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Wives, Submit to your Husbands

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Wives, Submit to your Husbands

IMG_066Stop Laughing. Seriously. Stop Laughing.   It’s in the Bible, right?  I mean… all we have to do is just sit back, listen to what they say, and then .. do it.  Right?
A good friend of mine blogged about the Welcome to Holland Essay.  She used the “strikethrough” – which I think is the greatest literary tool ever invented, to make sure the essay conveyed her thoughts.  You can check it out HERE.  Although I’m not working on a special needs essay, I am going to use her methodology to dissect this excerpt from a 1950’s Home Ec textbook.:
The Good Housewife
The following is excerpted from an actual 1950's high school Home Economics textbook:

ADVANCE: How to be a Good Wife
HAVE DINNER READY: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious  edible meal--on time at some point in the evening. This is a way to let him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned with his needs Everyone needs to eat and you are going to end up fixing it either way, so you might as well get in the habit of doing it. Most men are hungry when they come home, and having a good meal ready is part of the warm welcome that is needed will make you wife of the year.

PREPARE YOURSELF: Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when he arrives because you are exhausted from all your daily “chores”.  He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting Be sure to share with him all the stories of children pooping in the hallway and tearing out every shoe from every closet so he appreciates his time out, besides,. His boring day may need a lift. Greet him with a smile.

CLEAR AWAY THE CLUTTER: Make one last trip though the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up sighing at all the children's books and toys, papers, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order the site of a tornado landing, and it will give you lift too.

PREPARE THE CHILDREN: If they are small, wash their hands and faces and comb their hair. They are his little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.Try to find all your children. Attempt to make sure no one has any evidence of your poor parenting skills on their person – aka. left over lunch you didn’t get to wash off, poop still stuck to something, or buggers crusted on their cheeks. 

MINIMIZE ALL NOISE: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise from the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet. I have no words here. NO. WORDS. 

SOME "DO NOT'S": Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. And expect that he won’t greet you that way either.  But do lean on each other … as a sounding board for your struggles and successes.  Count this as a minor problem compared to what he might have gone through that day. He probably had some big crisis he took care of at his big time job… but you gave all 3 children LIFE and kept them safe for another day.  You did ok too. Feel good about those accomplishments.

MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE: Have a cool or warm drink ready for him then fix yourself something with a kick. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down in the bedroom help do something while you lie down in the bedroom. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Again, NO. WORDS.  Speak in a low, soothing voice. By expressing yourself in that low “I’m gonna go crazy if I don’t get some help around here voice” you will scare him into doing something. Allow him to relax and unwind.

LISTEN TO HIM: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival so make sure you get them all out quickly.  When he is firmly seated in front of Sports Center is not the time. Let him talk first  eventually.

MAKE THE EVENING HIS: Never complain if he doesn't take you to dinner or to other entertainment.Men forget that you are not a wife from 1950 and like to sit around and wait on their every need. Instead, try to help him understand his your world of strain and pressure and his your need to unwind and relax.


So…. where is the marriage to be?  1950’s style? Or the more “modern” version of today?  Or somewhere in between?  I will tell you this – I am NO marriage expert.
But, Biblically, it says in Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit to your husbands.  Guess what it says in Ephesians 5:28?  Husbands love your wife as you love yourself.  Yeah… it’s not one sided men. IMG_357

Have you ever heard the phrase, too many cooks in the kitchen?  Why is it that almost everyone can agree that a time CAN come when there are too many people in the kitchen and nothing runs effectively.  It would be better if there was one person in charge and others working on tasks.  (Uh oh… how many followers have I lost here?)  But, no one wants to admit that there can be too many leaders in the marriage?  (I can see the followers dropping like flies.)

IMG_384If Ray loves me as he loves himself – then I can submit.  Because I know that he would never do anything to harm himself and would only want the best for himself.  That does not mean that I can’t have an opinion.  Or offer my opinion. Or that we don’t argue… a lot. Or that probably a lot of people would say, “I can’t believe she thinks she submits to him.” Because often when we are out it seems I am in charge. 

Looks can be deceiving.  There can only be one Rooster in the henhouse, one cook in the kitchen.. but it is a two sided equation.  I expect that Ray will love me as he loves himself.  And he can expect me to submit. 

Eventually. (Just kidding!)

So… what do you think?  Should that verse be thrown out completely?  Interpreted differently?  Who’s the BOSS in your family?  Who’s telling me off and moving on to a new blog? It is ok. 

(ps. as I was writing this Ray was plucking my last nerve and I told him I was going to delete everything I said after my re-write of the Good Wife…. so I guess I’m still working on the submission thing.)

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At August 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM , Blogger Meredith said...

I adore this!.

I adore the revisions you made.
I love that you tackled a sensitive and misunderstood topic with humor and faith.

Great post.
And I agree with you.

And I struggle. Especially when the husband is just being downright lazy.

But.... by backing off in so many areas, I have given him the FREEDOM to become the man that God always intended him to be.


Me being "helpful" was getting in the way of HIS plan for my husband.

Again - great post. :)

At August 22, 2011 at 6:32 PM , OpenID joanna said...

I am no Biblical scholar that's for sure...but I am pretty sure the Ephesians just forgot to finish that sentence. For instance: Wives, submit to your husbands the list of dried meats and various spices you will need to get you through the winter because he's only heading to Sepphoris once.

At August 22, 2011 at 9:00 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

Meredith - I love that you are always so supportive!

And Joanna... what would I do without you in my life? :)I love your little "addition." I will confess - I struggle with actually following through with what I believe.

At August 22, 2011 at 9:13 PM , Blogger Mama Duck said...

My favorite part was actually what you wrote AFTER the rewrite. :)

And I love it.

At August 23, 2011 at 12:42 AM , Blogger Non-Stop Mom said...

Holy wow I laughed the whole way through that revision! That was priceless!

That being said, I have always had issues with that whole "submission" thing. Throughout both of my marriages *cough* I don't feel like I was very submissive at all. I understand what it's saying in theory - and if the husband is the model husband *cough* then it would work. But, in my opinion, if the husband does not have the most stellar character, the wife can submit all she wants and he'll just walk all over her for it.

Does that make any sense at all?


At August 23, 2011 at 1:50 AM , Blogger Laura said...

Love what you said here- and I totally agree with you. My submission to Tim is conditional upon my trust in him. I know that he loves me and would never intentionally hurt me in any way. And when he unintentionally hurts me, he is very quick to apologize and change his behavior. As for concerns about a husband not having stellar character, that is why you need to be careful to marry the right person. :)

I appreciate your willingness to tackle this one- so many people look at a verse like this and get all bent out of shape about women's rights, but they forget to look at the fact that there are instructions for the men too :)

At August 23, 2011 at 1:54 AM , Blogger Non-Stop Mom said...

Laura, you are exactly right! I definitely did not pick the right one either time. But I can guarantee that I will not make that mistake again.


At August 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM , Blogger Jennie said...

This was great. I don;t think that scripture should be thrown out at all. But I love how you showed BOTH sides, because really, a husband and wife need to work side by side. Great post!

At August 23, 2011 at 8:53 PM , Blogger Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I don't think we can throw out scripture, especially because it does not suit our visions of what we like. We know that interpretation is key, and many have used this verse in a manner it was not intended, which is why it got the bad wrap in the first place. Your take? Awesome.

At August 24, 2011 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous Rachel said...

Well, here's the side from a non-religions person who doesn't want to start a Biblical debate, but who doesn't mind engaging in a marriage debate.

I think that the key to any PARTNERSHIP is give and take. And yes, somebody always has to be the leader, but it can vary by the task at hand. In our marriage, which is a true partnership, I am the leader in categories such as managing the money and paying the bills, scheduling and planning events, home design and maintenance. My husband is the leader when it comes to paying taxes, mowing the grass, grocery shopping and more. We gravitated toward the things we were better at and cared more about. We both suck at cleaning, so we hired someone to help with that.

But when it comes to our family - we are true partners. We've probably changed equal diapers, fed and prepared equal meals and kissed equal boo-boos (I am still in charge of the child's fashion purchases and daily wardrobe though). While yes, there is submission in our house, it's equal submission. Because it's a true partnership.

There are two roosters in our henhouse, but they take turns ACTING like the rooster.

At December 21, 2011 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous Amy McCollister said...

I think it could be as simple as finding a new way to describe what submission is supposed to look like on today's realm. I think you nailed it in your description though.


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