Don’t be a pain in the neck!

He was a nice enough guy. I’d known him my entire high school “career.” We’d never dated or anything even remotely like that. Although, we had eaten lunch at the same table in the cafeteria a couple times. So, when he called me when he came home from college on Spring break, to ask me out, I was a rawther surprised.

Because I didn’t want to hurt him, I BEGGED a friend of mine from college to pretend like she was visiting me from out of town, so I could tell him “No” gently. I did and he insisted that there was no reason she couldn’t go with us. So, off we went for a night of pizza and the movies….as F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

I have no idea what movie we saw that night, it has long since disappeared from my memory. What hasn’t left my memory however, is what happened part way through the movie.

There was a tall, young man sitting a few rows to the left of us. He reminded me of someone I went to school (college) with and I was looking at him, trying to see if he was the same hilarious guy that entertained me in my psychology course. (And despite the fact that “hilarious, tall young man that entertained me” would be a good description of Jeff, it wasn’t him) Throughout the evening I turned my head to see if it was who I thought it was.

All of a sudden, in the dark of the theatre, a splash of ice cold and sticky Coke plunged into my lap. My lap that was clad in white jeans, I might add… I was befuddled. I turned to Keith, the perpetrator of this hate crime and said, “What was THAT about?” “To remind you that you’re here with me” he said.

Shock is an understatement to describe the emotion that went raging through me. (Raging being an operative word, I might add)

This morning, in my prayer closet, I had a similar sort of “soda in the seat” kind of experience.

Our oldest daughter belongs to an online group of young people, called “NarniaWeb.” In this group there have been some truly thrilling, rich and deep discussions about the Lord and His work in the lives of the young people who belong to the group. Some of the participants of these discussions have been young men.

Now, these young men (and the young ladies, too) all understand that at any time, the conversation that they are participating in may be a) monitored or b) preempted by either Mum or Dad. They are cool with that, in fact, they welcome our participation and are both personable and delightful to talk to.

HOWEVER, we have still limited the amount of conversations that our daughter participates in, telling her that she simply has no concept of the power that the words she speaks could wield in the life of a young man. Even a young man who is just a friend.

We jokingly remind her of the old expression, “The man may be the head, but the woman is the neck.” We keep asking her to acknowledge that her words could distract a young man from the purposes that the Lord has for him if he so much as thinks that she is a common representative of how young women think and her thinking differs from his own.

This morning, in my quiet time I’m reading in Deuteronomy 7 and I read, “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods”

I felt like someone had just thrown soda in my lap. All the years I’ve been reading Scripture, I have NEVER noticed that Scripture doesn’t say that the sons will lead the daughters away – but only that the daughters will lead the sons away. WOWZA. What a weight – a holy burden of responsibility settled on my shoulders.

Suddenly the concept of having modest daughters extended much further than ever before. Now, not only is it vitally important that their attire be modest, their decorum be modest, but it’s important that we help them keep their words modest. (And I’m not talking about just refraining from flirting or any of the other obvious immodest forms of speech.) I realized for the first time that its not just women that are the neck, it’s our daughters, too.

Man!! I think it would have been easier to have someone throw soda in my lap, again – I have SIX daughters to keep from becoming a pain in the neck.

7 Responses to “Don’t be a pain in the neck!”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    I think whether we realize it or not, we do have a lot of power of influence over men. My youngest daughter and I (when we lived very remote and only had radio) listened quite a bit to Dr. Laura. I found that she was was right on most of the time. In her usual blunt way, she gave us moms some advice…telling us to be very careful when our sons took mates, whomever they were sleeping with would have tremendous power over them. I have not taken advantage of such in my marriage, and have taught my daughters that it is not right to do that…but well…let me put it this way…I am not sure what all goes on in the home of our son, but he has become very distant to us over the almost decade he has been married. It may not be her fault…and we have done all in our power to be kind, good, not bothersome, not demanding, not even asking (we NEVER EVER go to see them unless invited)…but it is how it is. We homeschooled most of the years our children were growing up… and though we felt we were close to our son…well, things change. I am not sure that what has happened is due to a plan…it just may be her intense desire to spend all their free time with her family. But as in all of life, you accept the things you cannot change. I have learned you cannot make anyone else love you…no matter what you do or don’t do. I would not say that they do not love us, but I do not think it matters much whether we are a part of their lives. I am VERY grateful to have daughters too, let me tell you. But I have very much encouraged my older daughter to be very, very good and involved with her in-laws. I am telling my unmarried daughter to do differently than has been done to us. I think you are one blessed woman to have 6 daughters!! I so wish I had more of them too!! You can be your own social group!!

    Here is another strange irony of all this…our son had a best friend growing up through the teen and college years who was in and out of our home a lot. When our son married, his friend began spending even more time with us. He has been married now too about 4 years…yet he calls and talks at least an hour or more every single week. I remember one thing Elizabeth Elliot once said, “We do not let the NOT-given destroy the given.” I call this young man, “my other son” because in every way possible, he is indeed a son to us!! The LORD provides comfort in so many ways and I am most grateful!! This young man wishes we would move next door to him even so we could be together more…I still am so amazed!! There may be a day we do just that…one never knows. A lot depends on our daughters, and their situations.

  2. javadawn says:

    Elizabeth – I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. We saw another young man go through the exact same thing. It was heart breaking.

    However, may you find comfort in this – they have “come back around” now and are desiring relationship with his family. (There has been a point in the not too distant past that I would say they are closer to his parents than to her own.)

    On the other hand – this God-son 🙂 of yours – WOW what a blessing. It makes me think of Psalm 113:9. “He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!”

    Thank you for sharing – your words bless me very much!

  3. javadawn says:

    Elizabeth – I walked away and I was utterly struck by something you said….. in your other comment, when we were discussing your guest for Thanksgiving, you said, “Of which there are plenty here in the south.”

    Okay – you’ve just sparked an entire new blog. It’s all your fault. 😀 😀

  4. Elizabeth says:

    OH-oh…please do not take it wrongly…I am a LARGE (as in fat) person too…but having almost lost my life having my son, due in part to his large head (like his dad’s) and seeing our guest was bigger still….well, that was the basis behind my remark! I obviously have nothing against fat people…or big people…but I also do not want my daughter to suffer as I did, or loose her in childbirth either for that matter (and our country is not tops in health care as we know)!!

  5. javadawn says:

    Oh honey – I didn’t take that wrong, at all! 🙂 (Read my blog – it was the whole “south” thing)

    Hey – your hubby has a large head, too?!! Jeff’s family has such large heads that I can wear the hats of my children by the time they are 4 or 5. 🙂

    Thank you for your gentile concern that I had taken any kind of offense – that isn’t at all what I intended to communicate. I’m sorry – my brain was already whirling on to the whole idea of north vs south and I didn’t take care with my words. (Hmmm, isn’t that what I was just blogging about?!!!) 🙄

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I just had to add a PS here too…tonight, late now (Monday) this wonderful “God-son”…what a nice term you used for him!…called to chat. Somehow he can seemingly sense when I need to talk to him. What a blessing from GOD he has been!! I am again…grateful!! Thanks too for your encouraging word!! Time can change things, and sometimes does. And I think too, maybe these events have happened to help it be easier to transition into other events yet ahead…those thoughts do enter my mind…kind of felt as if GOD were telling me since the holiday…”this is a lesser pain for you to bear”…(and you know if ties are too strong, if we need to move away, maybe I would not be able to do so). I do wonder about that…

  7. javadawn says:

    Elizabeth, isn’t it mind boggling how fully Father knows our needs and meets them? Give Him all the praise and glory!!

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