I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Laura. I get to see her at least once a week in real life at church. I love how her mind works and how honest she is as she writes. I know you will be blessed by her post.
When Angela first approached me about writing a guest post concerning something the Lord was teaching me right now, I knew immediately the issue He had pinpointed in my life: Biblical submission. Beginning this past May, with a study of Proverbs 31, continuing with a book on being a Godly wife, and culminating in a still-ongoing marriage conference, I feel like I’ve been in Wife Boot Camp – and we’ve been married for 14 years already! I could easily write multiple posts on the lessons I’m learning, but I think I’ll focus on one: using my strengths to enhance my husband, not to target his weaknesses.
From a purely academic standpoint, David would be the first to tell you that I have the upper hand. I only made a couple of B’s at Auburn. (So did he….) Mine were a source of disappointment; his were a sign of victory. My mind seems to always be running about 1000 thoughts per minute.
Over the years, I have used this strength to my distinct advantage. I can out-argue David on almost any issue imaginable. I’m a logical person, and I’m usually thinking about 10 steps ahead.
Now, this is not always a bad thing. I have helped him see the error in some genuinely bad ideas (like the time during our first year of marriage when he wanted to join Amway or when he has wanted to go back to school for a 5th college degree – yes, you read that correctly). And I’d like to think I’ve helped to smooth some of his rough edges. But clearly, there have been times when I have taken this too far and verbally bulldozed him.
Early this past summer, when various decisions began to present themselves, I determined that I was not going to talk David into one thing or the other. Instead, I would listen and not give my opinion. Although there was a lot that was good and helpful about that, it began to drive us both a little crazy. One reason that David has always given for why he married me was that I “always gave good advice.” He genuinely wants to know my opinion, especially about major decisions. Although I still sometimes have to resist the urge to make a decision for him, submission does not mean that I am absent from the decision-making process.
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how all of this fits together. I don’t believe it was an accident that God has given me a logical mind, and I don’t think it’s something I should keep stuffed down inside. Part of being a suitable helpmate is enabling my husband to be the best husband, father, worker, etc. that God has called him to be. The husband of the Proverbs 31 woman was respected at the city gates, and the implication is that this was directly related to her role in his life. I want to be that kind of wife.
My strengths can be used to help David in making decisions, or it can be used to demolish his leadership. I have done both over the years. It is indescribably better when we work together as a team and I allow him to lead me and our family.
So this is what I’ve learned … so far. What about you?
Laura Baggett is a college math professor who is learning to teach first grade and preschool at home with her two favorite students. Since marrying David 14 years ago, she has moved 12 times. Wherever she goes, and whatever she does, she’s striving to bloom where she’s planted! She writes about her adventures at www.bloomingbaggetts.blogspot.com.