There s one ritual in a traditional Javanese wedding ceremony called Wiji Dadi. It is where the bridegroom steps on a chicken egg with his bare right foot and his bride then washes his foot with water mixed with flowers. It symbolizes that the groom is ready to become a responsible father and the bride ready to serve her husband faithfully. It has a deep and beautiful meaning. I attended a ceremony once whereby during this very ritual, I overheard a middle-aged lady saying to her friend: When we got married he stepped on an egg and made me clean it. Now I step on his eggs! It was really hard to pretend not to hear that and it had me giggling to no end. Apparently not everyone thought it was beautiful.
Having walked the path of marriage for several years now, I can see where that little blurb came from. I found submitting myself to my husband incredibly challenging. (I am Miss Independent. I get my way!) And to serve him faithfully regardless of the circumstances? Get out of town! (You re not the boss of me!)
I d like to believe that I m not the only woman who thinks this way. In the modern culture where women are empowered to strive towards the sense of equality, the words serve and submit have acquired a devalued meaning. It s as if that by doing so, we d be weaker and simpler. But that s ego talking. And the thing about ego is that it automatically goes up. It can t stay still. Our challenge is to find every opportunity we can to press it down. And when our ego gets out of the way, only then will the humble wife in us emerge.
She s a pretty inspiring lady, this humble wife. She sees that submission to the head of her family does not mean blind obedience, but it means to follow his lead and to serve him out of love. She understands that respecting him and honoring his opinions, does not make her the weaker person. The humble wife understands that it is more important to be kind than to be right, and that bigger hearts strengthens the relationship.
Being a humble wife is not the easiest thing to be. It takes courage to be one; courage to push out selfishness, to surrender her life, to be vulnerable, and to trust another human being completely. But I ve heard that it s all worth it. I m still working hard to bring out the humble wife in me. I wish I could say that the selfish girl inside who always got her way miraculously vanished the moment I said I do , but she didn t. She s still in there somewhere, lurking behind all the what-ifs and the what-might-have-been, and sometimes behind the are-you-crazy-what-the-*#%@-are-you-thinking? It s been a long hard journey to push her aside, that stubborn old girl, but I can feel that she s losing her grip. It s an ongoing process and I can t wait till the day I see that submission without reservation to the man of my choice, regardless of the circumstances, is indeed a beautiful thing.
This is actually a two-way street and there are things that husbands can bring to the table. Things like love and killing his ego and putting her needs above his own. We will leave that for next time. But today, be kind to each other. Have a wonderful weekend!