Do Men Struggle with Female Submission?

This is not the summer I had envisioned for my family. In the spring, my husband and I were happily talking about different families that we wanted to have over for cookouts, horseshoes, and the fire pit. I envisioned family bike rides, hikes, and day trips. It’s also become my thing to have a little schedule going for the kids on our days home—nothing major, but some light chores, fitness, and reading. Our spring sports schedule is pretty packed between baseball and softball, and I look forward to the lighter schedule of the summer. The girls do play volleyball in the summer, but that is a lighter, faster-paced program. And then my ten-year-old made the All Star team. I shared how extreme this could be in my last article. But there were some details that I left out. Without over-sharing, let me just say that there have been plenty of times that I wanted to just tell some coaches what they can do with their All Star season. I know that wouldn’t be very lady-like, or “Christian” of me, but I want to paint an honest picture of my struggles for the last month or so. These parents and coaches involved don't deserved to be demonized, but I explained in my last article how there seems to be some identity-confusion placed on our 10-year-olds. I don’t want my daughter placing all of her meaning and value in her performance on the field. We certainly did not expect to make it to the State Tournament when we signed the consent/commitment form. Although we surely weren’t naïve to this atmosphere, we didn’t foresee the extent of what we’ve been through in the process. During the Regional Tournament, Matt and I’s protective claws were beginning to show and we were ready for it to all be over with. In my mind, if they made States, I thought it was time to decline. Yes, we signed a commitment form, but they should have signed one as well on not overworking the kids, and on how they would be treated. Do you honor a bad commitment? I was beginning to have a major attitude problem. This whole situation was putting a strain on our family. And I was fully expecting my husband to say “enough is enough,” and free Zaidee from her grueling work schedule. After all, we still had July and most of August left for a real summer with something other than three hours of softball every day. Matt asked me if we could talk, and sent the kids out of the kitchen. I could tell he was struggling with what he was about to say. He had that look in his eyes, like he didn’t want to hurt me. Whatever he was about to say, it was painful for him to say it. He sat down. I was standing. Then he told me that he still felt the same way I did about this whole All Star experience. He was concerned for Zaidee; and he was her advocate every time she was on that field, whether it be practice or game time. Matt didn't want her to have to continue in this environment. He knew the stress it was putting on our whole family. Yet, we made a commitment, and he wanted to honor it. Matt explained that there were only two substitutes on the team, and if Zaidee stepped down now the team would suffer. Then, with even more struggle, he told me that he is very much aware of how I feel about all this, and that he wanted me to support his decision. In a very tactful way, Matt pretty much said, “Please get rid of the attitude.” Ouch. Honestly, I did not like what I was hearing. Thoughts were whirling through my mind like: I’m sure some other family would jump at the chance to add their kid to the roster. After all, they still had three more weeks of (grueling) practice before the almost-week-long-tournament that is 5 hours away!...You do know that we have to split up for this. I have my entire family coming up that same weekend to celebrate our other daughter’s birthday, along with my niece and nephew's…Zaidee is never going to make it through the month with this now job-like schedule. She desperately wants some free time. Let her be a kid!...Do you realize that I’ve already made a commitment to VBS during this time, we've already RSVP’d to attend a wedding, and the tournament is the week before vacation?? Do You? Of course he did. I knew he did. We have already talked through it over and over again. And I knew that Matt made his decision with much prayer, wrestling and care. Usually we agree on these kind of decisions. This time we didn’t. I looked at him, and said, “okay.” Double ouch. Afterwards, I was of course discouraged about the upcoming month. I began praying about my attitude adjustment. I wish I could say that it was an easy tweaking, but it’s not. I began to reflect on the whole submission-thing. I think it is just as hard--no, harder--for my husband than it is for me. He wants to please me. He wants to be on the same page, per se. I could tell that he especially hated to talk to me about my attitude. And now he has to bear the responsibility of his decision, hoping it was the right one. I’m sure that part of him really wanted to say, “You make the decision, Aimee.” But he knew what I would say, and he really didn’t agree. Later that day, I thanked Matt for talking to me. I told him that I don’t necessarily like his decision, but that I knew that he made it with great care. I could even understand his position well. I've never been a quitter. But I especially thanked him for addressing my attitude. That showed me that he cared even more deeply about me. He could have been silently festering resentment toward me if my disposition did not change. But he took the hard road for the sake of us. I think that much ink has been spilled over the struggle and arguments that women have with submission.  But our men are held accountable before our mighty God on their leadership. I would never want to subvert that. I am to be his helper. In doing that, I notice the great struggle that this responsibility places on the man. I don't think Matt "loves" female submission any more than I do in practice. But it’s such a beautiful struggle that God uses for our sanctification.