Let’s talk about marriage, fear, and dread

I’ve explored this concept peripherally in the past, but I want to go back to it since there has been some discussion about it in other Christian and secular blogs. Specifically, Biblical Gender Roles and Rollo. In my opinion, the whole issue is a bit more nuanced than both Rollo and BGR argue back and forth. I will be thoroughly examining it in this post.

For those of you unaware, “dread” is what is termed of in “game” as passively or actively inducing feelings of anxiety, apprehension, or fear in a woman that motivates her to improve the relationship. Typically, such anxiety improves the relationship leading to an increase in frequency of sex or acting more feminine and submissive. However, it does not come without its downsides. Within this are two categories of which are termed “hard” and “soft” (or passive) dread. Rollo discusses dread and soft dread from a secular point of view.

Naturally, most Christian women and even some Christian men upon hearing that dread causes anxiety, apprehension, or fear in women decry it as evil. However, this negative response to “dread” is ignorant of the Scriptures statements on fear.

Obviously, I am not here to validate or invalidate supposed “game” principles. I am here to talk about the Scriptures and what we can learn from them concerned fear. Dread falls under the category of fear, but it is is not all fear. For this posts purposes this should become apparent as I’ll first have to discuss fear in terms of the Scriptures, but I will distinguish the various places it arises. This will lead to showing why it occurs when husband work toward headship, and how to rebuild a relationship.

Rational and irrational fear

Specifically, the Scriptures distinguish between rational and irrational fear.

Rational fear — fearing the consequences of when you do evil — is a healthy fear. This is the fear of God that we all have in our hearts. We should fear and tremble when we commit sin because God is Righteous/Just and abhors sin. Rational fear is an encouragement to do what is right, and to avoid doing what is wrong.

Irrational fear — is unhealthy and to be eliminated. This is when you fear/worry about necessities as Jesus talked about with clothes and food or have an irrational fear about what “may” happen to you in marriage. Irrational fear is a discouragement. It is often to avoid doing what is right and to do what is wrong (such as [being afraid to speak] out for your faith [when in a crowd of people]).

The examples often brought up by those who oppose “dread” are what are termed as irrational fear. The most often example is the one I discussed above. In the Sermon on the Mount preaching in Matthew 6, Jesus discusses the topic of not worrying about what you will eat, what you will drink, or what you will wear for your Father in heaven knows all such things.

On the other hand, rational fear is good. Feelings of anxiety, apprehension, or fear that encourage you to do the right thing are not evil. In fact, they are good. Godly fear should stimulate us to do the right thing, especially if we know what the right thing is. James 4:17 therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. It is clear that in the Scriptures sex in marriage is a good thing.

Rational fear is in clearly discussed in the Scriptures. The Fear of the Lord is exhorted all throughout the Old testament and New Testament Scriptures. However, wives are exhorted to fear/respect/reverence their husbands in both Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3. This is derived from the Greek phobeo, and the dual meaning is clear even though most modern translation place it as respect or reverence.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects (phobeo) her husband.

1 Peter 3:1 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 [a]respectful (phobeo) behavior.

G5399 — φοβέω — phobeō — fob-eh’-o
From G5401; to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere: – be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence. Total KJV occurrences: 93

For those of you who have read this blog a long time, all of this is obvious stuff so far because I have discussed it extensively. However, I have not discussed for what purpose the commands are placed. God’s commands for roles and responsibilities are always for a purpose. What is the purpose of a wife fearing her husband?

A wife is to fear/respect/reverence her husband because of the role of the position of the husband. Indeed, a wife is not to respect a husband for the things he does for her or if he is acting like a good husband. She is to respect him for the position. This is why the Scriptural commands about marriage in Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, Colossians 3, Titus 2, 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Timothy 2, and so on are unconditional. Proper fear and respect is given regardless of [insert bad things of the other person or imperfections the other person]. This is the institutional nature of some of the commandments that Father and Jesus have given. This importance of this cannot be understated.

Influence of emotions on behavior

This is why I also use attitude as a proxy for behavior when I can’t examine how a wife treats her husband. A lack of fear and respect from a wife toward her husband will almost inevitably spill over into how she treats him starting with contempt which leads to nagging, emotional blow ups, unhappiness, and the like.

As we know from my previous article on understanding how emotional states play into roles we see that:

Trust + fear/respect breeds submission.

Trust + joy breeds love.

This can be seen clearly below.

Plutchik's wheel of emotions

A woman that does not fear and respect her husband will have a very difficult time submitting him. Sex, from the perspective of a responsive act from a wife and initiation from a husband, is felt as a submission of her body to him.

This embodies the nature of the desire dynamic which I discussed in a Christian understanding of attraction. A wife who respects her husband will naturally submit to him in everything including sex. A wife who does not respect her husband will naturally find it very difficult to submit to him in anything including sex because it is so intimate.

However, although we want correct order — natural law — we still must choose regardless of how easy or how hard it is to be obedient to Christ.

Irreconcilability of the secular and Christian world view

In the secular model, many including Rollo discuss the desire dynamic in terms of men demonstrating high value which women naturally flock toward. However, this cannot be reconciled in any way with Christianity because of the burden of performance placed upon an individual under a secular worldview. Indeed, once a man fails to be high value under a secular world view his women will often naturally trade up or dump him altogether.

Now, the Christian dynamic is tied intimately with intrinsic value and extrinsic value. Specifically, extrinsic value within a Christian world view is reward by Christ to stewardship (see: Parable of the Talents/Minas again). I discussed how this properly is defined within a marriage in Understanding Godly Value.

Intrinsic value is the value that God has placed on us as human beings. There’s various Scriptures denoting the value that we have as God’s creations. For example, God knew us before He created us in our mother’s womb. All of these verses show that as His creation there is an inherent value that He has placed on us. This is why He desires that all men would be saved through Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9). Likewise, husbands and wives are “coheirs” in Christ (1 Peter 3).

Extrinsic value is a bit more clear cut. Extrinsic value is not derived by our status, our money, what we look like, or other early things. Extrinsic value is instead derived from what we do.  However, extrinsic value is not derived from a works based mentality rather it is derived through roles and responsibilities.

So too all extrinsic value is measured solely through stewardship of what we have been given. A wife’s stewardship is measured through her role and responsibility as a wife. A husband’s stewardship is measured through his role and responsibilities as a husband. Each of these are different in the Scriptures.

A wife gains nothing through usurping her husband’s roles and responsibility. Indeed, it can be said that by usurping her husband’s roles and responsibilities she neglects her own. Thus, she is being irresponsible with what she has been given in addition to being rebellious.

Intrinsic value embodies what it means to honor others.

Extrinsic value, on the other hand, embodies our roles within the responsibilities to which we are tasked. Each Christian has a role and spiritual gifts with the body of Christ. To those who are given to singleness Paul describes total commitment to Christ in 1 Corinthians 7. Likewise, to those given to marriage come the roles and responsibilities of husband and wife.

Indeed, the main difference between the secular and Christian world view is purpose. If there is no God then there is no purpose behind what the secular does. Those who do not believe in God are just trying to find some form of transient happiness whether within themselves, in women, money, or other material goals including lineage. However, within the Christian world view there is both eternal intrinsic and extrinsic value behind all that we do.

Tying everything back to fear (or dread if you want to call it that)

First, let’s understand what holy fear inspires us to do.

Holy fear of God is tied to eternal extrinsic value. It is not related to intrinsic value because we know that God created us and imbued us with value that cannot be removed. However, as we know in Proverbs the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. What does knowledge allow us to accomplish? Knowledge allows us to use our mental faculties to distinguish right from wrong. When we distinguish right from wrong and act on it then we build self control, then perseverance, then godliness, then brotherly kindness, and then love.

2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral [g]excellence (arete), and in your moral excellence (arete), knowledge (gnosis), 6 and in your knowledge (gnosis), self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

G1108 — γνῶσις — gnōsis — gno’-sis
From G1097; knowing (the act), that is, (by implication) knowledge: – knowledge, science. Total KJV occurrences: 29

G703 — ἀρέτη — aretē — ar-et’-ay
From the same as G730; properly manliness (valor), that is, excellence (intrinsic or attributed): – praise, virtue. Total KJV occurrences: 5

This is why I have no problem with objective science and human nature. Knowledge/science of human nature can be used to further the Christian walk. However, it must be built on a foundation of faith and arete — moral excellence, virtue, manliness — lest we be led astray.

Thus, we have established that the Fear of the Lord motivates us to righteous action given the nature of extrinsic value meeting the commandments of God.

Second, now that we have a proper framework rooted in Scripture let’s examine “dread” or rather fear. The fear, reverence and respect is already commanded of the wife toward the husband in the Scriptures (Eph 5, 1 Pet 3). Therefore, what we must acknowledge now is whether inducement of such fear creates righteous action. If it induces righteous action it can be considered rational fear. If it induces unrighteous action it can be considered irrational fear.

A wife experiencing anxiety of a husband naturally lends itself to increasing her desire to have sex with him more. This is an fact based upon the myriad amounts observational data from both Christian and secular marriages and unions. Hence, we must recognize that “fear” or dread is in fact inducing righteous action of desiring to and having more sex with her husband.

This leads to the conclusion that Christian women stating that husbands should never do anything to cause a wife to fear is false. Feelings and emotions are not the Truth. This highlight the prevalent myth that someone making you feel bad = sin. It is false.

Roles and responsibilities

Although we understand that the emotional feelings and subsequent actions of the wife from fear to have sex are righteous, this does not mean that the way in which a husband carries this out is righteous. Those of you familiar with Koine Greek should understand that eidos is the term used for “idol”:

1 Thessalonians 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every [m]form/appearance (eidos) of evil.

G1491 — εἶδος — eidos — i’-dos
From G1492; a view, that is, form (literally or figuratively): – appearance, fashion, shape, sight. Total KJV occurrences: 6

The reason why I brought up roles and responsibilities is that the nature of a husband’s roles and responsibilities are independent of his wife.

A husband can flirt with other women to make his wife fear him, but that is giving the appearance of evil and not treating her as it was himself. A husband can withdraw affection from her, but then he is not nourishing and cherishing her as if she was his own body. This is why I am against “hard dread” as it were which is overt actions that demonstrate the appearance of or the action of adultery.

The nature of the husband is to be the head in marriage. He is not to become the head in marriage. Neither is he to get permission to be the head in marriage. He simply is the head. The key to understanding this is the knowledge of dysfunctional relationships. A husband changing his behavior to act as the head in his marriage will naturally create fear within the wife. After all he is starting to exert headship within the marriage.

A wife who was naturally implicitly or explicitly in charge before will have built up trust with her husband in this dysfunctional relationship pattern. She is comfortable with being in the head position and thus in control of the relationship. She trusts that her husband is fine in this position. However, this does nothing to change her unhappiness, nagging, and contempt within the marriage itself.

This is naturally the result of dysfunctional relationship patterns that manifest in self reinforcing loops. A wife “may” desire to submit to her husband, but she trusts more in her control over the relationship than to obey God. This leads to an irrational fear loop that keeps her nagging, unhappy, and disrespectful of her husband. She acts as the head because she is afraid of obedience to God’s command. As you can see, this is an irrational fear because her role is not the head.

However, when a husband starts acting as the head in marriage this naturally creates fear within her through two other mechanisms:

  • There is a rational fear of authority that is rooted in his position as the head. The rational fear of leadership from her husband results in increased sexual desire for him.
  • There is another rational fear of breaking trust of the dysfunctional trust relationship. While breaking trust is normally a bad thing, breaking trust in a dysfunctional relationship pattern is a good thing. This naturally results in additional fear as she “feels like she doesn’t know who her husband is anymore.” However, this broken trust must also be rebuild if you want unity in your relationship.

This it the dual nature of rational fear manifesting itself within correcting a dysfunctional relationship. However, both of these facets must be understand by husbands in order to truly rebuild a harmonious relationship. Going out and flirting with other women naturally builds a rational fear of authority, but it does not rebuild trust within a relationship. Withdrawing affection naturally does not rebuild trust. Likewise, such actions violate not giving the appearance of evil and do not nourish and cherish the wife in love.

G5399 — φοβέω — phobeō — fob-eh’-o
From G5401; to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere: – be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence. Total KJV occurrences: 93

This is why I agree with “passive dread” that results from the change of the husband acting like the head in the relationship. However, the goal is not “dread,” but the goal is “head.” Dread or fear is just a passive result of this.

Rebuilding trust

Rebuilding trust is difficult. As the Parable of the Talents indicates rebuilding trust takes time and effort in proper stewardship of the roles and responsibilities that we have been given. It means building up a certain amount of capital in terms of extrinsic value. The good news is that the commands of Scripture to the husband are there to rebuild trust. These include:

  • She is your helpmeet and not the head (Gen 2).
  • Acting as the head within marriage (Eph 5). Be the leader.
  • Loving her as Jesus would the Church (Eph 5). Provision, protection, leadership. Teaching, training, admonishing, and rebuking if necessary.
  • Nourishing and cherishing her as yourself (Eph 5). Affection is obvious.
  • Not becoming embittered toward her (Col 3).
  • Dwelling with her according to the knowledge and giving honor to her as the weaker vessel and co-heir in Christ (1 Pet 3).

Treating her as your helpmeet and not the head and acting as the head in your marriage obviously double as rebuilding trust and acting as the authority. The problem is that most men avoid acting as the head and treat her as the head instead of the helpmeet. You lead, and she follows.

Affection is clearly the obvious route to go. If you do care about her then show that you care. Grab her and hold her close. Use your inside jokes with her. Be her rock when she’s emotional (don’t solve the problems, simply listen).

Other non-Scriptural things you can do are become muscular and ripped. The main other one is to have friends and hobbies which are proxies for not putting her on a pedestal showing her that you actually have a life apart from her. Obviously, most men that have issues are idolizing their wife or letting the wife take the lead.

Act don’t talk, but if you talk only talk about yourself to build trust

This phrase pervades the ‘sphere in general but it’s true. The Bible states this. Men are to act as the head. Women are to act as the helpmeet. Even if the husband is disobedient to the Word wives are supposed to win them over through chaste and respectful behavior (1 Pet 3). Talking is often seen as a bad thing. However, it can be used effectively according to certain principles namely only talking about yourself.

Talking about what she is doing is almost inevitably seen as negotiating to her. This is where I’ve changed my stance a bit. Although a man can tell her what she is doing is sin and wrong it only needs to be said once or twice and then left at that. If she doesn’t change her behavior then the relationship is obviously dysfunctional and she willingly will disobey both you and God. Hence, talking anymore beyond this to her is naturally seen as begging and won’t restore a marriage to its proper place. It is generally fruitless. The reason for this is that she places her “trust” not in what you’re saying but in how the dysfunctional relationship has been run. Hence, why it is important to first lead by example.

In this respect, we can see that men need to lead by example. If a wife is frightened by the extrinsic headship behavior of her husband who wants to break the dysfunctional relationship model he should tell her what he is doing to build trust. Often the conversation will start along the lines of her being unfamiliar with the changes:

Her: “I feel like I don’t know who you are anymore” or “You’re changing a lot and I don’t know if I can handle that” or “I’m feeling anxious because I don’t know what is going on with you”

A response should generally only be about yourself and not her in the slightest. The reason for this is because your concern should be first to your roles and responsibilities. If there is a good analogy it would be from the Matthew 7 judging statement: you are taking the plank out of your own eye before pointing out the speck.

You: “I realized I haven’t been acting like the man in the relationship. Lately, I’m focused understanding and carrying out my roles and responsibilities in the family.”

The nature of the change is often a scary one. Wives who understand the nature of the change then they are more likely to want to rebuild the relationship as opposed to wonder if you’re retaking leadership in the relationship and then going to divorce her or sleep with other women. Very few wives except perhaps those filled with malice — hopefully not any supposed Christian woman you will marry — will be against a directional statement like that. In fact, many will wholeheartedly embrace the change.

The main problem I foresee is that most supposedly Christian women who are not respectful and submissive even when it is difficult in the marriage tend to be lukewarm in their faith or may be Christians in name only. This is a difficult situation because even if they do “come around” per se and become respectful and submissive to your headship if you drop the ball they may revert to their previous behavior.

Ideally, this is not the case and you both were just ignorant before of how to build an ordered relationship. However, the good news is that the husband can sanctify the wife (Eph 5) and that wives can also sanctify unbelieving husbands (1 Cor 7). Even if a spouse is lukewarm then it can turn out for good.


  • There is rational fear and irrational fear. Rational fear is godly fear. Irrational fear leads to destruction.
  • Feelings are not truth. Despite what some Christian men and women claim, fear of the husband is based in the Scriptures and are therefore godly. What needs to be dispelled with the myth that someone making you feel bad = sin.
  • The fear, anxiety, apprehension, or dread that wives feel that drives them to have sex with their husbands when they start to act like the head is rational and therefore good.
  • Husband and wives extrinsic value through actions are judged according to their fulfillment of roles and responsibilities. Thus, the goal is headship for the husbands.
  • Unchaste behavior of husband and wives or potential impropriety in marriage is a sin. Hence, ends do not justify the means. The heart matters. For example, a husband flirting with other women is not good. Not all means are good.
  • Dysfunctional relationships have two components of fear: (1) breaking the trust of the dysfunctional relationship and (2) asserting proper headship in the relationship. Fear is a normal part of the transition process and both are rational and godly. The first (1) fear should aimed to be dispelled. The second fear is a natural part of authority due to the nature of fear/reverence/respect.
  • Fear is not something you aim for, but it is a part of the process of rebuilding a relationship. The goal is, and will always remain, in roles and responsibilities. In particular for husbands it will be in headship.
  • The commands given to each of the sexes within marriage are about action and not words. Do more, talk less.
  • Actions rebuild both the headship and trust within a relationship. Words may be required to build trust if your behavior has changed such as acting like the man in the relationship. However, avoid discussing what the other person is doing as that comes off as negotiation or manipulation. Words can help foster trust in this scenario.

Overall, this is a massive post that covers a lot of different Scriptures and topics and unites them as one. The main nuance is that it’s more important to focus on fulfilling your Biblical roles and responsibilities. Let the consequences that come out of that be addressed as they come.

Feel free to comment and discuss any of the content in terms of a Christian point of view. Troll comments will be deleted.

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53 Responses to Let’s talk about marriage, fear, and dread

  1. Pingback: Let’s talk about marriage, fear, and dread | Manosphere.com

  2. theasdgamer says:

    Let’s consider the question: Is it sin for married men to flirt in front of their wives?

    If this behavior is sinful, why is it sinful? Is it unchaste? No. However, it feels unchaste. Is it sin for a single man to flirt? No, we know that Jesus flirted. https://theasdgamer.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/jesus-flirted/ However, single men get this same uncomfortable feeling that married men get when they flirt. We know that feelings cannot be trusted. Maybe the problem is with our consciences having been misprogrammed by churchian culture. The biblical commandment is to be chaste. It is not that we feel chaste. If anything, we are to be bringing the joy of the kingdom of God to people around us. PUAs would put it as “bringing the party”. Perhaps “bringing the kingdom of God” includes being fun and even…flirting. Shock!

    We know that Jesus was in physical contact with women. The harlot washing his feet with her hair. Mary Magdalene who hugged him post-Resurrection. These are commented on in the text and there is no reason to suppose that they are the only times that women were in physical contact with Jesus. The Scriptures are much freer in allowing things like flirting than is churchian programming.

  3. A Visitor says:

    “A woman that does not fear and respect her husband will have a very difficult time submitting him.”

    How very true this! Yet, so many just “go to get along.” I believe Donal has brought up the point before but rediscovering some of what previous generations knew and put into practice will take some serious time.

    “A wife’s stewardship is measured through her role and responsibility as a wife. A husband’s stewardship is measured through his role and responsibilities as a husband. Each of these are different in the Scriptures.”

    Yet how many reverse those roles?

    “If this behavior is sinful, why is it sinful?”

    At a minimum it puts said men in the near occasion of sin. It ain’t worth it.

  4. @ theasdgamer

    Disagreed. I’ve already discussed why feelings aren’t the reason why it’s wrong (or at the very least unproductive). It’s because it doesn’t fit with the roles and responsibilities.

    Is flirting with other women really cherishing and nourishing your wife as your own body?

    I think the question speaks for itself.

    Time is much better spent learning and practicing how to be a better head in the marriage.

    Other women flirting with you is by no means a fault of your own. But going out of your way to initiate it even with good intentions in mind is definitely giving the appearance of evil and generally will not build trust and intimacy between a husband and wife.

  5. @ theasdgamer

    If we’re talking about Song of Songs 5 and 6 then we’re talking about Solomon’s other wives (“lilies” in “his garden”). Those to which he was rightfully entitled. Not randomly going out and flirting with random women who possibly weren’t his.

    Like I said in the above post I am not against passive/soft “fear” or “dread” as that is a normal part of breaking a dysfunctional relationship and establishing headship.

    However, it should be as a result of fulfilling roles and responsibilities such headship. Not going around and giving the appearance of evil while leaving commands such as nourishing and cherishing your wife unfulfilled.

    The ends — although good — do not justify the means. We’re looking for actions that are both righteous and result in good.

  6. First a very thoughtful post. You did your homework and have given this topic a good deal of thought. If I may quibble just a bit where you wrote: The problem is that most men avoid acting as the head and treat her as the head instead of the helpmeet..

    I do not know most men, but my experience with my own marriage and with many other men is that these husbands you refer to, are in constant conflict with wives who will not submit to them for headship. I am referring to Christian households not secular. The common teaching of the church is that a wife’s submission is not his responsibility but voluntary. So for him to act as the head is to engage in arguments, conflicts and he appears to be a tyrant in the home to the observer.

    Additionally Christendom has no shortage of teachers who stir up a wife’s discontent,convince her she a victim of some contemporary form of abuse and assist her in the destruction of the family. Men have a rational fear due to the prevalent sins of feminism that have saturated the church and the culture.

    IMHO- -the way out of Egypt is not man-shaming (i.e. men won’t lead), but a defeat of feminism and repentance. The enablers of feminine discontent whether they call themselves egalitarian or not, should be rebuked and discredited. Wives should be taught formally and informally to be subject to the authority of their husbands and build him up by getting under him and lifting him up, no matter how low they must stoop. In those churches that still have a polity able to shepherd through discipline, it should be advertised that a wife’s insubordination will result in a an ecclesial trial where the husband is presumed to be correct due to his authority over her. (Talk about a Godly fear!)

    We have tried tearing men down, it has not worked because a husband still has to face a contentious woman. He has no instrument to enforce his authority (The magistrate has the sword, the father the rod, the elders the keys, but a husband has been given no such corrective mechanism), but he can elicit the church can use their authority, insofar as they do not violate the jurisdiction of the home.

    Again it is a quibble of an otherwise excellent piece , thanks for your work on the issue!

  7. @ theasdgamer

    Again, the problem is not with preselection. It’s deliberately going out and flirting with women as that doesn’t show headship, or nourishing, or cherishing, and the like.

    Here’s a good example. Instead of going out and flirting with women, a husband speaks up in from of his Church about how he’s learning to become a better leader in his family. This naturally results in Church women coming up to him afterward and flirting with him (sadly, since it seems like some of them had husbands).

    This demonstration of good headship which results in preselection which makes his wife hot for him. He doesn’t need go out and flirt with other women intentionally.


    I don’t disagree that the results are good EITHER way: your wife has more sex with you.

    However, this is about a husband’s actions and conscience: is he performing his roles and responsibilities. If he’s going out and flirting with other women I have to disagree. If he’s demonstrating headship, confidence, boldness, and the like through his role in as a husband and in the Church which induces preselection then sure.

    It’s not about what happens to her, but instead it’s about you.

    Are you willing to stand before God on judgment day and try to justify flirting with other women to God?

    If you can say yes to that then go for it. I happen to disagree because there are more productive ways (and potentially not sinful ways) to accomplish the same result while fulfilling headship roles and responsibilities.

  8. @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    I do not know most men, but my experience with my own marriage and with many other men is that these husbands you refer to, are in constant conflict with wives who will not submit to them for headship. I am referring to Christian households not secular. The common teaching of the church is that a wife’s submission is not his responsibility but voluntary. So for him to act as the head is to engage in arguments, conflicts and he appears to be a tyrant in the home to the observer.

    Additionally Christendom has no shortage of teachers who stir up a wife’s discontent,convince her she a victim of some contemporary form of abuse and assist her in the destruction of the family. Men have a rational fear due to the prevalent sins of feminism that have saturated the church and the culture.

    True, good comment. I see both living close to a lot of liberal cities and universities.

    I see some marriages were wives are stirred up with discontent and they’re in a power struggle.

    I see some marriages that are totally dominated by the wives including some of my own relatives.

    Both of them are addressed wrongfully though, so the chaos remains.

  9. theasdgamer says:

    Are you willing to stand before God on judgment day and try to justify flirting with other women to God?

    I’ll rely on Christ’s example: https://theasdgamer.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/jesus-flirted/

  10. KingProphetPriest says:

    I read the “Jesus Flirted” post.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  11. donalgraeme says:

    Interesting stuff DS. As is often the case, going to need to stew on it some.

  12. Looking Glass says:

    This is going to be cryptic, but I’ll leave it at that.

    I’ll call the fear of severe physical harm “terror”. Terror is something most will experience in their lives. The “fear of the Living God” is something few will ever find. And it is something far, far beyond terror. It isn’t in the same galaxy. Isaiah saw the Lord and new the distance between. That distance isn’t something well transmitted in language.

  13. @ LG

    Interesting. The immediate thoughts that comes to mind are:

    1. The disciples were “sore afraid” or “violently afraid” at the transfiguration after they were transfigured + the Father’s voice spoke.

    2. Additionally, every time an angel appears to anyone the people visited are terrified or very afraid and the angels say “fear not. [insert message].”

    Or perhaps Jesus put it most succinctly in Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

  14. @ Donal

    Yup, I had to look at the Scriptures a lot and think a long time about it while writing slowly.

  15. Looking Glass says:


    In Revelation, John fell at the feet of an Angel because even their presence, in their true form, induced true fear. Though I much prefer discussing it with Moses and Mt. Sinai. Exodus 34:29-35. The Lord’s presence is such that the effect it caused on Moses’ skin was enough to shame everyone that saw Moses. The distance is that vast. That’s true, awe-inspiring Fear.

  16. Tab Spangler says:

    As a man that is currently fighting to take headship after neglecting it for years, it has been very difficult. I’m starting to believe that my wife was actually completely ignorant about respect rather than malicious. Her Christian parents are no example of it.
    She actually recently admitted to me that she has been a disrespectful wife and did believe that I had no needs. She has expressed willingness to change. She says she not only desires to be more respectful, but is very interested in being more feminine.
    I now plan on cultivating these traits into her, but I’m also curious if there are any female specific blogs or resources to give her to dig into it more as I would. Is that a prudent route or am I expecting her to pick up on this too similar to the way I did as a man?

  17. @ Tab Spangler

    I now plan on cultivating these traits into her, but I’m also curious if there are any female specific blogs or resources to give her to dig into it more as I would. Is that a prudent route or am I expecting her to pick up on this too similar to the way I did as a man?

    Funny you asked that. I just went through these two lists with my girlfriend:


    I’d suggest going through them together. Some of them in the lists above I was like I don’t think that’s disrespectful but it’s generally impolite. However, many of them I was like that is definitely disrespectful and I don’t like that.

    Peacefulwife is a really good website for wives that are disrespectful, nagging, and/or controlling as April was previously like that. She’s gives good Scriptural advice for wives on how to break the cycles of disrespect and cultivate a God honoring relationship.

  18. Jeff says:

    I think rollo and bgr were mostly talking about when it comes to sex. Rollo waits until he sees that his wife is gamed? Enough to be responsive and reciprocate his advances in the bedroom. Bgr says when husband wants sex it is his wifes obligation to have sex regardless. If he can do things to put her in the mood bgr says you should do it, but its not necessary to go too far in that due to wifes obligation. When she refuses sex bgr says it sinful and she should be rebuked. If she fears your rebuke so be it. Rollo calls that christian dread. My thots are that rollo waiting until he knows his wife is in the mood is the same as beta in waiting. A note: i am talking about those marriages where the wife is unsubmissive and disrespects and that she is a chronic refuser, and it needs to turn around. I am easily rollos age and if i waited for my wife to hormonally get in the mood i would probably only have sex once per month. Maybe he doesnt have the libido he once had. Maybe they have a lot of sx and he is a lucky man. Bgr states grudging sex from wife is ok as it keeps you from temptation. I agree even how hurtful it is that she would rather be reading a book. Same as if she is blabbing on about stupid stuff… She know you would rather be watching football, so i understand and willing to deal with it if it keeps her from talking to some stranger that can influence her.

  19. @ Jeff

    Yeah, I’m all for duty sex as it staves off temptation and bring a couple closer together.

    Duty sex + focus on roles and responsibilities will ultimately give way to good sex.

  20. jeff says:

    I think that is where the married gamers have it wrong. Sure when you are older and the urge for sex is not as strong it’s much easier to hold off a little more until things come together. Think back to when you were in your teens and into your 30s, my wife could be telling me how disgusting I make her and I would have still been going at it all the while saying yes dear. As it was the refusals can make you bitter and resentful, duty sex back then would have been great. As I have (and I think many men) gotten older I want sex and I want my wife to want it and want me. I know she wants me, just not as much (as many times) per month as I want her. That is where duty sex comes in. Sometimes it doesn’t make it great, but I admit it does keep me from temptation.

  21. @ Cane

    I’m curious about that too. I noticed some similarities between the comments.

  22. Cane Caldo says:


    I assume you saw, but I responded to Tryggrd that I am against the idea of a man turning his wife over to blogs for instruction. I cannot stress enough how dangerous that is; especially those of young women. By young I mean any woman who has not gone through menopause.

    The whole phenomenon of young women trying to mentor other grown women is very troubling to me because I can’t even get men to see why it always goes wrong in a way that is worse than if a woman were left in total ignorance.

  23. Cane Caldo says:

    I’m wondering if Tryggrd and Tab Spangler are not only the same person, but if it is someone trying to run an undercover popularity contest, or some sort of litmus test.

  24. @ Cane Caldo

    April (peacefulwife) is a 40-something blogger with 2 kids as far as I know. Not exactly young and has a lot of marriage experience.

    I see what you mean though. Every husband has different needs and desired role of their helpmeet. It is better for her to consult him about it than to go to different blogs to tell her what she should do when her husband may be looking for something different. It also diverts her away from proper conflict resolution with her husband.

    I will keep that in mind.

  25. Cane Caldo says:


    I see what you mean though. Every husband has different needs and desired role of their helpmeet. It is better for her to consult him about it than to go to different blogs to tell her what she should do when her husband may be looking for something different. It also diverts her away from proper conflict resolution with her husband.

    No, I don’t think you have seen what I mean. Man…I know you can understand this…

    Ok: You know how a lot of Christians read “The Purpose Driven Life”, and then began living “Purpose Driven” lives instead of Christ-centered lives?

    And I know you know the difference between an indicative and an imperative. Then recall that most people don’t. If you tell them that a Christian is self-controlled, then they try to be self-controlled instead of trying to be Christian. But self-controlled is an indicative of a Christian. Take up the commandments of Christ, and you begin to get the self-control. Take up self-control itself and you get tired and irritated.

    Women don’t need to learn how to be the good wife; the “Proverbs 31 wife”. The Proverbs 31Wife is an indicative; not an imperative. The imperative–what a wife[1] must do–is obey her husband, raise her children, and run her household well and with honor. That’s it. If she does those things, she will become the Proverbs 31 Wife.

    Submission is the absence of rebellion. Wives don’t have to learn “how to be submissive”; they just have to decide not to rebel. You literally cannot learn nothing, and anyone who tries to teach nothing with caveats is in fact only teaching the caveats. That’s why there are no caveats to wifely submission in the Bible.

    [1] I mean specifically a wife; as opposed to other Christians in other stations

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  27. @ Cane Caldo

    Hmmm. There’s generally I think 3 separate issues with husbands and wives.

    1. Inverted sex roles. The wife is the head of the family and the husband is the wife.

    2. Confused sex roles. The husband isn’t acting like the head (for whatever reason), so the wife falsely thinks she has to take on head responsibilities.

    3. Husband is the head and the wife is rebelling.

    Taking all of them into account I agree that it fits for #3. And I also agree that most husbands who regularly go to Church fit under #3. They are trying to lead but their wives are being rebellious.

    Though, I don’t think it works for all circumstances because of the other dysfunctional relationship patterns. It depends on how badly the husband is conditioned to be submissive if he [willingly] takes the reigns of his relationship if his wife chooses to start submitting.

  28. Cane Caldo says:

    Wives can always duck lower.

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  30. Dragonfly says:

    Deep Strength,
    “April (peacefulwife) is a 40-something blogger with 2 kids as far as I know. Not exactly young and has a lot of marriage experience.”

    I believe she started blogging, teaching (in real life), and video blogging on youtube when she was still in her 30’s. She’s recently counseled me to cut out the manosphere, because, in her own words, many of the men lack the love of Christ in the way they talk to women in this “community.”

    She said that she at first, tried to minister to many people in the manosphere, she wanted to help them, but the male-hatred/anger/etc. was bad enough for her husband to tell her not to allow anything from the manosphere to be posted on her site. And she said that he protected her in this way.

    She truly has helped many women with her material, even though she hasn’t gone through menopause, God still uses her ministry, even when she was younger. She warned me of demonic and satanic attacks that she’s endured, and that I will endure for doing such a ministry.

    Just thought you may be interested in this more complete knowledge from someone who actually knows her. She is an amazing woman of God, and is used very well, despite her starting her ministry before menopause, despite her receiving hatred and verbal abuse from male online commenters.

  31. @ Dragonfly

    Thanks for the information.

    She said that she at first, tried to minister to many people in the manosphere, she wanted to help them, but the male-hatred/anger/etc. was bad enough for her husband to tell her not to allow anything from the manosphere to be posted on her site. And she said that he protected her in this way.

    Yeah, I discussed a bit of this before with her before.

    She shouldn’t be trying to minister to the men anyway. Also, it’s good that her husband stepped in to set limits on influence.

    Men ministering/teaching/admonishing/etc to men is going to look a lot different than women to women.

    The anger is expected when deception is revealed, but we must be careful to not let it be bitterness.

  32. Dragonfly says:

    Her husband said he noticed “there was no spirit of the love of Christ” in the manosphere men and women.

    That’s a huge judgment slam on the manosphere, and something we’re pondering together.

  33. @ Dragonfly

    Eh, I don’t doubt that. It’s usually only the loud voices that come through the majority of the time.

    There are still singles and married from the manosphere who comment on her blogs in a civil Christ-like manner as I read the comments over there and occasionally comment. As a gross characterization it’s true, but depending on the individual it’s definitely false.

  34. Looking Glass says:

    There is a lot of the “love of Christ” in the manosphere, it’s just not the fluffy/comforting type. It’s the Fatherly/Truthful correction type. Which is something few Women are capable of doing and almost none can handle being around for very long. (Because, you know, they’re Women & not Men.)

    Doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of anger around that can get out of control, but I’d rather deal with that then with preening vanity displays. Because, as our Lord told us, Men & Women are separate creations. It’s to be expected we’d do things differently.

  35. Dragonfly says:

    That kind of sounds like… if talking about a church where the leaders/pastors don’t have the love of Christ, because they are the loudest voices teaching and leading others, that the church is “ok” just because **some** of the individuals going there still have the love of Christ. We usually tell people to avoid communities of believers like that, for their own good. It’s not enough if just some individuals are spiritually ok in my opinion, and may actually be dangerous, because the ones who DO have the love of Christ aren’t heard, and aren’t the ones leading… hence what her husband said about it, about her needing to not be apart of it. He saw that and was worried. It wasn’t because she was ministering to men, she actually still ministers to men who post on her peaceful wife site, asking them about their spiritual growth, their walk with Christ, and giving them godly advice when she can and is able for their situation She even ministers to men older than her.

    So ministering to men, for her, is part of her ministry as a by-product for helping them understand their wives. She calls this “reverse engineering” and it’s often helpful for them, and helps them spiritually.

  36. @ Dragonfly

    Except those situations aren’t really that comparable at all.

    1. The problem is you’re assuming that everyone who participates in the Christian part of the manosphere as Christians.

    When we consider a place like Dalrock’s it should be clear that perhaps at least 50% of the commenters are Christian based on how they act. But some large minority of the commenters are there to express views of the decline of marriage in the West. For example, I’ve read the comments of Dalrock for about 3 years now. One of the anonymous names is a self-professed player who sleeps with a lot of different women. There are some atheists who comment on the decline. And then there are also nominal Christians who by how they act are obviously not Christian.

    The problem is that most of the women who come to Dalrock’s blog assume that since it is a Christian blog that all of the commenters are Christian. In general, most of the actual bloggers themselves like Dalrock, Donal, and the rest of the links on my sidebar do write and act the part of a Christian.

    2. Now, in regard to what LG posted I do believe that’s the other half of the puzzle. Most of the Christian focused sites are focused on how to correct, admonish, and rebuke because that is sorely lacking in the Church. This comes off… unkind… shall we say to most women.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing because the Truth needs to be spoken, but it does need to be tempered as you grow more mature in Christ.

    You don’t criticize a toddler for failing to walk well… you encourage him until he can walk effectively. So too the criticism, admonishing, and rebuking needs to be encouraged (and not discouraged like many women suggest) but rather tempered to be in a kind manner.

    3. Finally, in regard to ministering to men I think it’s fine to help others understand the different perspective of the sexes and generally ask them about Christian walk and whatnot. But going beyond to giving advice is questionable… that’s why I tend to refer female commenters with questions to other female bloggers or the Scriptures because those who instruct or teach will be judged more harshly. I don’t want that on myself when Titus 2 instructs otherwise (and yes, I know that younger/older in physical years is different than spiritual years from 1 and 2 Timothy).

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  40. Swanny River says:

    Thanks for linking to this at Dalrock. Noone has commented since last December so this may be a waste for me write, but my wife is in the process of leaving. I’m acting as a head more, but she no longer considers herself a believer and it seems that, by actions, she wants to be head, or she wants out. She definitely doesn’t want to be a helper, and indeed, how can she be when she rejects God and only sees herself as her provider? For example, she gets so miserable and stressed about our money situation and she is so afraid of being homeless and 60(she’s 40) but it’s because she refuses my money ($400k 401k). That’s of her own making and is an example of how she is unable to be a helper. Instead of trusting God, being a happy mother to our 3 year-old, she is going against my wishes and is putting our son in daycare or telling me to quit my job if I want someone home for our son. I make decent money as a an engineer at the State gov level,but with her unsettled heart, what does it matter. Who in my church supports me to want my wife to be a helper and stay home with our son? None. They just say pragmatic things, but never ever support my headship seriously.

  41. Swanny River says:

    I like your idea of nourishing and think not flirting with others is spot on. How do I nourish my wife? She rebuffed anything giftwise a couple of years ago. I go to bed exhausted from being the fulltime parent every night and all weekend and from doing everything around the house. Except some of her clothes, part of her independence is that she refuses to wash clothes but also excludes some of hers from the wash. In regards to my previous post, I have to say s opp mething as my crap test for you, she has a Phd, so she could make more money than me. My church only looks at that and skips the headship part, so they all encourage her to work. She wants to do so for her sense of independence and security though. I go to a university city church that happens to be male elders only. I want her to use her gifts also of course, but I think that involves trusting Christ first yet my church only gives lip service to that. My wife hasn’t gone to church in 4 years, she stopped a year after we got married. So nourishing her with the Word isn’t possible either.

  42. Swanny River says:

    This is going to make me sound like an idiot but my Chinese wife’s Phd is in feminism. I thought she was a believer as did my church, and I thought her cynicism about what she was writing was about the content, and I wasn’t wizened by the sphere like I am now. I was a good churchian. I still don’t know if she believes in any of the content she writes, but her love of freedom of conflict via independence is strangling the marriage.

  43. @ Swanny River

    I’m not super experienced with such situations, but the Scripture is quite clear:

    1 Corithians 7:12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not [f]divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not [g]send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through [h]her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called [i]us [j]to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

    If she leaves then she leaves. If she wants to stay then that’s cool. But that doesn’t mean you don’t act like the head because you are still called to be the head.

    Obviously, in hindsight it’s unwise to marry someone with self-proclaimed feminist leanings, but you can’t do anything about that now. What you can do is switch churches if they’re not admonishing your wife to do the right thing. Try to find a Church with a mens group that is supportive. That will help A LOT as you can find some brothers to help you walk through the difficult time.

    Remember, *we* as Christians cannot change hearts. Only God can change hearts.

    1. Make sure you’re filling up your soul everyday in the Word and prayer for God to give you strength and courage to continue walking as the head.
    2. Stay fervent for God.
    3. Continue to improve yourself: dress well, get fit, get YOUR life together.
    4. Work hard at your job and taking care of your kid.
    5, Don’t argue with her, don’t try to console her, don’t try to change her.

    In summary, let all of your actions explain who you are: the leader even IF she doesn’t follow. Husbands are judged by God not by their wives’ actions but how they fulfilled their Biblical role and responsibility. Try to keep that in back of your mind.

    As far as a career versus child go avoid talking about the career. Instead, explain the consequences of actions. Does she want to be remembered by her children as being a workaholic and careerist? As a mother who is distant from her children?

    The reason why women want to be careerists is because they were told that be society and/or their parents. However, it’s not ultimately fulfilling. At the end of the day and at the end of your life, the most important people are family. Make sure she knows that. If she tries to starts an argument about it then just let it go: “Just a thought. I love you and our kid and want us to be a close, happy family.”

    God can use the changes in YOUR life to affect others including your wife. He may not and she may leave, or He may be able to get to her through you as you stay strong in Him and become a Rock in His image.

  44. Swanny River says:

    Thank you kindly for your kindness. I forgot you are single, but as it turns out, your response was very mature and one I hope you continue to provide, even if you have a long happy marriage. There has been a few times I’ve received responses from red pill married men that would have been better if they had not been so quick to give advice. Much of these changes are simple to know, but need the strength of a body, which is why you mentioned a mens group. I’m in one but two of the guys are blue pill, but it’s still helpful, especially if the primary whiteknighter of the group is absent. Wouldn’t you know it, he has a missionary degree from Wheaton.

  45. @ Swanny River

    Well, I am in a relationship headed toward marriage if that helps to know. Studying the Scripture and prayer really goes a long way to understanding that you can’t change anyone, and that God wants to change you as a witness for others.

    Shoot me an e-mail or e-mail me if there’s some commenter(s) you want to talk to and I’ll send along a request. There’s some good ones who give really solid Biblical advice.

    It doesn’t sound like your situation IRL is that great, and although online is not ideal it can help. Iron sharpens iron and all.

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