Yes, ladies of girltalk, from whose current series I drew this quote, YES. Submission is such a many-faceted subject that any five women might find five separate aspects to hate and squirm under. This quote is, I think, intended to encourage those who balk at being led. To me, it is a challenge.
You might say I am great at submitting. I relish the chance not to decide. This is not to say that I lack opinions or any force of conviction to back them up. But I like to have the burden of expression, of execution, of responsibility for the results, removed when possible. I like to think quietly to myself, “I think we should play a C# minor there,” while saying aloud, “What chord were you thinking of playing?” so that if the choice is C# minor, I can say, “That’s what I thought!” while avoiding the blame if another choice should end discordantly. I am a coward.
For a coward, the part of submission that pinches is the part that edges her out of the safe enclosures of indecision and inaction. I think the trick is for the godly husband to throw the unwilling wife out there while also tossing the safety net beneath her. Cookie may say, “Your songs are better than so-and-so-on-the-radio’s.” He might also say, on first hearing my new song, “I just don’t really like it.” Shrug. Or, “If you’re not going to go out and play, stop whining about how other people are out there playing.” Or just, “Go practice.”
So tonight, I came into my bedroom with my hair in a towel, novel in one hand, wine glass in the other. “I think I won’t write tonight after all,” I said, flopping on the bed.
“Have you written in a while?” he asked, eyes on his laptop screen.
“Well, not in a few weeks. My brain is fried. I should probably read more, don’t you think? Get my thoughts coherent or something? Get some sleep? Can I legitimately call myself a Wife of Leisure if I choose to write when I want to read?”
He never did look up, and may not have yet, but as you can see, I did decide my wine might be better sipped at my writing desk.
The thing about leadership and cowards is that sometimes when you’re being a coward, what you really need is to be told that you’re being a coward, or a sluggard, or whatever you might be, and that somebody else knows it. Then the whether or nots of having slept or read or gotten a babysitter or myriad other obstacles to action fall away. The choice becomes, to cower or not?