Still Drilling & Dribbling

Mondays at lunch: we fast and pray for men to lead in relationships and in the body of Christ, for our hearts to be soft and open to where God is leading, and for current and future marriages to honor the Lord.

It was my sophomore year in college when my straight-to-the-point father laid his first piece of wisdom on me. I was relaying a story of playing basketball with a few guys, when my dad chimes in, “You shouldn’t be playing basketball with the guys because they won’t like it if you are better than them.” My retort went something like, “Well if I’m better than them at basketball, then I’m not interested in them anyway.” I’m 5’4”, let’s seriously think about this folks, it’s not like I can block a lot of shots.

Fast forward 15+ years; I had entered the world of home repairs when my dad threw down his next piece of advice. I was in the middle of a bathroom remodel and needed to remove some tile, so I asked my dad for the best way to accomplish the task. He hooked me up with an electric chisel, but added “You really shouldn’t learn how to use any more power tools, because a guy isn’t going to be interested in you if you can use more power tools than he can.” My dad is the wisest man I know and carries biceps that rival the circumference of my thighs, so not someone easily intimidated, but obviously he has concerns with me being too good in typically male dominated areas, like sports and power tool usage.

My mom, on the other hand, was less concerned about her girls being better than guys and more interested in us just bringing them around. Apparently she had strong doubts about my ability to wield my feminine wiles, because she asked me one time, “Do you know how to flirt?” I can’t remember my exact response but I can imagine it being something like, “Nah, I was sick that day in school.” What was she saying? I thought flirting was standard issue, came with the second X chromosome and all.

Here’s the deal… our parents’ marriage, beliefs, expectations, and advice impact us way more than we ever care to admit. Even though I have never heeded my dad’s advice to stop playing sports with boys or quit learning how to use power tools, his underlying message has affected me. Understanding how our parents have impacted and continue to impact our interactions with members of the opposite sex is important, both for the positive and negative influences. I would venture a guess that this is not just important to understand before marriage, but is something many couples spend years working through.

For my part, I know I’ve been incredibly blessed with godly parents that pray for me and want the best for me. I also know I need to continually surrender my life to God and allow Him to keep me grounded in biblical truth. The words and actions of our parents stick with us, so it’s important to balance the messages from our parents with the truth and wisdom from the bible. So as I unpack my interaction with guys to make sure I’m not too “this” or too “that” I’m going to reflect on the words of my dad circa 1994…

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Bring on the power tools!
Michelle

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4 Responses to Still Drilling & Dribbling

  1. alliebabar says:

    Thanks, great blog!
    I laughed when I read this, it reminds me of my best friend who can do all those things with tools and on the farm. And she has just met the love of her life and they r planning to get married! Her man isn’t good at using tools and being a handyman, but he’s manly in other ways and leads they relationship which is what matters, so they totally complement each other! I think we forget that different guys are attracted to different ppl, some like to be needed to do those ‘man’ things, but others love girls who will play sport and can do stuff. I’ve definitely witnessed this! It’s so easy to hold into our insecurities though, rather than looking to God to shape us and put us together with someone….
    God bless,

    • fast. pray. says:

      Thanks for sharing your friend’s story. It’s encouraging to hear how God is uniting hearts, even for those girls that use power tools! I only own a drill, so really not that intimidating of a power tool arsenal. May God continue to shape us!

      Michelle

  2. Danielle says:

    I can soooooo relate to this post! I was raised by my single-parent mother who worked so hard in order to provide for me. Now as she is aging and has increased physical issues, I am taking care of her. Because of this, she sees the independent spirit in me (which I’ve learned from her) and it worries her. As I do things around the house, she’ll say to me more and more something along the lines of, “You *are* going to let your husband do something, right?” or “Why don’t you ask for help?” My response is usually, “Well, I’m over 30 and he’s not here, so someone’s gotta do it.” I don’t have anyone else at home to help bring the groceries inside, do the yard work, clean the house, kill the bugs (my mother hates those nasty centipedes, as do I, but since she won’t kill them…..). I had a lightbulb moment, though, when I purchased a generator online and I came home from work to find this very heavy box with instructions inside stating various tools required that I did not have. I *did* take her advice and asked a couple of guys (individually) at my church for assistance. No takers. As I struggled with that generator box later that afternoon, a neighbor came to my rescue. Come to find out my mother flagged them down when she saw them walk near our house and sent them around to the back of the house where I was. But I realized that in my mind, the fact that I took my mother’s advice and asked for help and was turned down for one reason or another, that I put a ‘tick mark’ on my tally sheet of ‘I was right, I should just try to do this by myself, so I will and I’ll get it done’. I realized that I felt vulnerable having to ask for help, and when I was rejected more than once, my proud, independent spirit bristled. My mom was on to something (though I never told her :P) and now instead of getting so exasperated at her ‘husband’ comments, I try to use them as a check in my heart and spirit to make sure my pride and independence doesn’t take a strong hold on me.

    • fast. pray. says:

      And I can sooo relate to your story, Danielle. Thank you for sharing! I too would welcome a bug-killin’ man to rescue me from those nasty creatures, until then Mr. Hoover is my hero! Making sure our independence doesn’t scream “I don’t need you!” is tough, because like you said we are just trying to things done and no one else is around.

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