Submission. or, the s-word as some Christian women call it- can raise feelings of anger, injustice, pain and resentment. For me, submission recently brought the word ‘gratitude’ to mind. As some of you may have seen from the picture I posted on Facebook, I inadvertently dyed my hair royal blue five days before Christmas.
As I was watching blue foam drip off of my head as I shampooed out what I thought was toner that would give me a more platinum blonde do’, I peeked out from behind the shower curtain to look in the mirror and saw myself in unexpected smurfette glory. I posted the picture online for my friends to laugh at because as I said then “better to laugh than cry, and even better to make your friends laugh than wallow in shame.”
I quickly called my salon, Crazy Mullets to see if my stylist could rectify my hair so I wouldn’t have a blue Christmas. My stylist being on vacation & unavailable that week I booked an appointment with another stylist. In the back of my mind I was thinking- “this is going to cost $80-$100. We really don’t have extra money this month because of Christmas. Oh well, having cute hair is worth it.” I explained the situation to Dave when he got home amidst Reuben’s exclamations of “your hair looks so pretty mommy!” and that I had an appointment at the salon that afternoon.
You know those scenes in action movies where two characters who are about to fight just stare at each other while dramatic music plays in the background? It was a little like that as Dave and I faced off in the battle of “back to blonde.”
Dave presented two problems with my proposed scenario. 1. He had a lot of work to do that afternoon and didn’t have time for me to spend hours at the salon rectifying my beauty blunders. 2. Fixing my self-inflicted problem would cost $80-$100 we hadn’t budgeted for the month. “Where do you plan to have this money come from?” Dave calmly asked as I told him I was unwilling to cancel my appointment, had no idea how to dye my hair back, and that a professional should really be the one to fix my mistake. Before you judge me for what I said to him, take a quick look back at my blue hair. I had BLUE hair! There was no way I was going to have family Christmas pictures with BLUE hair.
“I thought we could use some of the money that we’ve saved for our 10-year anniversary trip.” I replied (not even a bit sheepishly- oh! what a jerk I can be). Dave looked at me, shook his head and sadly sighed- “now that’s just cold.” He had to ask me three times to cancel my appointment, to look up hair-dying accident remedies online, and to take responsibility for fixing my own hair. “you made one mistake today dying your hair blue, you can make a choice not to make a second mistake by being committed to our financial goals and not using money we don’t have.”
In the end I submitted to his wishes. I looked up home remedies for removing hair color and proceeded to wash my hair seven times with laundry detergent. I Mixed baking soda with dandruff shampoo and washed it another 5 times and still I had blue hair. After my numerous unsuccessful attempts to remove the color, we decided that I should check Sally Beauty supply for a more potent color remover. I ended up spending $20 instead of $100 and didn’t piss off my husband (for too long) in the process. And my hair is back to blond.
One of the most difficult scripture passages women and men have grappled with is Ephesians 5:22-33 where it talks about wives submitting to husbands and husbands loving wives. As I thought about what this scripture meant in this particular context it seemed especially funny that Paul, the author of Ephesians wrote about a husband being the head of the wife, and a husband loving his wife as his own body. I’m sure he didn’t picture both spouses having blue hair. I chose to submit to Dave’s request that day because I love him. More importantly, I love Jesus and know he wants and has the best for me as I submit to him. In Paul’s instructions to spouses, I know I can trust Dave to love me sacrificially because Jesus leads his life. Dave was loving me through remaining me of the financial goals we had made together to benefit our family. He was loving me by asking me to take responsibility for my mistakes and not doing something stupid because I’m ridiculously vain (my words, not his) and didn’t want to have to explain my blue hair to people. I chose to submit because I know my husband wants the best for me, and I want him to know I listen to him and respect him.
I know I’ve been writing recently about marriage & relationships but as the subtitle of my blog says- it’s ordinary interactions like this that reveal what it means to follow Jesus, to submit to your husband and be loved as a wife. It’s times like this where our the feet of our theology hit the cold hard cement on the sidewalks of life. And it’s the ordinary interactions like this that reveal Jesus in extraordinary ways.