Thursday, December 19, 2013

Submission: Pitching Fits Like a Rockstar

Submission - noun - the act or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.

There is a lot that I don't know, mess up and get confused about.  And this is one of the subjects that just takes the cake some days.

When I was first married - and probably before - I had this arrogant notion that I could do submission better than anyone I'd ever encountered and be this rockstar of humility!  I thought I could bring Mr. Butler a few drinks and let him pick where we ate and before I knew it, everyone - including him - would be singing my praises as the most meek and submissive wife anyone had ever met.  Like I said, I can get confused sometimes. ;)

There are a few big decisions in my married past that my husband would have done differently had I not pitched a fit.   And yes, I do mean pitched a fit in the most grammatically correct way, complete with huffing and puffing, ugliness, mind games and flat out explosion of tears and emotions.  I'm talking life-changing things like where to live and who to be friends with.  And I'm still not good at submission, but on all of those decisions, he was right.  I should have respected his opinion, needs and desires more - at least to hear him out.  On most things, I struggled to even let him get words out.  I was consumed - absolutely CONSUMED - with how it was going to affect me, how I was going to (or not) be able to control the situation, and how it just didn't feel good.  Submission was all well and good until it made me sad/mad/scared/uncomfortable.

I love the idea of doing something right.  Or the best way.  Or at least better than most people do.  But loving an idea and actually living it when things get uncomfortable and hard, well that's so different.  And I didn't realize how different it was until I started really trying to live it.  For all that I thought I knew, I just didn't realize that this attitude of submission took sacrifice - doing things you just didn't want to do to achieve an end that was more beautiful than you could imagine.

The other night Mr. Butler said something to me that I felt was too harsh, unnecessary and just wrong.  I found a way (I'm pretty sure the Holy Spirit was working overtime) to keep my mouth shut and neutralize the fit that was brewing.  And my fits are no little matter so neutralizing it is sometimes an even bigger event.  Anyway, I moved on.  Within an hour or two, he brought the comments back up and the kind-hearted gentleman made it right.  That's what happens when I handle things God's way.  When I handle it my way (telling him he's wrong, ordering him to treat me better, and freezing him out until he does), well...not so much.

This next year it is my desire to improve my submission skills.  I want a better marriage and I want my kids learn how to respect.  I know that all starts with me.  Needless to say, I'm no expert on the subject of submission and respect, but here are a couple of things I'm learning and constantly need to be reminded of:

-Submission is easy when my husband agrees with me.

-Submission is easy when my husband does what I think he/we should.  

-If submission is easy, that's a good sign it's not really submission.

-If I find myself being critical, impatient, defiant or snarky, I'm not being submissive.

-Submission is an attitude of being soft, receptive, responsive and leadable towards my husband.

For some (good) expert advice, check out a few of these:


And for a great discussion about what submission is and certainly what it is not, check this out:
7 Misconceptions about Submission: Girls Gone Wise