Maybe I should say that differently – “Most men don’t like bossy women” or “men in general don’t like bossy women”. I think one of the things that resulted in me not being bossy is that I was born the last of 4 children and as the youngest I was on the receiving end of orders and seldom gave them.
It’s my #27 of 1000 thanks that I was 4th born and came after three wonderful siblings – a sister and two brothers. I remember when I was 5 or 6 and we lived at 236 Cheviot Road, Waterfalls, Salisbury, Rhodesia. I remember the address so well because at 6, it was drummed into your head to learn your address. Opposite our home was a vast open tract of land, referred to in our family as ‘the bush’. Bush it was, with long highveld African grass and a wide sandy track winding through it. When you are 6, the grass is very very high and I never went there alone. One Saturday or Sunday afternoon, my 12 year old sister and brothers aged 10 & 8 all went across to the bush and I pleaded to go too. My Mom said I could, but told my sister Anne that it looked like rain and, she said, “make sure Helga doesn’t get wet.”
My parents had an afternoon nap and we scuttled off to do whatever young children did in the bush. I remember there being a pond of water and that swimming was seriously forbidden. This was far far from the sea in this landlocked land and Bilharzia was rife in these non-salt water pans. Arnold, my older brother swam. He was 10 and, in my eyes, so big and brave and rebellious. It began to rain and the 4 of us rushed home. This is the part I remember the most. Anne undressing me, drying me off and wrapping me in her dressing gown. By the time my parents woke up I was back to normal and no damage was done.
Being 4th born, allowed me to become adept at taking orders and, in adulthood, a tad uncomfortable in giving them. Mike is safe then from being bossed around. It just won’t happen.
I think it’s a healthy keystone in marriage for women to step back and let the man lead. Many times I have been asked, ‘but what if he doesn’t?’ It’s an interesting question. Enforcing your expectations and leadership on someone else doesn’t make what you define as leadership and a right course of action the same as what they may define as leadership and a right way ahead. The man of the house may think he’s leading and you may think he’s not.
I’m not an expert on your marriage, but I am an expert on mine. For 3 decades I’ve had opinions and ideas and desires that differ vastly to Mike’s. What I have learned, which has been really important for our happiness is that it is a whole lot easier if there is one of you who is happy to submit. Choose your battles. Most of them are not worth the energy. I think it is one of the phrases Mike likes least to hear, but it’s one that I have said on many occasions, “I’ll get used to anything.” His skill set is far more creative than mine so when painting walls or knocking them down, he can far more easily see a finished product that I can. It comes down to trust. I trust Mike and if he comes up with a weird and wonderful plan that I’m not so sure about, I usually end the debate with “I’ll get used to anything.”
Mike is wonderful in that he usually thinks twice when I use that phrase. It’s only when he is absolutely sure that he will say, “it’ll work out well, just wait and you’ll see.” There have been times when my comment of getting used to anything has put the brakes on and he has given more consideration to my uncertainty of his idea.
Therein lies the secret – Men don’t like bossy women, but women don’t like bossy men either.
Mike is considerate.
He doesn’t boss me around. We are a team. He is on my side and I am on his.
It works well. The bottom line is that the notion of submitting in marriage is not something to shy away from.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Have the right motive.
These are the days.
Keep the smile going.
God bless you.
In His Grip,
Helga xx 🙂