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Monday, January 13, 2014

Marital Submissiveness

In The New Testament, Peter encouraged wives to be submissive to their husband.  Men have glommed on to that like nothing else, other than beer, throughout the history of Christianity.  They completely ignore the next part where Peter cautioned husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.  What?!  Bummer!

Now, most people who read my blogs, have met me in real life and have read some of my skreed will assume that I ride roughshod over my poor hen-pecked husband who just says, "Yes, Dear" and huddles in a corner somewhere, waiting for my never ending Honey-Do list.  You folks have no idea how hilarious the two of us find that characterization.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Granted, I have stubborness in spades, but Dude, he's purebred Dutch stubborn.  No, ain't nothin' gettin' through that thick skull that he doesn't want in there.

That being said, we do argue, but not a lot.  The times we do argue is when one of us is just absolutely refusing to acknowledge what is staring us in the face. I have no magical, mystical "Bitch" wand that I wave to get my own way.  And, I will be completely honest, the men in my household (3:1) regularly disregard anything I may have to say or think.

I know you're sitting there, scratching your head, wondering at this supposed dichotomy.  It's because I know where the real seat of power lay.  They can all survive without me.  I have no delusions about that, but the state of their cave would be appreciably less.  It would be filled with coke cans, beer bottles and pizza boxes.  Dust would be a foot thick and the pets would have died from neglect very quickly.  They would run around in stained clothing with holes in it, buttons missing.  They would have no caps, no gloves, no scarves.  There would be no cake, cupcakes, brownies or chocolate mousse in their lives. I'm pretty sure that right there is why my husband hasn't smothered me in my sleep.

Does it mean I don't get mouthy?  Have you met me?  But we get through it.  It doesn't mean Mark is automagically right all the time.  He's not.  It does not make me automatically wrong.  He doesn't bull-doze over me and I don't steam-roller over him.  We do listen to reason, once the irrational, emotional haze lifts.

If a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the Church, then he will not take advantage of the fact that she has to submit to him.  He will love her, listen to her and quietly guide her when she has the wrong idea in her head.  It doesn't mean it's beaten into her.  It doesn't mean she's a wimp or in any other way "lesser" than.  It takes a very strong woman to step back and let her husband lead.  Especially when he won't stop and ask directions.  It doesn't mean she doesn't have a voice.  It doesn't mean that nothing she says or thinks is stupid or useless. She has to be strong to bite her tongue and discuss it with him amongst themselves and not a crowded restaurant.  (Yeah, we've all been to THAT restaurant, right?)

Many who know me have wondered how I'm doing being at home amongst The Neanderthals.  It's fine.  I can clout the boys heads and glare at my husband.  I love cooking for them, cleaning up their environment.  They've been left on that hook for way too long.  They work, go to school and try to live their manly lives.  It's fun to listen to them just talk.  I no longer wonder why my sons are single.  It's pretty obvious.  I'm close to giving up my hopes for grand-children.  It's not just them, it's the women they describe meeting when they go out.

Do you know what the real thing is in submitting to your husband and loving your wife?  Respect.  That is at the bottom of everything.  I just don't see how these young women my boys meet could possibly respect them when they clearly don't even respect themselves.  And the boys can spot them a mile away.  They are turned off by them, and ridicule them when they get home.  I would like to say that perhaps my example, quiet as it was, shows them the difference between a woman who respects herself and a woman who sells herself very cheaply.  I don't know.  I don't know that they even know the reason why these girls are so repellent to them.

I do know, that they make the most chauvinistic jokes about women that I've yet heard.  They're funny and we laugh.  Do they really feel that way?  I don't think so based on everything I've witnessed in their long term relationships.  Neither one seem to be the "hit and run" type, but I'm a mother, what do I know?  I just know that neither one appear to want to even talk to the types of girls they are meeting when they go out with their friends.  I know that they clearly recognize that if a girl doesn't respect herself, there is no way she's going to respect him.

I submit to my husband because I know that he would never, ever do anything to harm me, to cause harm to come to me and would walk through the fires of hell to see to my well-being.  He lives to make me happy.  How could I do any less than that?  I love and adore him, even in his geekiest moments.  I love him when he has one of his wrongheaded ideas about how the world really works.  I can tease and cajole him.  However, this is overshadowed by one thing and one thing only.  He cheats on me daily, several times a day.  He loves something more than he loves me and I know it.  I am seemingly OK with it. It doesn't mean that I don't throw it in his face whenever I can, because it makes me irrationally angry that he could love something even more than himself.

He loves cigarettes.  He loves smoking.  He loves it so much that he covers himself in the smell of it and transfers it to everything he comes into contact with.  He knows I hate the smell of his mistress, and yet he keeps on slapping me in the face with it.  I submit on this as well.  Yes, I do make my snide remarks.  I throws packs of cigarettes away when I find them.  If we had paid for the course of Chantix he went through last year I will admit, I would kill him slowly and painfully.  There are the small, passive-aggressive ways I have of dealing with this type of betrayal.

When he gets sick, and statistics say he will get sick, I will not help him at all.  I will not assist him, I will not bring him oxygen or push his wheelchair because he can't breathe well enough to walk.  I will not nurse him.  Because this was his choice and I don't respect it.  I don't appreciate the fact that I am five years older than he and yet he will most likely die and leave me alone way before I do because he CHOSE to make that cigarette the most important thing in his life, even before HIS own life. I respect that he chose, that he hides from it, refuses to acknowledge it, no.  You cannot choose and hide from the consequences of your choice.  The fact that he blinds himself on this one subject angers me.

But you know what? It's his choice, his decision.  I do respect that because I do, truly respect my husband.  And because it is his decision, not mine. I made a different choice.  I chose to quit because I love my life and want to live it for as long as my body holds out.  I love HIM so I want him around for as long as possible.  Frankly, I'm selfish, I don't want to even imagine a world where he doesn't exist, irrational as his choice is.  So I submit to his choice. And he still loves me and doesn't try to make me smoke, too.  Which shows how smart he really is.

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