Have you guys seen Duck Dynasty?
I haven’t, but I’ve heard about the show three different times in the past week. And when there’s overlap between what my Christian women’s retreat friends, my Boston business friends, and Men’s Journal are talking about, something INTERESTING is going on.
The funniest thing I saw about the show came from the Men’s Journal interview, where Phil (who I think is the show’s star?) says:
“The scary part is that hundreds, if not thousands, of women want to marry [his brother] Si. ‘Course, he’s already married now about 40 years, but womanhood has dropped to a new low in America if women want to marry him.”
Ladies, this is Si. Now I’m sure he’s a great guy, and I know that part of the appeal of the show is that all the duck hunter-gatherer guys in this family have put their wild ways behind them, accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and work hard to be faithful to their wives and families. I get the appeal of that. Plus, you know, they’re millionaires. But seriously, ladies, Phil is right: If we’re longing for Si, it means we’ve really lost sight of what it means to build a life we’ll feel good about living.
Admittedly, I haven’t watched the show. Perhaps I too will be overcome with Si’s charisma and romantic appeal when I do. But I doubt it. Because I remember the first time I saw a dead deer hanging from someone’s front yard, and how it made me think, “Wow. Whoever thought THAT was a good landscaping plan is probably not the sort of guy I want to marry.”
If you’re looking at Si right now and thinking, “Well, for the millions he’s making, I could figure out how to love him…” I want you to go into your bathroom right now and imagine it filled with dead ducks. Then go to your kitchen and picture a sink filled with not-quite-dead fish…that you’re expected to kill, clean and cook for dinner. Now imagine the dinner conversation (night after night after night) where the answer to “How was your day, Dear?” is always some story about blowing living things out of the air in an explosion of blood and guts and feathers.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with these scenarios; I’m just saying: they’re not for everyone. I’d venture a guess that this is a life one is best born into rather than something one can pick up as a acquired taste. And while I’ve heard more than one person observe, “They’re so much more wholesome than Honey Boo-Boo!” I think that we need to face the truth that HBB is the rock-bottom barometer for just about everything there is to think about, and work hard to set our sites a little higher.
When did we lose hope and start fighting over whatever we could find to settle for? Because ladies, when Phil from Duck Dynasty is calling us out on having reached a new low as American women, that’s a wake up call.
We all do it. We try to convince ourselves we could live with the people and things that disappoint us or break our hearts because we’re afraid the only alternative is nothing at all.
I’ve done that with men. I’ve done it with houses. I’ve done it with jobs and friends and vacations and restaurants. And I do it all the time with clothes, telling myself that some outfit is miraculously going to look great out in the real world even though it looks shoddy & ill-fitting in the dressing room (except when I stand sideways, go up on my tiptoes, and suck in my stomach) because it’s what I found and I’m tired of looking.
I’d say that last statement explains a lot of bad decisions in the world. Or maybe just mine.
What do we do when we’re in this place? For me, the best thing I can do when I’m about to devote myself to life with Si and a tub full of dead things (because why not….it’s not like something better is going to come along…) is to SHUT UP.
I’m not kidding. For all our cultural obsession with communication and sharing our pain and putting words to our feelings, when our feelings are this far off-base from what we read and know about God’s promises, we need to SHUT UP and stop giving the crappy lies more power. I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction thing where all the good and bad we have in our lives we drew to ourselves; I don’t think the world is that simple. But I believe in the basics of life which more or less come down to: What you feed grows.
Sometimes, the best you can do is feed what you want, and starve what you don’t want.
If you HONESTLY long for a man who will cover himself in deer urine so he can sneak up on a buck to kill & hang in your front yard, then don’t pine for Si. He’s taken. Consider him evidence of what God can do, and pray for YOUR hunting wild man, the one God created just for you.
And if what you honestly long for is something OTHER than that, remember: it’s okay to ask, and to just not talk about the things going on that make your longing seem stupid. It’s a viable faith strategy to just SHUT UP and wait on God.
Now I’m off to find a Duck Dynasty episode to see what all the fuss is about :)