I was watching (-actually just listening half-heartedly because I am so easily distracted)- the Today Show (NBC) the other day when, to my surprise, I heard the lead to a story about Gabrielle Reece’s new book MY FOOT IS TOO BIG FOR THE GLASS SLIPPER. My imagination was immediately piqued and my ears automatically grew three inches so I could catch every detail. The title alone is what grabbed me because I don’t know Gabby Reece, in fact, never heard of her – sorry. My one remaining goal in life is to become a princess so I wanted to hear all about big feet and glass slippers. Could my feet possibly fit into glass slippers? Would I dare try them on? I would think being a princess does have some requirements and necessary skill. Could I qualify for the position? Frankly, I’ve never had glass slippers or been a princess so I don’t know. I’ve often thought I’d make a good one. I am spoiled and I think perhaps that might be one of the prerequisites. And I think I would like having a life of ease and comfort.
Screeeech! Wait just a stinkin’ minute! As the interview progressed, I discovered that Gabby Reece didn’t intend to convince people that being a princess is all that. As a matter of fact, the point of her book was something along the lines of My Life Is Not Perfect, therefore, I must work on making it what I want it to be.
Not exactly what I wanted to hear. And to add to that insult, she had this to say: TO BE FULLY FEMININE IS TO BE SOFT AND RECEPTIVE AND …SUBMISSIVE.
What? Did I hear that right?
My heart fell. This is the argument of the ages between men and women, and as you might guess, a pretty prominant one between my husband and I. In fact, just the other day we had a slight disagreement that ended with him informing me how he waits on me hand and foot (Yeah, right. In your dreams!). I had to keep my mouth shut and walk away because if he had to go so far as to pull that out of the arcenal, he was precariously close to loosing it. We don’t want that. So anyway, you can see where this is going. I prickle at the word submissive. Yes, I do. Now you know. I was born in the woman’s lib era. I believe in equality on all levals. Equal pay, equal rights, etc,. etc. Sadly, I’ve seen men have an advantage over women in too many ways. To be fair, I’ve seen women have an advantage over men in many ways as well.
My husband comes from a long line of submissive women in his family. In the little community we live in, old fashioned women take care of old fashioned men — still. You guessed it, women do all the housework and cooking and disipline the children for the most part. Men go make a living. DISCLAIMER: not everybody here lives that way. There are some modern, enlightened families too. Like us. Yeah, that’s right, like us. Much to my sweetheart’s dismay, we are modern and enlightened in ways he never dreamed of. Example: Him: I have to do my own laundry and clean my own bathroom! (said with a red face and clenched fists). Me: So? I do too! (said with a red face, hands in the air and exasperation in my voice.) Keep in mind neither of us work outside the home.
Really, it’s not that bad. I can almost chuckle over what he thinks is fair. But that was before GABRIELLE REECE on the Today Show. After I calmed my reaction to her submission statement, I challenged myself to listen to her message.
Oh my sweet Lord, she made sense.
Some of the statements I heard went something like this: It works both ways. Being strong and being submissive is a choice. To be submissive does not mean being a slave. It’s about respect and love. It’s about waking up in the morning and choosing to do whatever you can to serve the people you love. She said she wants to be cherished and her husband cherishes her so she does whatever she can do to show him he is cherished by her. Of course that’s not verbatum, but that’s waht I got out of it. She said something about learning to be skilled at loving someone. Wow, I had to think about that!
I began to listen to the interview in earnest. And I learned something I had forgotten. It’s called being a Proverbs 31 woman. And what Ms. Gabby said was incrediably close to the blueprint of womanhood set in Proverbs 31. Look it up in the Old Testament. In essence, a Proverbs 31 woman is one who takes care of her family, is loyal and dedicated, can run the household efficiently, can even work and make a profit, and takes joy in doing what she does.
I am reminded of a sermon given by Father Charles Ray, a man who became a priest not too long ago. He gave it on that Sunday when the Church readings were about loving one another, women submit to your husbands, husbands cherish your wife, etc. I held my breath and was prepared to automatically feel rebellious to whatever he said. But he surprised me and I’ll never forget what he said. The message was: Women, you have the most important job in the world. It’s up to you to see that the family runs like a well oiled machine. It’s up to you to keep your family together. A woman gathers her family unto herself. Make it count. Keep it together. Men, when you leave work, be with your family. Leave your job outside the door and play with your children, help your wife, love your family. Staying in love with your spouse is not a guarentee, or an automatic response. It’s a challenge. It’s a choice. If it is your choice, you will do what it takes to keep it. You do what it takes to serve the ones you love. Being submissive can sometimes work out to be an honor.
So, I guess I’m going to have to help him with his laundry. But I’m not yet so skilled that I’m going to touch his bathroom, lol!