It is better to live on the corner of the housetop than to live in a wide house with a [bad queen]. Prov 25:24 AND Prov 21:9
In a previous letter, “If I am to be Queen, I Shall Be a Good One,” I talked about being a good queen (or wife), determining to be so after the story of young Queen Victoria. But of course, history is filled with bad queens – as are marriages! I could not speak with such details about such queens if I had not walked in their shoes at different times in my own marriage. Now, I see these queens walking around, torturing their miserable kings, and the country song, “Could’ve Been Me!” plays in my head: I know I have had moments of bad “queendom” in my life. I could’ve been those wives.
FOUR BAD QUEENS IN MARRIAGE:
1. Script-Writing Queen:
A script-writing queen has her script written in her head of how the day, her life, and even the lives of others are supposed to go. This queen is not always the star of the script; she can disguise herself as humble – like she wants to be in the background, yet she knows everyone’s lines by heart.
The worst part of the script-writing queen is that she doesn’t tell anyone what the script is! She surrounds herself with eggshells, as everyone walks cautiously, guessing what his or her line was supposed to be to make the play turn out as the bad queen intended.
The Remedy for the Script-Writing Queen:
- Stop writing scripts in your head. Discuss your expectations with those who are involved in meeting them, and then determine if it is an agreeable plan.
- Give your king (husband) grace if expectations are not met. The more you have needed forgiveness, the more you are willing to forgive. If you have never needed forgiveness, then forgive anyway. (smile)
- Recognize God is the only script-writer, and live with His plan for your day. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” In other words, no matter how much planning I do, God’s plan for my day will always prevail!
2. Motive Assigning Queen:
Motive assigning queens think they know the thoughts, desires and intents of their kings.
When my kids were toddlers and they would fight in the car, one would often yell from the back seat, “Mom, he hit me ON PURPOSE, AS HARD AS HE COULD!”
I giggle inside at the silliness of the thought, “on purpose, as hard as he could.” It is as if the child has a measurement method for determination of the purpose and intent of his sibling as well as a gage which deciphers the magnitude of the hit in comparison to the overall ability: “on purpose as hard as he could!” Ha! But, haven’t I been like that with my husband?
- “He left that dirty dish right in the middle of my clean sink just to see if I will clean it up.”
- “He is driving like Speed Racer and putting my life in danger, because he thinks it’s funny that it freaks me out.”
- “He has selective hearing and only hears what he wants to hear, but suddenly can’t hear when I tell him things I need him to do.”
Motive Assigning Queen translation: “He didn’t listen ON PURPOSE AS HARD AS HE COULD!” It is simply assigning a motive to his heart. Maybe my heart is the one that needs a checkup.
The Remedy for the Motive-Assigning Queen:
- Recognize the ailment: Anytime we catch ourselves saying, “He thinks ___,” “He wants___,” or “He did it because___,” we are assigning motives.
- Confirm your intent analysis and strength measurement with him. In other words, ask him!
“Why are you …?” in my calm voice has often yielded answers like, “Sorry! I didn’t even notice I was doing that!” and I can thank God, because he didn’t even notice what I thought he was doing “on purpose, as hard as he could.” Haha!
3. Needy Queens:
The needy queen is one who depends on her husband for everything.
- She needs him to be in the kitchen, go grocery shopping with her, notice if she changed something.
- She needs him to serve her.
- She needs him to be her source of happiness, and when he messes up, her life is messed up.
If my value comes from how my husband views me, I will be subject to his imperfect views.
- “I made his breakfast and he didn’t like it.”
- “I worked so hard to get the house straightened, and all he asked was why I wasn’t ready for the meeting.”
The Remedy for the Needy Queen:
- Do all things for the glory of God, not your own glory or even your husband’s glory.
- Recognize, you are not married to a perfect person; and neither is he.
- There is only one King who is perfect, and we must be dependent on Him.
When we live a life with God as sufficient for all our needs, it is truly amazing how much better marriage can be. The weight is off of our kings’ shoulders as we put all our weight in The King.
If I am doing all things for the glory of God (1Cor 10:31), then I am not waiting with bated breath for my husband’s opinion.
If I go to the car and get my own things instead of asking my husband to be my errand boy, it’s amazing how many times he says, “Here, let me get that for you!”
Need God. Love your husband.
Need God. Love your husband.
4. Checkmating Queens:
This is the worst set of queens, and I am embarrassed to have once been a founding member. The marriage vows of the checkmating queen say, “…to have and to hold, to compete with to the death of the king and/or the marriage.”
In Lysa Turkeurst’s book, Unglued, she talks about harboring “retaliation rocks.” My checkmating queen would pick up one rock for each mistake her husband has ever made, and harbor it for future needs of throwing it at him to win a battle. Or at least she would write down his sins and mistakes to show to some counselor one day so the checkmate can be declared as the queen wins! And the marriage loses.
In chess, there is a white queen and a white king. The white queen is on the same team as the white king…always. And together, they face the other side. It is NEVER the white queen against the white king, as a checkmating queen’s marriage is.
I don’t know if it was due to the sibling rivalry of having all brothers, or the world-against-men attitude in the male dominated workplace of engineering, but somewhere along the way, I began competing against my husband, instead of being on the same team. It was never a declaration, or public announcement; it was more of a subtlety in the background of our marriage.
- I wanted the last word.
- I wanted the funniest joke (and horribly sometimes at his expense).
- I wanted to look smarter in front of friends, make more money at work, receive more awards, etc.
The Remedy for the Checkmating Queen
- Remember, it is you and your king against the evil forces in the world – NOT you against your king.
- Edify one another, lifting each other up as better than yourself. (Romans 12:10 and Phil 2:3)
- The picture you paint of your marriage in front of others (especially your children!) is influencing all of those around you. If you want your son to be a king in his house one day, show him how a king is treated. If you want your daughter to have a wonderful marriage one day, then model what a wonderful marriage would be -when the king and queen are on the same team – always.
The Story of the Brady Marriage…and my “Queendom”
As a newlywed, I was in a community band. I’ll admit: it was an awful band; but I just wanted to keep up my saxophone playing, so I attended regularly, despite my full-time job as an automotive engineer. The night of the concert, I got dressed in black-tie attire, and I headed out the sliding glass back door of our basement apartment.
That’s when I noticed that Chris was sitting on the couch, in his casual after-work hangout clothes.
“The concert starts at 7,” I said, assuming my reminder would be enough to eject him from the couch to his closet to get dressed for the concert.
“OK, Good luck!” he said, not moving from his position.
“Well, you’re coming aren’t you?” I asked, recognizing he was not.
“No, I have some things to get done,” was his nonchalant reply.
My simmering mind went to a full boil. The script-writer within me had not allowed for him to have things on his agenda. My script for the night was for him to drive a second car (since I had already conceded that he would not want to be there an hour early for my warm-ups).
I stormed around getting my things. Subliminally, I hoped my stomping would communicate my disappointment and manipulate him into coming. Words did not come out of my mouth, but smoke was leaving my ears. I was hurt. Surely he didn’t love me if he thought anything was more important than seeing my concert. He came to my concerts in college. Now he won’t even come to this? Was he misleading me in college just to marry me. Yeah, that’s it… he didn’t love me.
“Well, I love YOU!” I said, and I drew out the word, “you” to be long and sarcastic, as if I were portraying how much more my love for him was than his love for me. Checkmate.
I then proceeded to “slam” the sliding glass door.
Have you ever tried to “slam” a sliding glass door?
Have you ever tried slamming a sliding glass door that desperately needs a WD-40 massage or all my might to close it one inch at a time?!
Temper makes us look so silly!
But I was needy. Chris’s lack of attendance was messing with my happy that night.
I had a script (that I had not printed out for him) and he wasn’t following it.
I assigned motives – he must not love me.
I was checkmating – I definitely loved him more. I was going to show the world I was better than my couch-sitting husband who must have tricked me into marrying him.
Ha. It makes me laugh still. That door – stuck in its tracks, took away from my dramatic departure. It screeched to a halt, and I couldn’t get it to shut. I bent in my formal gown, trying to get the door to shut, so I could leave in a huff – my new script.
This letter could go on to many more bad queens:
- the Manipulating Queen : Close cousin to the script-writing queen, she tells half truths, or twists words to mean what she wants them to mean.
- the Victim Queen: She determines that she is a victim and nothing is her responsibility to fix.
- the Beauty Queen: Her day revolves around her “self” and so do her priorities – spending hour upon hour at the salon, tanning booths and plastic surgeon, to the point where her “self” becomes an idol of her heart, and anyone who tries to mess up her “good hair day” is going to have a bad day being around her.
Oh but wait…the Good Queen exists, and with God’s help, can beat out any Bad Queen
within us. (Go back and read, “20 Ways to Encourage Your Husband” to start the process!) In Chess, the queen doesn’t beat the king on her own side, but she does defeat the opposing queen.
Do not grow weary, my friend. Focus on the good and become it…for God’s glory…on purpose as hard as you can!
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. –Prov 31:29