Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Girl

I must say I did enjoy my childhood and being a girl wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I was convinced at a young age that boys had more fun and girls had to stay in the house and play with dolls to be good wives when the time came. I did the house thing but whenever my brother had that look in his eye that he was about to do something that he had never done before, I was attached to his hip. I have to admit, climbing trees and having bike races were more fun then waiting for that easy bake oven to finally kick out a cake the size of a mouthful (though I cook like a banshee now- whatever that means).

In spite of those tom-boy tendencies, I was still my father's princess and liked getting those baubles that only a Dad can give to his daughter. I recall a birthday party where I received my first bicycle. It was blue and had a basket in the front and a bell on the right side of the handle bars. It was second hand bought but new to me. I was elated especially seeing that I didn't know how to ride the huge 8 speed without training wheels. Dad was out there with me. He held onto the back and ran while I pumped and kept my eyes fixed to the ground. He kept telling me to look up but for some reason I kept looking at my feet. Thinking  about it now, sort of poses a whole new blog about fear and the flesh. Can you see that? Anyway, after so many chances of Dad guiding me along, he said to me that was it, because I wasn't listening to him. I had the scrapes, scars, and tears to prove it. He went into the house but I kept trying to push off and balance. Mom didn't come and hold the bike but it didn't keep her from yelling out direction too. So frustrated and feeling like all of the neighbors were watching me, I wouldn't quit. I got to that curb one last time and pushed off. I rode past the house, then the next door neighbor. I got to the corner of the block and I hadn't fallen off. I did it! Finally, finally!!! I rode the bike! I looked around and no one was there, still no less a victory!

I never thought that once I married with children of my own to raise, finished college with a career, did in my wildest of dreams would I ever hear being called a girl ever again.  I suppose while some might feel girlish and even flattered by such a reference, I immediately recalled back to when African American men were referred to as boys and they became offended. I didn't understand it back then because all I could remember them saying is, "I am a man!" Clearly, that could be seen but what was the offense? So what, someone made a stupid comment and no, there isn't the same sort of comment with any other race of people - still, what was the big deal? When did this first become such a problem?

It was before my time when there were bell hops, porters, newsboys, and shoe shiners. Those jobs were given to students or young men struggling to provide for their families. There use to be a time when jobs were labeled for men and others for boys. Boys had paper routes and delivered the news to business men. Boys shined shoes for those nickels and dimes. Younger men (teens) were porters and bell hops to carry bags because they were stronger. But  when jobs weren't as plentiful and getting an education wasn't as important, the lines became blurred as to who could do what and where and at whatever given age. When a business man called for the boy to give him this or that - he usually was.

Alright, taking it as far as the plantation, the workers (slaves) were considered property. They were born on the plantation and grew up there. They were boys and the plantation owners were not considerate of property other than to be bought and sold. So when a man is called a boy these days, it is degrading and he has every reason to be offended and speak about it. It is the responsibility of people to be more aware for the proverbial wound to heal and heal properly.

As for me, being called a girl, it just didn't sit well with me and not for the same reason as it did for the African American man (or he didn't voice it to be). It didn't sit well with me because the amount of work, patience, endurance, that I had been through to get to where I am, a girl could not have done it. I didn't settle for mediocrity. I didn't allow for my career to choose me - I choose a career and went to school to enhance the skills God gave me. I made the effort to do more than sit in a mirror and wish upon a star. I raised a family and made sure they saw the importance of putting God first and to go and pursue the career God called for them.

I watched grown women decide for their careers to be chosen for them. They decided to be care givers and cashiers at fast food restaurants. Depending on the color of their skin did the customers choose to call them by their name or girl. I watched them to see if it bothered them. It didn't. When I asked, they said they are use to it. How could they be? How could they have settled for less then what God had to offer them? How could any of you reading this blog settle for mediocrity?

Think for a moment and consider what you have seen in other relationships and if you are in a relationship now, look at it. I mean, really see it for what it is. Be honest with yourself. If he has no ambition but to be where he has been since high school, would that be alright with you - for the rest of your life? If she sees herself as a housewife  to only take care of her family, would that meet the assistance you seek? Would that be a good fit in your life? If it is - God bless you. If it isn't, what are you doing? Do you really think that eventually the light will come on and he/she will all of a sudden become what you believed the potential could be? Do you have that kind of patience to wait for it?

An educated man married a beautiful woman who only desired to be a housewife and care for her family. Yet he was attracted to business women and often found himself tempted to look at them. Is this man happy with his life? Is he happy with the decision he made?

A career minded woman married a man with no ambition other than making just enough money to get through to the next day. He didn't want anything from his wife other than for her to be a housewife which was not her life's goal. Where is this marriage headed? Do you see peace in the future of this household?

Both scenarios are real. You probably have seen this as well, if it isn't yourself. The point being that people have regrets simply because of one thing. A lack of maturity. I have written over and over again that children should not marry and have no business dating. If the skill of walking in love in not a daily practice to the point of it being a habit as instinctive as brushing your teeth, then don't involve anyone else into your mess.

Throughout my childhood when I heard of the offense of African American men being called boys, I never heard any of them that were offended go the person that called them a boy and correct them in a manner that would stick. It was always in an angry tone or at the ready to fight. An educated man would have handled the matter differently, whether African American or any other color. When I was referred to as a girl, I could have let the matter alone as well. The other women that took on the jobs as care giver and maid didn't have any issue with it. I suppose they could have been picking their battles and that wasn't one they were ready to fight. I, on the other hand, did otherwise. I went to the man who made the reference and to an elderly woman later who also did the same thing. I took my time so that my emotions did not speak the words for me. When I was finished, I learned the ignorance of some people (or them pretending to be). I also found that the time I took to speak to them without the tone, allowed for them to see me differently. I never heard them refer to me in that manner again.

The Word says to know to do right and to not do it, it is a sin (James 4:17 AMP). Girls can sit on their hands and swing their legs all day long. Nothing is accomplished and no one is really expecting them to do anything other than what is socially acceptable. David married Michal even when she wasn't ready to give up the title of being a princess. She still found it necessary to be loyal to her father's household though because of her marriage she was no longer a part of. She didn't have the skills or desire to cleave to her husband as she should have. In finding those character traits of Michal, clearly she wasn't mature enough to carry the responsibility in being a wife. She hid idols under her bed, something David did not practice. She made sure her father was aware of secrets she was to keep with her husband. Lastly, she showed embarrassment at her husband's praise of God (2 Samuel 6:16-21 AMP). David took much from her but would not tolerate her trying to control his relationship with the Almighty. After that, Michal  isn't written about anymore other then when David spoke to her at that particular given moment. She bore no children for him. David had to find another wife.

In perspective of Christian dating, well I would think it would be obvious. There are characteristics that we as Christians should be able to see while dating. When the first impression is not as paramount to keep, we are still to be alert to see the signs of faithfulness, loyalty, and consistent to be pleasing in the sight of God. These characteristics are not something that is a habit in a girl. She is still learning their definition rather then the use of practical application. The girl mimics good intentions rather then what she knows is a good idea. She cannot stand strong or fight against something she doesn't know exists. How then could she ever be of any assistance to the one who needs it (Genesis 2:8 KJV)?

I did not know how to ride that bicycle until someone came to show me how to do it. He ran with me and held onto the bike so I would not fall, even though I did several times. When he thought I should have it by now, he stopped holding onto the bike. There had to come a time where I had to do it for myself, otherwise, training wheels would have been my crutch forever. It is why Michal hid the idols under her bed. It is why she still had the mind to be the princess instead of the queen. It is why men need to go through the dating process and do the proper interview for the best candidate - as unromantic as that may sound. It will keep you out of the trouble Paul writes about (1 Corinthians 7:28 AMP).

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