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Let’s Just Assume

Our family made a long journey and we have finally come to Oklahoma where we are settling in the best we can. The small amount of stuff we did send ahead hasn’t made it yet, but that’s not what I’m complaining writing about today.

I had an interesting experience on the ferry ride down. These boats are nice for what they are, but they’re no cruise ships. Space is limited and so are activities. Three days is a long time with four kids to be cooped up there.

Even still, we managed to have fun. At one point, we were playing games together in one of the observation decks where there were tables set up for such endeavors. People around were playing cards, monopoly, or other games. We were playing a dice game called Farkle and enjoying it immensely.

With six of us, our turns didn’t come as quickly as we sometimes wanted so my son, Wesley, who was sitting across from me started playing another game that involved him trying to turn his hands fast enough to slap my hands on top of his.

It would be much easier to show you, but the point is, we were laughing and carrying on until we could barely breathe. We had a great time.

After a while, we finished our round and decided to head back to our tiny cabin, but as we did, I turned to see a lady (probably in her seventies) stop my wife. She smiled and said, “you don’t have four kids, you have five.”

Now, I don’t think she meant it maliciously at all, but I marveled at how a dad having fun with his kids made me look like an irresponsible dolt who needed to be corralled by his patient wife. The truth is, I was sitting at that table laughing and thinking, “I really needed this.” Not only that, I could tell my son needed it as well.

dad-timeAfter a move, going from leading to leaving our church family, leaving loved ones, all the stress we had endured in those last days in Juneau—I was spent. Besides that, I’ve been fairly hyper-responsible the majority of my life (maybe has something to do with being the firstborn).

Here this woman had observed me for all of ten or fifteen minutes and labeled me a child. It’s not fair, but it’s how the world operates. People have made assumptions about me like this woman did and people make assumptions about you too.

They can take your shyness as thinking you’re better than everyone else. They assume things based on your body language, speech, words you use, or words you don’t use. They may even think you irresponsible for letting loose with your kids.

To all that, I say, “so what.” It doesn’t change who you know you are and who God made you to be. Let people be wrong or let them get to know you and see something different. Either way, stay connected to what God thinks about you.

How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count. –Psalm 40:4-5

What are some assumptions others have made about you?

16 Comments

  1. I think people often mistake kindness for weakness. This has happened with me before.
    seekingpastor recently posted..Crushing Sally’s DreamMy Profile

    • Totally. Or that when you let things go instead of fighting for justice that you are a pushover. I’ve had that one. Sometimes it’s not worth fighting about. Kenny Rogers would agree--you gotta know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em…

  2. David didn’t care when he danced before the Lord in rejoicing. I don’t know if you caught Bill’s post earlier in the week about the singing couple at the gas station, it matters not if it was a set up or not, what hit me like a ton of bricks is that we, as children of the Lord, should be the most joyous on earth. We need to lighten up and show the peace and joy that should permeate from within our souls! It matters not how the lady meant it, it only matters that you were justified before our Father with His love through and on you and your family… Can you imagine the stories and memories that you just made…. Good for you! I say dance before the Lord with thanksgiving!!!!

    • I know I’ve been as guilty as anyone with those assumptions too, but yeah, we can’t live our lives trying to please everyone at all times. We live for the pleasure of the Father and He delights in us. That’s got to be enough. In reality, it’s more than enough! Thanks so much, Floyd.

  3. When my wife first met me, she assumed I was a momma’s boy. When I first met her, I thought she was snobbish.

    We were both wrong. Thankfully we stuck around to learn the truth!
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Greedy for GainMy Profile

    • That’s always the key, right? You have to stick around and be willing to be proven wrong. Love it. Thanks Dusty.

  4. Funny jason. My wife would have agreed with her. I think some just don’t understand the need to relax and laugh and “act like a kid” sometimes. I am a kid at heart so if I was having fun with my son (daughter since I only have girls) then i would have considered it a compliment. Maybe that shows my immature mind. 🙂 Only you and Andrea really know how much you needed that stress reliever.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..FutureMy Profile

    • I will admit, it stung a little when I heard it because obviously she had no idea about anything, but as I said to Floyd, I’ve been just as guilty. It takes a lot of grace sometimes just to be yourself, but it’s totally worth it! Thanks Bill.

  5. Don’t worry, Jason… It’s WAY more important that you had that happy time with Wesley than whether or not that woman thought ill of you. You never know… One day, when he’s on a road trip with his kids, he may tell them about that time on the ferry that their Grandpa made him laugh. And that’s priceless. 🙂
    Sarah Salter recently posted..Grace is for EveryoneMy Profile

    • Oh definitely. Wouldn’t have changed a thing. And with Wes’ attachment issues, it was tremendous to have him genuinely engaging in a different way. It was awesome (the whole trip and move has been that way to some degree). Thanks Sarah!

  6. Second post I’ve read about this topic today…think I need to ask God to reveal some things to me.

    What are some of the “normal” things people tend to think about me- over the years I’ve been called “bossy” or “opinionated”. I’ve also been told I can be “abrupt”. Those things hurt because I don’t mean to be like any of that. I just like to share knowledge I have, I want to help people. I try really hard to give this over to God and allow Him to change what needs changing and soothe what hurts by others.

    On thing that helps me is remember the verse in Ecc (can’t remember it off the top of my head) about not getting our feelings hurt when someone says something against us because we are all guilty of saying some mean/inaccurate things from time to time.

    • I’m convinced that people often don’t know how they come across or how they hurt us, but like you said, we’ve all done it too. Glad grace covers it all and forgiveness keeps our hearts on His path. Thank you, TC.

  7. Interesting. Our pediatrician actually had an article posted in his office about the dangers of today’s culture referring to the husbands or “dads” as one the kids. It was so convincing as it revealed the disrespect our society now brings to the man of the family. I hope my husband always stays young at heart and knows how to laugh and have fun. Well, and me too for that matter.

    • Wow. I believe it. We as dads need to live lives to be respected, but we shouldn’t be diminished for having fun with our kids. And I’m with you, Yasha--Let’s have a playful heart! 🙂 Thank you.

  8. Jason no need to worry about that lady, I’ve pretty much have had lots of people make assumptions about me all my life. I have the color of skin that some people assume is of a middle east terrorist. I have a last name that people assume I am from India and one that is a hindu. And just because I’m quiet mean I don’t have social skills. Well with all these assumptions I have against me I know one thing and one thing alone is that Jesus Christ Loves Me And Have A Plan For Me ! As a person from New York City and Minneapolis I use these assumptions as a driving point against Satan and the spirit of those assumptions !

    • Absolutely. Great truth to stand on, Andrew! Thanks so much.

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