I was raised in a highly competitive family. I learned to wager pennies in poker when I was quite young and later to shoot hoops with Dad to retain my allowance. And I was good at it. I was watching and rooting for competitive sports for as long as I can remember. To say that I am competitive is an understatement.
I see most challenges as a competition and doing so was praiseworthy. To conquer, to achieve, to come in first, to come out on top and to dominate the competition was paramount. By such victories was love compensated and by such defeats was disgust dished out. As an adult it became a quest for a better paycheck, a better office, or higher standing among my peers.
So when I was asked recently if I ever feel superior to my husband, I had to take a deep breath and consider my answer carefully.
See, my husband is physically disabled. He struggles to walk and to talk. He had about 100 words in his vocabulary when we first met and every word that he has learned since then has been a might mighty struggle. Many times he misuses, mispronounces or misses words completely. He has the use of one hand only and that not being his first dominant hand. He lost use of his dominant hand, his right hand, due to a massive stroke. He cannot write without excruciating effort.
What would you say to me if you found me standing over, berating or otherwise dominating my husband? How would you feel to stand in the same room as I chide him for being less than a man - intellectually, physically, emotionally? What if I simply teased him about his inadequacies or laughed at him because he couldn't do a simple thing - like mow the lawn or walk through a door? If I told him he walks funny or talks funny? What if you found me sitting with my girlfriends and telling them of how he doesn't put his underwear in the hamper or he leaves his socks on the floor when he takes them off? Would you wince if you heard me say that my husband acts just like one of my children?
How would you feel if you watched me behave as if I were superior to my husband?
When I became aware of every man's desire for respect, I did not have far to look for all the proof I needed. My husband is a man, no different than any other in the desires of his heart. He wants to be respected for all the noble pursuits of every man.
Have I? Would I? Could I? Do I? Do I ever feel superior to my husband?
I am learning not to. I am getting better at it every day. For him and for God, I want to be a submissive wife.