Monday, June 4, 2012

Question: Do you submit?



The silence of the kitchen is almost palpable. You sit at the table with a cup of coffee, letting the quiet of bedtime wash over you, writing out your to-do list for the next day. The ten-year-old has a piano lesson. The seven-year-old needs new shoes. The three-year-old wants to buy big-girl panties, a task you are glad to do if it will encourage potty-training. And, the six-month-old baby has a doctor’s appointment; you’re afraid there might be shots. Just as you hold the mug to your lips, savoring the aroma, your husband meanders in to the refrigerator. He glances at the paper on the table in front of you.

“Hey, hon, are you going out tomorrow?”

“Mm-hm.” You take a sip of coffee.

“Can you get a few things for me? The van needs an oil change this weekend.”

You struggle to keep upright under the weight of his request as you mentally add it to the sum of everything else. “What things?” you ask.

“Just a couple of air filters and ten quarts of oil.” He opens his bottle of water. “I thought I’d do my car at the same time.”

You –

  1. Say, “Sure, Muffin, I’d be happy to. What kind of filters and oil?”
  2. Gather the necessary information and then conveniently forget when you are out shopping the next day. You don’t want to get your hands dirty.
  3. Say, “Sweetie, that’s the automotive department. The Guy Department. Can’t you stop and get what you need after work?”
  4. Crumple up your list and toss it at him, watching it bounce off his chest and fall to the floor. “You think I don’t have enough to do?” you sneer at him. “You try doing my job for one day!”


What would you do? Is there another option?

{Many of my questions are hypothetical or very loosely based on real-life incidents, either mine or something I’ve heard of, written to make you think and stir up a discussion. However, this one is quite real, even though I can’t remember exactly when it happened. Thus, the details are a little fuzzy.}

We’re talking about submission this week. I would be honored if you checked out Part One and Part Two as well as my 12 Personal Truths to see what my response was to this real-life question and a discussion of why we submit and how to submit.

~Meghan

~~~~~
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31 comments:

  1. I would be glad to do it. God ask us in the Bible to love our husbands and do things for them. I believe God will bless you for doing them. Maybe we need to make our list a little shorter. I have had mine change many times.

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    1. You are a submission queen, Michelle! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I think I would choose a different option and say something like, "I already have a lot to do tomorrow, so I'm not sure there are actually enough hours in the day to pick up anything extra. I've also never bought oil or filters so I don't know that I would be able to identify the correct ones. I'll try to make it by the store, but there's a chance I just won't be able to, or I'll feel uncomfortable picking them out of all the things on the store shelves. I'll get in touch with you at the end of your work day and let you know if I've got them, so you can have the chance to get them on your way home." That way you're not overloading yourself with promises you may not be able to keep, but you're open to being helpful.

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    1. I was uncertain as well about getting the right thing. But what if he gives you the specific type and size?

      Thanks for commenting! Hope you visit again!

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  3. I would ask him if he could do it, as I'm pretty busy w/hauling the kids around. Since it didn't mention if his schedule was busy as well, it wouldn't be a problem.

    I don't see this as submission if my husband knew what I had to do, he wouldn't add to it. We simply don't have that kind of marriage. He would ask me what my day looks like, if it's kinda light (doesn't happen often) he might ask, otherwise he does it himself.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Dannielle. It does get difficult when both husband and wife are busy, doesn't it?

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    2. Yessssss it does! I think it would also help that each spouse go over their daily schedules weekly. My husband and I both have Ipads (one we bought, the other was a gift) and we can link/sync up our calendars during the day. Very handy!

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    3. Matching up calendars sound like a great problem-solver, Dannielle. Thanks for the reply!

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  4. I would explain that my day was full and that if I had time, I'd get the items. If I couldn't, like k, I would call before he got off work so that he could pick them up. This isn't an example of being submissive though. Normal couples try to do nice things for one another. My husband usually makes me coffee in the morning but he isn't being submissive, he is just being sweet. The same is true of your example. If you really don't have time or you feel that you have too much on your plate, you should be honest with your husband.

    The choices that you listed as possible responses don't include politely saying no. You can still respect and love one another while not being free to carry out a request.

    If I really couldn't get the items, I would simply tell my husband that I couldn't get them. No need to be rude or violent toward him.

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    1. I agree -- honesty is always good! Thanks for stopping by today.

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  5. Since he is asking if I could pick it up, if I couldn't I would just say no. This happens all the time in our house with it going both ways. Sometimes I'll send him a text during the day asking if he can pick up something for me. If he can he says so, if he can't he also says so. He'll do the same thing. If I am going out and he needs something he will ask if I will be able to pick it up, it is no big deal if I can't. He knows that juggling small children while trying to go multiple places can be a hassle so he totally understands if I can't add another stop to my list.

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    1. It really is "juggling" sometimes, isn't it? With six little ones, I am grateful that my husband's schedule is flexible enough that we do almost all of the shopping together. Thanks for the comment!

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  6. How about option #5? Be an adult partner and say you believe your day might be too busy. My husband and I are partners (don't believe in submission) and if we can help each other out we do. If we can't we say so. That's what adults do. No need for game playing or playing the "submissive victim".

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    1. No one wins when you play games like that, do they? Thanks for your input.

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  7. I agree with most of the other commenters. I'd let him know that if I had the time and if he wrote down exactly what he needed, that I'd try to pick them up. However, from your scenario, it doesn't seem like he has anything he needs to be doing that day. If he didn't have a full schedule that day, I'd let him know that it would be far more time efficient for him to pick up what he needed. Unless he has a reason for not going to the store, I don't understand why he can't do it himself.

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    1. Choice #3 has the husband picking up his supplies after work -- so he would be at work all the next day. But I appreciate your point that if he has more time than you, it would be more time efficient for him to stop at the store. Thanks for the comment. Hope you stop back by!

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  8. I don't understand what this has to do with submission. This just sounds like being a kind spouse. My husband picks up stuff for me all the time, it doesn't mean he is "submitting" to me. It just means he is being nice. I also don't see what the big deal is about this request, didn't you already mention in the story that you were already going to be at the store? Why on earth would someone be put out about such a simple request? Just say no if it's that big of a deal.

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    1. I think the act of submission (conscious or otherwise) comes in at the moment of reaction. It's not necessarily the act, but the heartfelt attitude that immediately responds to the request. In reading the responses, it's clear that there is a reaction.

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    2. What would you consider to be an example (scenario) of submission?

      You don't seem to be familiar with Meghan's scenarios on this blog. Her point seems to be just to get us thinking about a topic, and if you stick around you'll see that she is an incredibly sweet person and there is no need to be rude to her.

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  9. My husband has the only car, so if he is at work I can't do this for him, lol. But really though, if the stores I am already planning to be at have the items, I would pick them up. If it involved going to a different store, I would probably tell him I would attempt to swing by but couldn't promise anything, however I would also probably say that I could make sure we had the items in house before the weekend, and just pick it up a different day that wasn't so busy. Now if it was Friday? Then he just might be out of luck. I also don't think this is a submission issue though - because he is asking a favor and I would be happy to do it if I can squeeze it in, even though inwardly I might be sighing at the same time! For me submission would be if I am just as an example, wanting us to go out for lunch with some friends from church after worship, and he says not this week because of money or time or whatever, and then I would submit to his decision instead of pestering him to let us go or trying to guilt him, etc. But just when he is asking a favor, I don't think its wrong to just be honest about your day and plans, and work together to find the best family solution to getting those things.

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    1. One car would certainly be a problem! Thank you for your example, and thanks for the comment, Kelli!

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  10. Honestly, my husband wouldn't really ask me to get car parts...he's happy to "own" that department. But, if he asked me to get something else that required an extra stop with all the kids, my answer would probably depend on my mood at the time and honestly could probably be any of the above...I wouldn't exactly wad up my list and throw it at him, but I might snap at him for asking when I have an already full day, or I might say "Of course, honey" or anything in between.

    I honestly think I'm probably not the only wife to ever have a not-so-shining moment with my husband.

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    1. I'm sure we're all guilty of being a bit tarnished at times, Crystal. It's interesting that you said that your husband wouldn't ask you to get car parts. My husband doesn't ask me anymore, perhaps because I can't seem to find the right thing (truly an honest mistake!) or perhaps because he "owns" it also. Thanks for your comment -- and thanks for your kind words in your reply above!

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    2. Crystal, that is EXACTLY what I was going to say!! Depending on my mood he could get any of the four answers, plus the fifth that others mention "a polite no".

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  11. I wouldn't have a problem with picking anything up since I'm already out. He would pick up stuff for me if he was going to be out. If I really had a full schedule & really didn't think I could stop I would let him know that I'd do my best but couldn't make any promises. If that were the case we'd just go out on the weekend & get it together. That's usually what we do anyhow ... it's just sort of us spending time together as a family on weekends.

    Angie

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    1. With homeschooling our six children and blogging and my husband's work, we usually do our errands together as well, just having a fun time together as we're out and about. Thanks so much for commenting, Angie!

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  12. Well he asked if I "could". So if I were being honest, I would most likely tell him nicely that I didn't have time. It depends on the situation. For example, if he works on a farm out in the country and you're going into "town", then it may be really hard for him to get them. In my situation, it would be MUCH easier for my husband to get them on his way home from work than for me with 4 kids. We both already know this, but I would have no problem reminding him of that if he asked me this question. Or I would offer another solution, like, "Can I go out and get them for you after you get home from work to watch the kids?" ;) Is that wrong? I have no idea. Still figuring this whole marriage thing out!

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    1. Semantics can certainly create confusion, can't they? Perhaps I should have used a different word than "could"? I don't see anything wrong with your answer and I, too, am still figuring the whole thing out (after 20 years!). So glad you stopped by and took the time to look through the older posts! Hope to see you again!

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  13. Absolutely number one. That's an easy one! I think women get very easily over-run with what they want to get done, not what they need to get done. You have to separate wants from needs. The oil for the car, that's a really important thing. Be thankful you are not married to an alcoholic who wants you to buy beer instead. We are to be thankful all the time. I love serving my husband. It's the best job ever!

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    1. Val, that's a great idea for another question...buying beer when your husband asks you. It's always helpful to count your blessings!

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  14. Adding something to the pickup list would be the least of my schedule-changers. Usually it's a last minute call asking me to go way out of the way to get something, or come help him with something. I admit there are those days where I do grumble, but for the most part, I try to be able to do what he asked. We are self-employed, so my being flexible is essential, not just because it is the Christian thing to do. Wives and husbands are two halves of a whole, and when one hand needs the help of the other, there should never be a battle.

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)