Lexie: submission is an act of the will

I received the following insightful comment from Lexie, who has featured at this blog a few times:

“I think it’s a mistake to think that there is any such thing as a naturally submissive woman. There are passive women, but they can be just as much trouble if not more than their candid sisters. I have seen passive women who entered marriage wanting no more than to stay at home and raise children later kick their husbands out or leave them after having a brood of children, as many as 25 years into a marriage. The husbands had no idea what was brewing because their wives were passive and never communicated their discontent. Alpha women may be a handful in a marriage, but they give plenty of opportunity to sort things out – in fact, they’ll insist on it.

What it boils down to is understanding that submission is an act of the will, and a submissive woman doesn’t have to be passive in nature. Aquinas teaches us that natural virtues are dangerous because you don’t have to work on them. A virtue that is practiced and made habitual is far stronger. So if I were a man I’d be looking for a woman of strong character who has a proven ability to submit her natural desires to her will. An example of that is a woman who would dearly love to sleep with her boyfriend but decides she will wait until the wedding night or who gives up an opportunity in her work or hobby to remain close to her family. So, by all means seek a submissive woman, but don’t confuse passivity with submission. Look for acts of submission, not a passive nature. Judge a woman’s character as you would a man, by her actions.”

I think this is a crucial point and many men choose women who are quiet and passive and assume they will make good wives. They may be in for a shock.

The language for describing strong, loyal and compliant women is hopelessly inadequate. I have said a lot about this in the past on my blog and elsewhere.

My wife is not a quiet little miss (I had one of those as a fiancée, and it didn’t work out. As Lexie says, passivity and quietness can hide all sorts of stubbornness.)

My wife is noisy and I (mostly) know what she thinks. But like a lot of “alpha” women, she makes a very good and loyal wife. I often think that Kate in Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shrew, is what a man should really be looking for – a strong lieutenant in the struggle of life.

2 responses to this post.

  1. […] not afraid to speak my mind, I am quite talkative with my husband and rather opinionated.  But I don’t submit because its my personality– its not. I submit because it makes sense to […]


  2. Posted by Eric on April 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Good point. Good leadership does not mean omniscience and omnipotence. Thus, a good leader relies on his 2nd in command. A wife who is an active follower while formidably capable in her own right enhances her husband and their family, who and which enhance her. A movie example of this dynamic is Suzy following Sam in Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012).


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