A brief introduction to Taken In Hand - from a Biblical perspective

I think the Bible gives an ideal explanation of what a Taken In Hand marriage (or other relationship, for those who choose not to marry) should be. I'll try to paraphrase it in such a way that the religious tone is excluded, which for me is a bit difficult, but here it is:


The husband leads the marriage, and the wife is submissive and respectful to her husband.
A man loves his wife as his own body. He who loves his wife loves himself.
A man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, so they can become one.

I Corinthians

The husband shows respect and love toward his wife. The wife does likewise toward the husband.
The wife does not deny the husband her body. Likewise the husband does not deny the wife his body.
Neither spouse denies the other, except by mutual agreement for a limited time.

In short, the man leads, the woman follows. They both cheerfully and lovingly do what they can to satisfy each other's needs and desires. I think that encompasses nearly all of the variations of the Taken In Hand relationships.


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What a sweet article! I think all of us are different, with different needs (as I have stated many times before on previous postings), but whether or not you are a Christian, a Taken in Hand relationship feels very natural for many of us.

I happen to be a very liberal, open-minded Christian (I also embrace some other philosophies not in the Bible). I love the scriptures that KrosRogue quoted. They are so loving and give wonderful guidance for a loving (not abusive!) relationship.

I look up to my wonderful husband and respect him so very much for being the strong man that he is. In return, he cherishes and protects me. I enjoy being under his guidance and leadership, which bring out my naturally submissive qualities.



Thanks for these paraphrases. It is because I believe my husband believes these things and I do as well that we are happily married. If I didn't think that he loved me as much or more than he loves himself, we probably wouldn't be so happy.

Biblical perspective on Taken in Hand

Exceptional post! My husband and I have modeled our relationship after the Biblical principles for marriage. It works!

My husband is the captain of our ship and I'm his first mate. I accept and embrace his leadership in our home to bring harmony and balance. It's not about him changing me; it's about us having a beautiful loving, harmonious, and balanced marriage. It's about being accountable to each other since both of us make mistakes. It's about helping each other get to where each of us wants to be as an individual. We help each other to make adjustments and get rid of habits we don't want in ourselves or our marriage.

I don't consider myself submissive by the meaning of the word that the world around us has. I consider myself taken in hand and when needed, smart enough to know when to obey my husband. He doesn't want me to be mindlessly obedient. I am a moral agent in my own right, and have a moral obligation to do what I myself believe to be right, and not do things I think wrong.

I wish people in the world today wouldn't look at the Biblical perspective as women being abused. It's not that at all and frankly, folks who say it is are taking things out of context.

Taken in Hand is a beautiful and intimate relationship between two people. It's centered on both people. It's loving and deep. It takes diligence on both people to keep things balanced and loving. We wouldn't have it any other way!

T's Kat

Duty or choice?

Personally, I am very sceptical to attempts to justify Taken in Hand-style relationships from a religious perspective. Naturally, since I am not myself religious, but there is also another point to it. Typically, and definitely in the case of the bible, the submission of the wife to her husband is presented as an imperative, a duty towards a god or the society. For example;

A woman must learn quietly with all submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet. For Adam was formed first and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, fell into transgression (1 Timothy 2:11-14)


[Women should be taught] to be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message of God may not be discredited. (Titus 2:5)

I think this perspective obscures one of the most important points of the type of male-led relationships that we discuss here: we do it because we like it! I definitely would not want my wife to feel that it is her duty be obey me, I want her to do this because she trusts me and feels that she can get the most out of our relationship in this way. If she did not want to be in a relationship or this type with me, I wouldn't want her to.

If it doesn't make you happy then don't do it, and for heavens sake don't feel that you should!

I am not trying to imply that religious people cannot have happy and genuine Taken-in-Hand-style marriages, that they feel are informed by their beliefs. This would be very wrong. My point is simply that, regardless of your religion or other beliefs, the aspect of consent is a very important one. I think that unless you genuinely wish to be in a male-led relationship, for its own sake, the chances of having a happy one are slim.

Control and consent

My desire for a male-led relationship does not come from my religious training, but from a deep longing inside me. I feel my natural tendencies have played a part in finding a spiritual community that values authentic authority and obedience. Instead of weakening me, these values enrich my life -- I am a stronger person because I recognize both my ability to hold authority myself and my power to live under the control of my man. I am fully responsible to follow the vows I have taken to love, honor and serve -- my vows hold me as I hold them. I am not compelled to obey -- my marriage is fully voluntary on my part. It sounds so heavy and serious, but it doesn't feel that way -- I have a joyful, playful life for which I am very grateful.