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).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Those Tiny Crumb Snatchers!

I first must ask your forgiveness for not making more of a strong stance on a subject that is as important as life itself. I don't know how I got around to having this blog page for so long without making more of an emphasis on what God counts as His treasure. I suppose its because that I sensed and have been asked about so many other different subjects on Christian dating, I forgot that this is a new season, a new generation, and values have been tampered with. Though there have been issues and problems in the past that every generation finds more important then their predecessors, it doesn't take away from the fact that this generation has had more occurrences even with the information then any other (Psalm 73 AMP). Children... they are everywhere and the reports of the growing population decreasing have escaped me if there is any such document at all.

I have written about parenting and the things we did or didn't get as children we have to watch so not to have those unreasonable expectations from our perspective mates to be our surrogate or subconscious parent. Once having that understanding, it would be expected for us to look at those children we've had with people we are no longer with and make the decisions we didn't make when creating them. Shouldn't their life be better then mine? Would that man or woman as their step parent be the best decision for them (Proverbs 5:16-18 AMP)? We know what we desire. Of course we do, its how we got in the predicament we are in ... being single with children. It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman. Its more then likely that the men aren't caring for the children the majority of the time but it doesn't take the responsibility away. Making the decision to date again involves more then the physical rantings of your lower region. Screaming as it might, day or night (even night and day), doesn't make the children disappear. Slipping out for a secret rendezvous only manufactures the voice of, "what are you doing?" That voice came when you chose life. Promising yourself that just this one time and that's it, creates a challenge (some call it the test of temptation) for those feelings to come again sooner then they ever did before. Should you be true to the promise you made to yourself just then? Should you think of what this time you are having with the one night stand do to your children or would that you could recall  that where ever you go, God sees you?

I look at my now adult children and remember the looks on their faces when I was teaching them something they have never heard before. It was something extremely simple where most of us have taken for granted but to them with new eyes and such innocence, each word and action had to be directed (and in some cases, redirected) in such a way for it not to be misconstrued into a problem or an unplanned issue. When children see those different "uncles" and "aunties" coming and going, it won't take long before they figure out what's going on. It won't take long before they start thinking one thing when the words taught to them were completely different (Isaiah 30:1 AMP). It doesn't take long for the parent to realize whether admitted to or not that they raised for their son or daughter to be a player. The elder generation would say that son or daughter is a gigolo, a whore, fast, and/or just trifling. Who would be to blame but the one that trained the child (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)?

It was a lesson that was taught to me in church services about dating someone and bringing them home for my children to meet. The first meeting is like the first date. You are hoping that its a perfect match and everyone gets along. The problem with this hope is, those little quirky things that you didn't see before have become annoying and... well... it doesn't look like its going to work after all. Sorry. Onward and forward I guess. Have a happy life. But its just not that simple anymore. Those little quirky, irritating, childish ways are just the things that caused your child (or children) to be in love with him/her.  They can't wait to see him/her again. They had so much fun and it all works for them better then any of the other people you dated. An adult mending a broken heart is sad and it does take time for the scab to appear. Once that proverbial scab starts to slough off, often the skin underneath is much tougher. What happens when a child's heart has to mend? Do they really bounce back? Are they all the more tougher and would you like for them to be (Matthew 18:6-10 KJV)? I often wondered why my mother didn't date when the divorce was final with my father. When asked, her answer to me was, "because I have three daughters and a son to raise." She put us first before herself. Is this sort of what God meant when He tells us that we present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1 KJV)?

Newborns lay there. Without even trying we can't help but to, "aww." Children are not anymore calculating then babies. When they hurt they don't care who comes to take the pain away. When they make friends, they don't contemplate on skin color and socio-economic status. When they give hugs, they are generous in doing so not finding it as a precious commodity as those who are in need of that hug. They laugh at whatever they find funny and show compassion to what their heart tells them; then something happens. Changes occur as it has happened with us all. We grow up and see matters differently. Are we influenced by those who seem to be an authority on the subject and  trust those who say love but the sincerity was misplaced years ago? Whatever you wish to believe, it doesn't take away from the fact that you are responsible for those little ones. To the man, God clearly tells you that if you don't care for them, you are worse then an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8 KJV). To the woman, the bible is also clear about children who grow up as fools (Proverbs 10:1 AMP). The next generation is in our hands to do with what we hope to have in the future. The Word tells us to give thanks and pray. It doesn't sound like a whole lot to do, yet what I have found that being thankful goes a long way and prayer does work (James 5:16 KJV).