Submissiveness: Why Christian Husbands Find It So Attractive

A young lady may have good looks, and she may attend church frequently, but if she is bossy and controlling, many men will avoid her, and will not want to marry her. Christian men are highly interested in having a godly, submissive, obedient wife.

This article from our archives was first published on RI in November 2018

Editor's note: In his introductory article — How to Attract a Christian Spouse - Marriage Advice From a Christian Dad — the author introduced the Keyboard Model for identifying the traits that most Christian men look for in a potential wife. The first trait is physical attractiveness (in ways which are under the woman's control). This next article discusses the second trait, which is submissiveness.

If you are a young lady hoping to find a good Christian husband, then it is important to be the sort of woman that he will find attractive. The Keyboard Model identifies six key traits which Christian men look for in a potential wife, and the second item on the list is Submissiveness.

A good Christian husband does not want his wife to be his boss, or his equal. A family does not need two heads. A godly man desires a woman who will be his helper, and who will joyfully follow his lead.

God created marriage as a picture of Christ and the Church. To reflect this relationship, a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church, and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything. These truths are taught throughout the Bible, which is why every serious student of Holy Scripture has encountered passages such as these:

"Wives, submit unto your own husband as unto the Lord"
— Ephesians 5:22

"Likewise, wives, be in subjection to your own husband"
— 1 Peter 3:1

"The head of every man is Christ; the head of woman is the man"
— 1 Corinthians 11:3

Godly men and women instinctively know these things. It is built into the very way God created marriage. That is the reason why godly men find it so attractive when a woman behaves in a quiet and submissive way.

Both historically and in modern times, the Orthodox Church has faithfully taught the importance of wives submitting to their husbands. Traditionally, this has been understood as a necessity, in order to properly establish a godly Christian home.

Historically, people like St. Clement, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John Chrysostom, St. Theophylact, and St. Tikhon of Zadonsk are among the numerous Orthodox Saints who have taught the importance of wives being obedient to their husbands.

In modern times, many respected leaders in the Orthodox Church have continued to teach these traditional principles. This includes godly teachers like Elder Epiphanios, Elder Thaddeus of Serbia, Archimandrite Vasilios Bakoyannis, Fr. John Krestiankin, and St. Paisios. 

Sadly, our modern culture has declared war on submission, deadening the consciences of many men & women, and replacing traditional submission with the false ideals of feminism and egalitarianism.

As a popular author has observed:

"This is the tragi-comedy of the modern woman; taught by Freud to consider the act of love the most important thing in life, and then inhibited by feminism from that internal surrender which alone can make it a complete emotional success. Merely for the sake of her own erotic pleasure, to go no further, some degree of obedience and humility seems to be (normally) necessary on the woman’s part."
- C.S. Lewis

The last sentence is most crucial, because Submissiveness is — ironically — one of the clearest pathways to a godly woman's own personal satisfaction. Without a submissive mindset, a wife's discontent soars — she finds it very difficult, if not impossible, to fully love and respect her husband. 

Of course, until marriage vows are exchanged, a woman is not bound to submit to any man other than her father. Her willful consent to marriage is what binds her heart and duty to that of her husband's. It is precisely her willingness to undertake this consensual, honest act of surrender to her husband, that is a key driver of godly men's attraction.

If you want to be attractive to Christian men, then you need to exhibit the characteristics of a truly Christian woman. If your behavior suggests that you will be a submissive, peaceful, obedient wife, then godly men will be very interested in what you have to offer.

And this will make it easier for you to find a good Christian husband.


In the first article, we focused on physical attractiveness. In this second article, we discussed submissiveness. In the next two articles, we will focus on domesticity and femininity, which are the next items in the Keyboard Model:


As you read this series of articles, it is important to remember that these attributes are not guarantees of finding a godly spouse. Rather, these are the general rules (usually unspoken & unwritten) that drive attraction between men and women.

Over the years, I have heard countless sad stories from Christian men and women who struggle in their searches for a spouse, and unfortunately, many of them simply don't seem to understand the key factors that cause godly men and women to be attracted to one another.

There are normal and natural considerations which are largely (although not entirely) under your control. Thus, if you understand what these considerations are, there are various choices you can make, in order to increase your own relative attractiveness as a potential marriage partner. Understanding these things, and working on these things, can make it easier for you to find a godly spouse.

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