by Aimee Byrd
This was not the summer I had envisioned for my family. In the spring, my husband and I were happily talking about different families that we wanted to have over for cookouts, horseshoes, and the fire pit. I envisioned family bike rides, hikes, and day trips. Our spring sports schedule was pretty packed between baseball and softball, and I looked forward to the lighter schedule of the summer.
And then my ten-year-old made the All-Star team.
I was beginning to have a major attitude problem. The season was going on longer than I anticipated, and the whole situation was putting a strain on our family. I was fully expecting my husband to say “enough is enough,” and free Zaidee from her grueling work schedule. After all, we still had July and most of August left for a real summer with something other than three hours of softball every day.
Matt asked me if we could talk, and sent the kids out of the kitchen. I could tell he was struggling with what he was about to say. He had that look in his eyes, like he didn’t want to hurt me. Whatever he was about to say, it was painful for him to say it.
He sat down. I was standing.
Then he told me that he still felt the same way I did about this whole All-Star experience. He was concerned for Zaidee; and he was her advocate every time she was on that field, whether it be practice or game time. Matt didn’t want her to have to continue in this environment. He knew the stress it was putting on our whole family. Yet, we made a commitment, and he wanted to honor it. Matt explained that there were only two substitutes on the team, and if Zaidee stepped down now the team would suffer. Then, with even more struggle, he told me that he was very much aware of how I felt about everything, but he wanted me to respect his decision. In a very tactful way, Matt pretty much said, “Please get rid of the attitude.”
Ouch. Honestly, I did not like what I was hearing. Thoughts were whirling through my mind questioning his understanding of our family. We had already talked about it in an endless cycle. I knew Matt made his decision with much prayer, wrestling and care. Usually we agree on these decisions. This time we didn’t.
Afterwards, I was discouraged about the upcoming month. I began to pray about my attitude adjustment. And I wish I could say that it was an easy tweaking, but it wasn’t.
As I reflect on a wife’s responsibility to submit to her husband, I really think it is actually harder for him than it is for me. He wants to please me. He wants to be on the same page. I could tell that he especially hated to talk to me about my attitude. And now he had to bear the responsibility of his decision, hoping it was the right one. I’m sure that part of him really wanted to just let me make the decision, but he knew what I would say, and he really didn’t agree.
Later that day, I thanked Matt for talking to me. I told him that while I didn’t like his decision, I knew he made it with great care. But I especially thanked him for addressing my attitude. He could have been silently festering resentment toward me about my disposition, but he took the hard road for the sake of us and because he cared about me deeply.
It’s been well documented and discussed the struggle women have with submission, but we often don’t talk about what it means for a man. Our men are held accountable before our mighty God for their leadership. Some struggle with the concept of submission because in practice it sometimes means they have to make a decision their wives don’t like or agree with. But it’s such a beautiful struggle that God uses for our sanctification. Submission is not a heavy-handed dogma, but a struggle rooted in love and care for one another. I’m thankful my husband recognizes that and loves me enough to honor me in that.
A version of this post originally appeared at www.housewifetheologian.com
Aimee Byrd has discovered that “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a bit of a trick question. But she is enjoying all the avenues of discovery along the way. She has gone from a coffee cafe entrepreneur to a writer, both professions providing fuel for the thinkers of today. Aimee writes regularly on her blog, www.housewifetheologian.com, and is the author of Housewife Theologian (P&R, 2013). She lives in Martinsburg, WV in her favorite role as wife and mother. Aimee’s husband, Matt, and three kiddos give her much grace as she tries to pull the whole thing off. Thankfully, she has been sought by a Savior whose accomplishments are accounted to her as her own. Follow Aimee on Twitter @aimeebyrdhwt.
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