Won Without Words
winning the marriage you desire through wisdom
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Shari Popejoy




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May 22, 2012
 

I Place My Hand Under Your Foot

Today’s Marriage Tip:  Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Ever watch Kiss Me Kate, or read Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew?

I love the last scene in this satirical comedy (with much underlying wisdom if we care to truly explore and understand the themes). This strong, fiery, independent indomitable woman (Katherine) willingly becomes vulnerable to her controlling, domineering, fallible husband (Petruchio).

She publicly kneels before him and basically states, “I place my hand under your foot — crush it if you want — or use it for a mat — or a stepping stool.”

She willingly chose to become vulnerable to his seemingly harsh treatment, after learning that’s what brought peace and prosperity to her. She chose it, after carefully considering all the alternatives. She chose between fighting against her husband’s seeming idiocy with a show of force and arrogance, or demonstrating a greater self-control by willingly choosing quiet acceptance.

True case of cause and effect. . . consequence for actions.

Petruchio was bigger, stronger, more determined, more stubborn, and additionally he had the legal authority over her, and the accompanying financial control. Her father in frustrated finality with her shrewish temperament, had given her hand and her resources to her new husband — there was no running home to Daddy. She had few options in her external conditions, but always complete personal choice in her attitude and reactions.

She was not a slave; in her culture, she had the choice of leaving her husband — (which in her time period was tantamount to being reduced to begging, stealing, or selling herself) or could she possibly just consider submitting to her husband? There are some women in our feminist culture, who given the choice between submission and prostitution would defiantly choose. . . nah — surely not!

Horrors! Never! Death before submission! Well. . . maybe. Death of honor, respect, marriage, children, future. All for the sake of pride. . . glorious pride. . . one of the things God abhors (Proverbs 6:16-17 & Proverbs 8:13).

Can you be willing to be vulnerable? Can you take the risk of being crushed? Can you survive brokenness? Might there be beauty in the act of surrender? Are you a Christian? Then you know a thing or two about ultimate surrender, don’t you? Surrender of self-will, of pride, of self-control, all submitted to the headship of Christ.

Just think about the strength of vulnerability today. A rose is a vulnerable beauty, exuding strength and fragrance, held up high on a thorny pedestal of esteem and reverence. Might vulnerability be just as fragile. . . and beautiful?

  1. What is the worst thing that could happen if you are vulnerable with your husband? Write down the three worst things that could happen.
  2. What is the best thing that could happen if you are vulnerable with your husband? Write down the three best things that could happen. Is it worth it?
  3. Just consider that selfish pride leads to loneliness. Vulnerable self-sacrifice leads to love. . . Jesus taught us that principle, and as Christians we follow His example.
  4. Oh, and Katherine and Petruchio? They learned to manage their sparks, to create a flame of passion instead of an inferno of destruction!


About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!



sharipopejoy.com

 
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