I was sitting in the hall awaiting test results when the office manager called me into her office. “I can check you out now,” she said, motioning me forward.
“The nurse told me to wait here until she gave me the results of my bone density test,” I explained.
“Oh, you don’t have to wait,” she said with a confident air. “I can tell you what they are. You have early osteoporosis.”
“Really?” I said, taken aback. “How do you know that?”
“I can tell by looking at you,” she said. “You’re a skinny white woman.”
Turns out this office manager-turned-prophet was right—I did have early osteoporosis. And the condition is most common in—you guessed it—skinny white women. The people most likely to develop osteoporosis are Caucasian women with small bone frames. These three factors genetically predispose me to this condition. Like osteoporosis, I have another genetic predisposition directly related to my gender—the propensity to usurp my husband’s authority.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Eve was the first to exhibit this tendency, and the gene has replicated itself faithfully since the beginning of time. Just like my mother’s Portuguese/Italian ancestors passed on their dark hair and inability to speak without moving their hands, Eve has shared one of her most troublesome tendencies with me and the rest of our gender.
This willful condition manifests itself in many ways. Here are a few:
Our tendency to question our husbands’ knowledge or experience.
Our tendency to assume that our way/perspective/insight is automatically correct.
Our tendency to disregard his input and do what we want anyway.
The good news? Recognizing our problem brings us one giant step closer to a solution. Or at least a plan of action. When I found out I had osteoporosis, I didn’t sell my bike, buy a padded suit, and subscribe to Wheelchair Monthly. Instead of resigning myself to “the inevitable,” I got busy. I did some research and discovered what I could do to either slow, stop, or reverse the condition.
I can employ the same active approach to my predisposition willfully to disregard my husband’s leadership. Instead of saying “Oh well, that’s just how I am…,” I can take conscious steps to change. I can commit to:
Ask for my husband’s advice and input instead of assuming I know what’s best.
Acknowledge that while his perspective is often different from mine, it, too, is valuable and worth considering.
Listen fully to his thoughts and ideas, not just long enough to know which direction he’s heading and formulate an argument against it.
When I went back to the doctor two years after my initial diagnosis, my bone density numbers had not only stopped decreasing but had actually risen. By taking active, positive steps, my prospect for long-term health improved dramatically.
I wish my prescription against the disease of willful independence worked as quickly. I suspect, like my tendency to talk with my hands, I’ll have to work on it for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I can trust that as I yield my will to God, he’ll continue to enable me to be a wise, respectful wife who honors my Savior as I honor my husband.
Join the conversation by adding your comments below!
What steps can you take to honor your husband’s God-ordained position?
by Lori Hatcher
Lori is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. She’s the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and has authored two devotional books. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook (Hungry for God), Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or by email (LoriAHatcher@gmail.com).