Sunday Post 57: Gourds in the Glad bag

Posted by Danny

I occasionally teach my adult Sunday School class.  We study the bible trying to understand the historical times as well as trying to figure out what it can mean for us today.  By far, my favorite verse to teach was written by the apostle Paul and is in the book of Colossians:  “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

When that verse would appear in a lesson, I would read it slowly, awaiting my wife’s reaction.  She’d grab the sides of her skirt, cross her arms and shift in her chair.  I knew I was treading on thin ice.

Some of the men in class might have wanted to believe this verse was the true desire of God, but our wives wouldn’t let us.  Lisa had a great many talents but submission was not one of them.

As much as I enjoyed sparring back and forth with the women in the class about God wanting them to submit to their husbands, I did not want that in a wife and that is not what I want for my girls. 

Perhaps it’s because I have never seen that exemplified in my family.

We called one of my grandmothers Idee (her name was Ivy).  She did not submit!

One day she came home from work and my grandfather had her housekeeper, Ophelia, out hoeing in his garden.  Idee was not happy.

“Spurgeon!  If you ever come in my house and tell Ophelia to dig in that damn garden, I’ll have your head.  You need a farm hand?  You go find your own!”

The next day he dropped off a crop of squash on Idee’s kitchen counter which he’d grown himself (well, with a little help from Ophelia).  Idee opened the lid of the trashcan and with one swoop of her arm across the formica counter deposited the 12 yellow gourds into the Glad bag.

“Take my maid outside to hoe and then drop these damn dirty vegetables on my counter.  You bring any more of this %$&# in here and I’ll…”  She finished the sentence under her breath.  I intently looked down at The Florence Morning News as if I didn’t hear.

Papa didn’t get mad.  He just laughed it off.  Plus, I think he was scared of her.

Someone recently told me, “Your mother is the sweetest lady.”

Well, she’s sweet, but she’s not the sweetest.  Let’s just say she sometimes has opinions and obviously her mother, Ivy, didn’t set a great example of demure.

Yes – my girls are surrounded by strong women.  Lisa’s sister has a PhD from John’s Hopkins and a MD from Harvard.  She’s going to save the continent of Africa from AIDS.  And the only thing my mother-in-law has ever submitted to was a mandatory drug test upon hire in the local school system (she passed).

My dream for my girls is not for them to submit, in marriage or career, but rather to be confident and sure of what they want and need.  And if any guy thinks he’s gonna come in and find a Tanner girl willing to cater to his every whim, he might get a rude awakening.  Thus far, I see glimpses of thoughtfulness but not a lot of surrender.

Good luck fellas.

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  1. Amen! Preach it, Dad….actually I believe this picture of submission/ respect is exactly what the good Lord intended – who is, as you know, neither male or female…power to all people!

  2. Melanie Walker

     /  February 12, 2012

    I LOVE the strong women you are raising!

  3. April

     /  February 12, 2012

    Yes, Indeed!, your mother is one of the sweetest, Strong Women it has ever been my blessing and pleasure to know. She is a true force of nature with a velvet glove.
    You have been blessed with the strong women in your family (and your Dad ain’t no slouch in the strong men department).

    • Danny Tanner

       /  February 12, 2012

      I like the description of strong with a velvet glove! That’s my mom.

  4. Aunt Susan

     /  February 12, 2012

    Nice to know you recognize strong women in the family, and respect them.
    do keep up the good work,

  5. Mom

     /  February 12, 2012

    Yep! When you live in a house with three males for years, you learn to stand your ground. There’s not much that’s really worth going to bat for when you have men in your life like I do. The men in our family all “treat us right” but on occasion, we have to come out with our “verbal dukes” up. Gotta keep you guys in line. That’s only one of our many responsibilities as women which we handle so well.

  6. Evie Lichti

     /  February 13, 2012

    You must be doing somethin’ rite, Danny! Love every minute of this blog!


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