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Does a Wife Owe Submission to Her Husband? How Should That Work? December 7, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, mortification, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

A fairly good video below from the Fatima Center, but I thought the priest could have gone much further in both giving concrete examples and on insisting on the primacy of the husband’s role in the spousal relationship.  Some in the comments at Youtube noted the same.  I am out of time for the year, pretty much, I might be able to get on a little next week but I’ll be in North Carolina so that’s dubious, at best.

Too many even traditional priests take St. Paul’s statement regarding “husbands, love your wives, as Christ loves the Church” to mean that wives are obviated of their duty to obey their husbands if the husbands exercise less than Christ-like perfection.  That’s an exception that completely eviscerates the rule, and is said, I fear, because too many priests either accept some degree of cultural marxist inspired feminism themselves, or they simply don’t want to have an upset woman on their hands.  This is not what St. Paul meant at all, and there are few priests in my experience who are really willing to lay out, clearly, what owing obedience to one’s spouse  entails.

This does not mean that a husband gets to come home and act like a prince, doing little and being waited on hand and foot.  It does mean, however, that when there is a disagreement between the spouses on matters, the wife should, absent anything the husband might command that would result in the commission or near occasion of sin, generally yield to the husband’s will.  The wife can certainly make her case, and lay out her reasons why the kids should be treated in such a way or this car should be bought, or whatever it may be, but if the husband decides otherwise, ultimately, the wife should submit, happily, to his decision. I have found that even among devout Catholics women prepared to make such submission are all too rare.  Not that even devout Catholic husbands are absent their own faults, either.  And of course this does not mean that husbands will necessarily decide wisely in every case, nor that a husband may use his authority to rule his home severely or tyrannically.

But obedience means nothing if it is predicated on either getting one’s way – through outright disobedience, drama-filled hysterics, or calculated manipulation –  or near-perfect behavior on the part of the husband.  One of the biggest failings of Catholic married men of the past 60 or so has been their failure to insist on their duty and right to lead the family, for which he will be strictly judged by God.  Feminism and broader cultural trends have exacerbated this shirking of duty to a heinous degree, so that we now have whole generations who have never seen proper Catholic married male leadership in action, and which have picked up many bad, destructive beliefs from the culture.  This is a major point of contention in many families and is something that is very hard to do right.

Great topic I hope to expand on when I return.  The Fatima Center indicated they would try to get the Dominican priest in the video to expand on this topic in future, addressing more concrete situations and the widespread problem of spousal disobedience/failure to lead.  That would be an excellent way of framing a post, if anyone at the Fatima Center is reading.

And, yes, I am appreciative that the Fatima Center has found a traditional religious priest to replace the much-beloved and missed Fr. Gruner.



1. Shelly Gale - December 7, 2016

THANK YOU for addressing this topic, since it is addressed only by a few religious.

2. Brian Springer - December 7, 2016

Although this does not yet apply to me (unmarried here) I found it refreshing that a priest (and a Belgium one at that) has enunciated the Church’s perennial teaching so clearly.

Most pastors, as well all know, have done the exact opposite. I knew a priest who, when this passage was read during Mass, quickly explained it away. He didn’t even try watering it down,he simply dismissed it at the very beginning of the homily as being a product of the apostle’s own time.

Fr. Ripperger has some good talks on this issue as well. He mentions the need for the husband especially to do penance for his family in order to merit the grace to lead them properly and for them to be docile in allowing him to lead them.

3. John Collinson - December 7, 2016

Women understand that you don’t talk back to your parent, your teacher, your boss . . .

4. The Lord's Blog - December 8, 2016

Reblogged this on Jean'sBistro2010's Blog and commented:
Submission interesting?

5. Baseballmom - December 8, 2016

I do think it refers more to the big decisions made in the family. The beloved spouse is not Catholic (though he has followed Church teaching in many respects) yet I have always expected him to make the big decisions and he has always known that I would support him 100%. When differences arose in child rearing (very rare) all discussions (for the most part) were done in private. This has worked well for forty years…. I figure it should work for the next forty 😉

6. Katie - December 8, 2016

The wife has a duty to submit in all things, and this includes even if the husband makes imprudent decisions, e.g. spending a lot of money. It’s up to her to simply be as economical in other areas as possible to compensate. Similarly, if the husband refuses homeschooling or private schooling for the children, the wife has to compensate in their moral education by working with the children on extra catechism at home. She may make her point ONCE at the time if she feels a decision is not a good one; but after that, her duty is just to make it work.

Baseballmom - December 8, 2016

Imprudent, yes. Immoral, no. Sinful, no.

Tim - December 9, 2016

The short answer to Tantum’s title question is yes. However, you are exactly right on your qualifications. Husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the Church…..a tall order for us men. I believe the men have the more difficult requirement. Christ was not a petty dictator. Same thing with obedience to Church authorities….
The papolators and obediolators need to learn this.

7. skeinster - December 8, 2016

It has become my conviction, earned the hard way, that if I do something that my husband does not want, or is not supportive of, it usually turns out badly.

Baseballmom - December 8, 2016

There’s some Truth right there! 🙂

Amillennial - December 8, 2016

It has been my experience, also learned the hard way, that if I do something contrary to the will of my wife, it usually turns out badly. Sadly, I am generally a terrible decision maker as husband and father. Really about the only good decisions I have ever made have been in the area of the family’s prayer life. Outside of that, I am woefully deficient.

Barbara Hvilivitzky - December 8, 2016

The exception does not make the rule. That many husbands have not been brought up, by their own fathers, to step into the big shoes does not mean we should not strive to teach our sons and grandsons to accept their difficult role.

Amillennial - December 8, 2016


8. David - December 8, 2016

Many men today have abdicated their authority. Women today are also being raised that they do not need men. This is one reason for the decline in traditional marriage – women don’t seem to need us.

I am also amazed out of my own generation how many men don’t know how to use basic tools, fix little things, and have basic knowledge of math and science (in the 1970s. If a boy wasn’t good at math other boys made fun of him, so I was sure I was good at math). I am glad I had a dad who showed me some basic auto mechanics, and I did recondition an old bicycle when I was 13, which saved money compared to a new bike.

On the other hand, my mother was a big help to my dad, not just in domestic duties, but she has a great deal of business sense. My dad would not have lasted personally or professionally without my mother. My dad is like an absent minded professor.

9. glmcreations - December 13, 2016

feel free to quote or put on your site. Guy McClung

Yes, Guy, There Is And Always Will Be An America Guy McClung Dec. 13, 2016 http://www.catholiclane.com/56518-2/ [http://www.catholiclane.com/wp-content/uploads/detail-of-american-flag-11279635008nzaN.jpg]

Yes Guy, There is and Always Will be an America http://www.catholiclane.com Dear Editor, I am in my 70th year. Some of my little-minded bitter friends rejoice that America will be no more because it has been fundamentally changed. I, and many of my friends, served in the A…

Dear Editor, I am in my 70th year. Some of my little-minded bitter friends rejoice that America will be no more because it has been fundamentally changed. I, and many of my friends, served in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. My Dad, who crossed the English Channel 70 times on a non-tourist visa, my uncles, and father-in-law fought for America in World War II. My grandfather fought for America in World War I. My ancestor grandfather fought for America with General Washington in the Revolutionary War. Is this America no more?

My wife’s ancestor grandfather – a freed slave – was the first Texan wounded in the Texas War For Independence in 1835; and two of her other great great grandfathers fought in the Civil War. Is what they fought for dead?

I have heard from some, “If you see it in the eyes of your fellow Americans, hear it in their words, witness it in the reverence they have singing the National Anthem, in their respect for Old Glory, and if they believe it in their hearts, then it’s so.”

Please tell me the truth, is there an America any more?

Very truly yours, Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

Dear Guy, Your little-minded bitter friends are wrong. They have been affected by the statism of a statist age and have been taken in by their own schemes.

Yes, Guy, there is an America.

America exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion and true patriotism exist, and America makes possible for you and everyone here an abounding meaning, beauty, and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no America! It would be as dreary as if there were no Americans. There would be no faith in one’s fellow man or woman, no united country that is and has been a shining city on a hill, no place where still thousands wish to come and sacrifice everything to do so; because the hope for this America can move men and women to sacrifice all to be happy here.

If there were no America, there would be no hope for the world. The world would have no enjoyment, no place full-of-wonder as is America. If anyone would succeed in destroying America or fundamentally changing it, the shining American light which fills the world would be extinguished.

Some have said America is the nation of a foreign religion. Guy, they might as well have said a dog’s tail is a leg, and therefore a dog has five legs. From its founding, America was a Judeo-Christian nation, has been a Judeo-Christian nation throughout its history, will be one after 2016, and will forever be a Judeo-Christian nation. Change America to another nation ? Our Constitution itself says it was signed in “the year of Our Lord,” the Lord who is none other than Jesus Christ. Change America from being a Judeo-Christian nation? This would be like changing love to hate, glory to infamy, or light to darkness.

Not believe in America! They might as well not believe in goodness, and justice and love. America is the faith, poetry, love, care, courage, beauty, steadfastness, romance, and bravery that pushes aside tyrants and those who would alter or abolish her. America proclaims the glory she has known, the glory she is today, and the glory she will know in years to come. Is America real? Ah, Guy, in all this world there is no country so real, so good, and so abiding.

No America? Thank God America, the America your forbears fought for, lives and will live forever. A few foolish fools cannot change her. A thousand years from now, Guy, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, America will continue to make glad the hearts of its citizens and be a place of justice, of courage, and of freedom. Yes, Guy, There Is & Always Will be An America! Merry CHRISTmas! And Happy New Year! Copyright © GM 2016


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