Careful where you point that thing!…. Or “pointing fingers”

Posted: July 7, 2009 in Commentary, For brothers

As a lad growing up in rural Michigan I had of course occasion to learn the proper use of firearms, and the associated rituals of safety that go along with that. This was reinforced by my time in the military and also during a season of enjoying the shooting sports; I was, and I digress, a fair-to-middlin’ shot with the pistol.

Rule number 1 of gun safety: Don’t point the muzzle at something that you are not willing to shoot.

It so happened as I went through life that I encountered a lady who had learned to shoot as a means of self defense. In her mind, the rule went something like this:

Don’t point the muzzle at anything you aren’t going to shoot.

Can you hear the difference? In the one case, a “groove” is formed in the mind that one should always be cognizant of the powers possessed by the wielder of the instrument. In the other case, the mental “groove” that is formed is a reinforcement of an idea that if you point, you will shoot. Not a recipe for sound decision making. That’s the kind of thinking that leads to unnecessary shootings by family members and police.

I’m not lecturing you about gun safety. With a hat tip to Anakin Niceguy, I’m talking about the language used by some in contemporary Christian discourse about single men.

They should be careful where they point that thing.

I will note as a piece of free dating advice to my younger brothers: Watch what comes out of the mouth of the woman across the table from you. If she is heavily steeped in one flavor or the other of Christian gender feminism….or Christian romance novels… she may not be able to see honorable behaviour in front of her for what it is; she may have no interpretive “grid” to even see you as a sincere believer for one reason or the other. Her words will give it away.


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