Before reading this book in its entirety, I saw submissive women as being weaker in some way than their strong-willed counterparts and funnily enough, I've had a complete U-turn in my thinking...OK, well maybe it was more of a 5-point turn, but I have definitely changed my mind on this issue. I mean, surely my fear (and it was fear) of submitting to Mr O actually has nothing to do with his competence to make 'executive' decisions for the good of our family but has a lot more to with my incessant need for 'control', - my monica gellar-bing-esque tendencies for planning and my constant need to know the next step, to prepare for it and single-handedly make it happen. I'm not saying I'm going to give these traits up - it would be impossible (that is how God made me - a self-starter, a motivator - a stubborn taurean basically), but what I am learning to do is consciously rein in these parts of my character and keep them in check.
This book plainly explains how these 'great' traits can turn ugly....and puts a VERY interesting spin on Proverbs 31. In summary though, it explains how, sometimes:
'motivating' turns to 'pushy'
'problem solver' turns to 'busybody'
'opinionated' turns to 'argumentative'
'independent' turns to 'overly self-reliant'
'extroverted' turns to 'abrasive'
'leader' turns to 'loner'
'determined' turns to 'stubborn'
'focused' turns to 'selfish'
It's funny, because this list perfectly describes my really well personality. Whilst many of these traits have clearly led me to succeed in so many areas of my life, when these have not been kept in check they have also led to some of the unnecessarily difficult points in my life! Oh the irony. I guess, it's about knowing when you're standing in the right place and time and knowing when to use them. I am learning, slowly but surely!
Isn't it funny how things make so much sense when you understand them!
Over the past few weeks, I have really been enjoying being conscious of how I use my attributes and actually, I'm feeling stronger because I can confidently leave things up to Mr O without worrying about having to redo things or give instructions the whole time (this was part of the monica-syndrome). The thing that I think is making submission easier for me is that I trust that Mr O would never ask me to anything that would hurt me, compromise the things I've worked hard for or to do something I was uncomfortable with. So, where is the harm in allowing him to lead us.
I feel like I've been making real progress, and Mr O has complimented the new-edition of me too - hooray! Hopefully, over time, I can internalise these steps and use my 'strong-willed' nature to honour my Husband and God without having to think about it.
Happy days I think!