Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Smurf, you may as well just stop reading here. You'll have a much better day if you do.

So, Holly@AimingHigh got me started thinking about this topic. (Not that she's considering me for her cool Visa graphic. No, no. That's ok. I plan on whining at her bitterly over this slight.) But since submission is often the dirty S word of the Christian doctrine, I want to take a moment to talk about, in my own fashion, what it is and isn't. Now, if you want to read a more, um, mature, rendition of the definition of submission, here's the link Holly posted.

Here's my interpretation. Submission is NOT being abused, taken advantage of, treated as inferior, being a doormat, being apologetic all the time (which I struggle with), putting up with snide sarcasm, cruelty, emotional degradation, or any of a host of ills and evils that HAVE NO PLACE in a loving marriage. The scene that pops immediately to my mind is from the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The two main characters are getting a ride to a train stop. The driver pulls up in his beat-up pick-up, jumps out all scruffy and nasty looking, makes a grotesque snorting sound to clear the snot from the back of his throat, and then bangs on the truck's passenger door. "Get yer lazy butt out here and help these men with their trunk!" He hollers at the little woman. She puts the baby she's holding on the bench seat and silently comes to stand at his side. "She may be small," he brags, "but she's strong. Her first kid came out sideways; she didn't scream ner nothin.'" That is NOT submission. And yet that sort of degradation and bleak existence is what comes to most modern women's minds at the term submission.

The great controversial passage on submission in the Bible begins with the injucntion to 'submit to one another in love.' What then, is my interpretation of submitting? Prioritizing the needs and desires of another. Not to the exclusion of your needs and desires. But its doing something for the other person even when you don't want to. And let me say, as a mother, this is not a foreign concept. Really, when I started thinking about it, I do this everyday. Everyone does. Not many people really get up every morning excited about doing laundry. You do it, because your family needs clean clothes. Even if you yourself have enough underwear in your drawer to go another couple of days, you do the laundry. Or the cleaning. Or the cooking. You change the diaper, you wipe the snotty nose.

It breaks down more often when its our spouse in question. The thought is, you're a grown up, wash your own dirty socks. I'm tired, my sock drawer isn't empty, and I want to read a book. (And I'm picking laundry as my example, not because its a traditional woman's role, but because its one of my least favorite household chores.)

So, I'm not that great at submitting when a child is not involved. And to be honest, I'm not that great at submitting even when a child is involved. You can ask the Sweetling how often school has gotten canceled cause Mommy really really wants to read her book.

And no, my goal is not to become a doormat. My goal is to be more considerate, to be more compassionate, to be more responsible. To be a little less like Veruca Salt.

I read Holly's blog last week. I still maintained I got tricked into reading something thought provoking. She titled her entry "Let's talk dirty." That immediately caught my attention. And then comes this entry about submission.

Sunday, we sang 'sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow," which brought Holly's blog entry back to mind. I prayed specifically for an opportunity to submit. To honor the Jedi's request even when I didn't want to, even when it conflicted with my own plan. Lo and behold, the opportunity was given to me as we were walking out of church. "Let's go," said the Jedi when we were all gathered. "Dolphins play at one." And there sat a snack table. So, I got to the door, and turned around and headed back to the snack table. We got outside and the Jedi asked, "Did you head back, or did Toa of Boy." Indignant, I announced that I had headed back, thank you very much.

And realized I had blown it. My next prayer was for an opportunity to submit, and the wisdom to recognize that opportunity when it came.

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