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The Husbands’ Survival Guide: Part IX

A Wife’s Proper Role

This is the final installment of The Husbands’ Survival Guide. If you ladies have enjoyed watching your husbands squirm in previous installments, the fun is over. Many of you will not like this installment at all, and I’ve no doubt I’ll get a firestorm of emails.

Quoting From Ephesians

I’m going to continue quoting from Ephesians, and what I quote most of you will try to deflect as passé, but it was Christ’s teaching in Paul’s day and it continues to be His teaching today. His teachings never change, because He (God) never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever,” so His teachings must be the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

As you can tell from the subtitle of this installment, this week we’re going to discuss the proper role of the wife. What I will write here is a teaching of the Church you won’t hear anywhere else these days, but it’s still the constant magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church.

Being Subject

In Ephesians 5:22-24 we read, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.”

Groaning and Gnashing of Teeth

Wow! I can hear the groaning and gnashing of teeth now! Before you get yourselves too bent out of shape, though, read on to see how this is balanced out.

This admonition from Paul first of all presupposes that the husband is living the way Christ wants him to live, as taught by the Church. However, even if the husband is not living as God demands, this admonition still applies. The way I wrote it in Secrets of the Catholic Faith is, “A wife’s special duties are to agree with her husband in everything that is not sinful, and to be loving, devoted, and generously dedicated to her children and the care of the home.” What this means is, wives must agree with her husbands in all that is not sinful, but this applies to family and spiritual matters (especially the latter), not the color of drapes in the living room or what peas to buy at the supermarket.

Added Perspective

For added perspective, a priest is subject to his bishop. A deacon is subject to both his bishop and the priest to whom he is assigned. A member of a religious order is subject to his or her religious superior. In all three cases, the respective person mentioned takes a vow of obedience. Asking God to be a witness to the truthfulness of what is being vowed, traditional wedding vows for a woman are to “love, honor, and obey” her husband. You may say that you didn’t have “obey” included in your marriage vows. Not having it specifically included in your vows in no way excludes you from the obligation to obey in all that is not sinful, because it is God’s teaching and your baptismal vows obligate you to believe everything the holy Catholic Church teaches.

Radical Feminist Ideology

The situation in modern society that causes people to reject this teaching is that we all, to some extent, have bought into the radical feminist ideology that women are equal to or better than men. This is an ideology straight from the bowels of hell. This ideology has essentially emasculated modern men, which in large part explains why men have abdicated their rightful role as head of the family.

Men, Don’t Get Giddy

Men, before you get too giddy about the idea of your wives being subject to you, Paul has more to say to you about this. While the subordination of the wife comes from the fact of creation (Genesis 2:21-22), immediately after telling women they are subject to their husbands he goes on to tell men that they are to “love their wives as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28a), because a man who loves his wife loves himself (v. 28b).


Modern society thinks this teaching is passé, as was said at the beginning. Our rejection of this very most basic family principle, though, has allowed every other deterioration of all things family. For example, selfishness in not having children and in disobedience to God’s very first command (Genesis 1:28) could not be possible if this most basic principle were observed. Since the belief that a man is the head of his family (with all that it implies) causes a man to have a deeply caring mindset regarding the good of his family, children are reared to be respectful and well-disciplined, the allurements of the world take a back seat to a closely knit bond in the nuclear unit, and the materialism so prevalent in society becomes non-existent within the family.

Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima told us that the last great spiritual battle would be for the family. The reason for that should be obvious: destroy the family and all of society is doomed. Is the family under attack today? Same-sex marriage, transgenderism, premarital sex, practical and actual atheism, divorce, contraception, and cohabitation absent of marital commitment are all working in tandem to destroy the family at an alarming rate. But there is an answer to this problem.


Men, it’s time to make up your minds to obey God in all things, as taught through the magisterial teaching of the Church Christ established, and assume your rightful responsibilities as head of your families. Women, it’s time for you to renounce your vanity and pride, learning to submit yourselves to the spiritual and temporal leadership of your husbands as God intends. There is a great deal of effort implied by these two calls to action, but if you will humble yourselves and acknowledge God as the highest priority in your lives, everything else will fall into place. Oh, yeah, that includes actually establishing a real relationship with Jesus by growing into a real prayer life.

Ask Me

As I said at the beginning of this installment, I fully expect a firestorm of feedback from readers. Believe me, your feedback is most welcome. You are cordially invited to engage in a friendly and respectful debate on these issues by going to the “Ask Joe” page on I’ll usually get back to you within a matter of hours.

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About the author, Joe Sixpack The Every Catholic Guy

I'm Joe Sixpack—The Every Catholic Guy, and I'm your go-to guy for all things Catholic! I'm a convert of thirty years, and the Holy Spirit has used me to make hundreds of converts in one-on-one and small group venues. I'm also a consecrated member of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, under the direction of Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. I hope we can be friends!

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