After reviewing some of my recent blog posts it became clear that I have been heavy handed with scripture references and commentary, but a little light on practical application. Therefore, it is my goal today to provide real life applications for the Proverbs 31 Woman.
Let’s be honest ladies, part of being a virtuous women is being a submissive wife. Yes, I realize I just lost half my readers because submission is not a topic that most women like to discuss. Why? Because often times, women equate being a submissive wife to being a doormat. To be honest, I l feel like this sometimes when I must lay down my wants or needs for the wants and needs of my husband and children. Why? Often it is because of my pride or my selfish desires. In addition, I have bossy and control issues. [I know I am not alone in this boat..hehe]
God has been laying bossiness on my heart really hard in the last few months. I recognize that I am bossy. My friends know I am bossy. My family really knows I am bossy. Is this a good thing? Is this something I am proud of? I think you all know the answer is “no”. I recently read somewhere that we need to tell young girls that they are not bossy, just good leaders. I see the point behind this statement. Yes, sometimes girls who are opinionated are referred to as bossy while a boy with the same characteristics is called a good leader. However, sometimes we just need to call a spade a spade and admit that there are way too many bossy women. I can be a good leader, but more often than not, I am just plain bossy. It is not out of a spirit of meanness, I just want to do things right and I think my way is the only way.
I promised real life application, so I have come up with a few things to help me become less bossy:
1. Stop trying to be perfect;
2. Improve communication skills/listen;
3. Build relationships/invest in people;
4. Accept Differences; and
5. Ask for feedback.
FYI: I am focusing on bossiness because I feel I will never be able to submit to my husband fully if I can’t get this issue under control. In order to overcome my bossy nature, I have to do it in all areas of my life and not just be less bossy with my husband.
As I mentioned before, I struggle with perfectionism. If I am going to be a part of something, not only do I want it done right, I want it done the best. If I can’t be the best, I just won’t want to do it. Sometimes we just have to accept things for what they are and stand in God’s grace. If I am serving God with the right heart, my efforts will not be in vain. God will accept my offering even if it is not perfect. It all comes down to a right heart. For example, if the worship team offers up a perfectly sung worship song, but I had to yell and scream at people in order to get them to do it the “right” way, is it a truly perfect offering for the Lord? The answer to that is of course “no.” God would much rather have a less than perfect performance with God honoring hearts than a perfectly sung performance and bad attitudes.
How many times have you said or done something that others took the wrong way? It happens to me all the time. Why? It is often not what I said, but how I said it. If I am under pressure, I will often be short, concise, and speak in a harsh tone. People assume I am angry and feelings get hurt. I can avoid this issue, if I am upfront with people and let them know how I am feeling so there is no room for Satan to stir up trouble. However, there have been times I have talked too much. I have a tendency to want to talk everything out, which in the end stirs up trouble and hurt feelings. When I am faced with this type of situation, I need to ask myself, “am I trying to fix the problem and make a relationship better or am I just trying to prove I am right?”
Another important part of communication is listening. There is nothing wrong with wanting things to be right, but we must remember our way isn’t the only way. If we assume our way is the only right way, others will pick up on it and no longer contribute their thoughts and ideas and we could miss out on great opportunities.
One more thought on communication, which may be my biggest issue: Just because you think it, does not mean you have to say it!!! I have a tendency to let everyone know just how I feel. I think it goes back to my junior high days and the backstabbing drama. However, sometimes it is just best to keep our mouths shut! Seriously, sometimes we need to give time for God to work in us and in the situation before we say one word.
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS and INVEST IN PEOPLE
Taking the time to invest in others’ lives is so important, especially within the church. When we become connected to others we tend to focus more on potential and progress rather than inadequacies. When we build relationships we get to know people and we start to see talents and skills that we may have overlooked previously. In addition, when we love and care about others, words of encouragement and praise will come easily and mistakes are easier to overlook. Also, being right becomes less important as the relationship itself starts to become the priority.
Sometimes we just need to accept that different people think differently. We may all be the body of Christ, but we are different parts. If we all thought and did the same, how would we accomplish the work of Christ? Stop thinking of differences as weaknesses and build on them.
Letting others know that you are working on an issue can be good or bad. It is good to have people let you know when you’ve gone off course because sometimes we can’t see it for ourselves. In addition, if we know someone is holding us accountable, we are more likely to stick with our goal. There have been occasions when I have let someone know I am working on an issue and every five minutes they threw it back in my face with something along the lines of “I thought you said you were trying not to be bossy!” Therefore, it is important to choose accountability partners carefully.
These are just a few tips that I have been trying lately. I know it may not seem like much, but we all got to start somewhere.
Until next time, stay safe and God bless,