this little gem:

      • Anonymous305

        Never ever install Mother-in-Law 1.0 😆😆😆 awesome!!!!

  10. CMT

    Sheila this line sums it up for me:

    “in one scenario you feel as if you’re supporting the marriage by giving in to what he wants; in the other you feel as if you’re supporting the marriage by figuring out what will build intimacy and make you feel close. ” YES.

    The loneliest times in my marriage were the times I was trying hardest to be a “godly wife.” I suppressed my feelings and concerns to avoid rocking the boat. Then when I couldn’t hold it in anymore and all the negative emotions came flooding out, my poor husband would have no idea how to respond, I’d feel terrible and guilty for being “selfish” and try to be “more loving” and not need too much from him-until the next time around. It was pretty awful at times.

    What I have slowly realized, though, is that my husband does not need a perfect “godly wife.” He needs ME., the actual imperfect human being he married. All this focus on “roles” can make us really bad at relationships because it keeps us from really engaging as our full selves. And if we don’t fully engage, we can’t grow! If one person always has to give in to the other, it keeps both people immature.

    • Jo R

      Holy cow, your loneliest times sound exactly like mine. Thank you for putting it so succinctly.

      Hugs to you (and all the rest of us who have been on that roller coaster)!

      • CMT

        Hey, thanks for the kind words Jo. I wish this was a small club but I fear these experiences are all to common.

  11. Katelyn

    If you feel like hierarchy is dictatorship (which is what you’ve described in your post ) then you have a messed up view of God. Because God is not man’s equal in salvation, and marriage is to be a reflection of Christ and the Church.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      So are you saying that men and women are not equal in marriage then?

  12. Katelyn

    Equal in value, not equal in roles.

      • Katelyn

        Have babies.

        I’m not trying to be argumentative or rude. Just providing a different view. At the end we will all answer before God for how we choose to live our lives. I’m just trying to do my best to please him!

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Having babies is not a role; that’s a physical thing. I mean a role that God says a man can’t do.

  13. Rachel

    I know I’m late coming to this… but this was so affirming. My husband and I got married young (I was 19) and I had been raised amidst purity culture, modesty culture, stay-at-home-daughter culture, etc… I didn’t go to college even though I was a good student and had strong drive. Instead I was expected to stay home until my dad could pass my “leading” over to my husband. My husband was less conservative than me but very respectful of these beliefs. We struggled in marriage for YEARS… both of us trying to fit into gender roles that we simply didn’t fit. Finally we sat down and talked through what we both actually wanted/needed in our relationship. We are SO much happier since practicing mutual submission in our marriage, leading our family together (utilizing my natural leadershop tendancies that I always thought were a sin issue), etc… We still go to a church that would say we aren’t following God’s Biblical pattern but we know what works for us. Thank you for helping me feel less alone in our choice!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *