Have you heard about the Ban Bossy campaign?
It is this huge movement to encourage girls to lead by refusing to call them “bossy.” Apparently, bossy has negative connotations that can hinder a young girl’s self-esteem and cause her to stay silent rather than be a leader. If you have not heard about it, feel free to browse the linked website above to learn more.
Personally, I do not align myself with this campaign. In fact, last Wednesday, I encouraged my oldest daughter not to be bossy (and yes, I used that word). When she asked me what bossy meant, I told her that it is an attitude one takes when they try to tell others what to do, when they want to control the situation, and they refuse to be a team player.
I don’t know if that is the actual definition, but it summed up perfectly her attitude. She was telling her other siblings what to do and when they didn’t comply she pouted and refused to participate. That, to me, is not leadership, but rather possessing a bully attitude. I want my daughter to have high self-esteem, but I want her to gain it by being selfless and putting others first. I want to teach her to be a leader who serves just as her Savior did. I don’t want her to refuse to interact with others simply because they aren’t playing by her rules. Such a hard concept to teach a five-year-old girl. As I was sharing my heart about this with her, I began to realize the behaviors and attitudes I was correcting in my daughter are the very ones I demonstrate in marriage.
I am a bossy wife!
I can bully my way around the house, insisting on my own way, and playing by my own rules. When my husband makes a decision, acts a certain way, or says something that goes against my own personal desires I refuse to compromise. Even without being aware of it, I insist on having things my way. All. The. Time.
At the very moment I had this startling revelation, my husband was on his way to pick up our dinner. Every couple of weeks we order a carry out pizza and, usually, choose the same toppings each time. On that particular day, however, I kept pouting that I didn’t want our normal choices. I insisted on the BBQ chicken pizza – something that Jason doesn’t even like. I had bossed my own desires onto the rest of the family: a perfect example of my daily attitude in marriage.
My bossiness can take on many forms: pouting, withholding affection, sharing my own opinions without restraint, giving stern looks, manipulating, creatively suggesting my preferences, and deep sighs of frustration (just to name a few).
Yes, I can be a bossy girl and that is not a good thing.
In God’s design for marriage, the man is to be a Christ-like leader who serve his bride sacrificially. A wife is to respond to her husband with gratitude and joy (the same attitude the Church has for Jesus and what did for us on the Cross). That beautiful picture of mutual submission (the husband to Christ and the wife to her groom) reflects the selfless and sacrificial love of Christ and the life change it brings to the Church. That is a godly marriage! There is no room for a bossy wife in that equation!
As a wife, I can choose to honor my husband or boss him, but I can’t do both.
I hinder God’s refining work in my life when I refuse to acknowledge my own shortcomings! And make no mistake, being a bossy wife is a weakness… not a strength!
Over the past couple of days, this truth has sunk in, and I have begun to see a broad scope of bossy tendencies in my own life. Then, in the shower, a sober realization hit me with the same strength as the warm water streaming down my face.
If I am bossy with my husband — am I bossy with God?
Do I insist on my own way? Do I try to rationalize and dismiss my sin? Do I creatively suggest what His divine agenda should be? Do I pout and withhold my worship when His ways are not my own ways? Yes, yes, yes, and yes!
Being a bossy child of God hinders my intimacy with my Creator.
So, while I don’t align myself with the Ban Bossy campaign, specifically. I do want to ban BEING bossy.
- I need to ban BEING bossy in my marriage.
- I want to ban BEING bossy in my relationship with the Lord.
- I want to ban BEING bossy from every area of my life
My prayer is that my leadership, friendship, and communication skills will improve when I ban BEING bossy. The best way to empower my daughter is to show her how to live a life of putting others first. Being a bossy wife will hurt her because I won’t be living up to my words. When I ban BEING bossy, I will not only bless my children, but my husband, as well. He will be free to lead rather than always answering to me. And, most importantly, banning BEING bossy in my walk with the Lord will strengthen my witness as His follower. He and I will grow closer when I do not have a hidden agenda.