Dear Holly,
I love your book and have read it several times. I recently pulled it out again to refer to the section you wrote on pages 87-90 about, as you called it, “The Submission Issue”. I wanted to read this again because I recently discovered that a woman I have a growing friendship with seems to always defer to her husband in major and minor decisions about their family. She referred to her husband as the “spiritual head of the household” in explaining this. I have great respect and admiration for this family – my purpose in researching this issue is only for my own understanding, not to take issue with the way that they make decisions.

In one of your comments in your blog you said, “A husband… does have real authority given by God for the smooth running of the home and proper education of the children.” Could you elaborate exactly what you mean by this? Does this mean that a husband has a greater authority than his wife in these matters? If so, could you please site some helpful references (Church documents, etc.) to help me understand this? It seems to contradict the way you explained the “submission issue” in your book and the way you described that decision-making in a marriage when there is disagreement should be “satisfactory compromise”. I also looked up the document you referenced in your book, “JOHN PAUL II ON THE DIGNITY AND VOCATION OF WOMEN” and found what I believe to be your “counter edge gripping moment” (page 89 of your book): “in the relationship between husband and wife the ‘subjection’ is not one-sided but mutual.”

Maybe it would also be helpful to ask you to comment on some specific examples when answering my aforementioned question. For instance, should a husband, by virtue of his “God-given authority” make the decision or have the final say (over his wife) on issues such as what school a child should attend? What activities the children should participate in? What courses of study they should pursue?