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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – June 4, 2020

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – June 4, 2020

Remembering

By Jodie Montgomery

 

I think that it is important for people to hear one another’s stories, but stories about old boy or girlfriends can be hurtful to our spouses. So as a general rule, my husband of 37 years and I do not talk about past dating relationships. Today, I break that rule (with wonderful Scott’s support). Today I want to share my story of dating Timothy J. 

I dated Timothy J. during my Junior and Senior years of high school, many years ago, for some a lifetime, but I learned something in those years that I think is relevant today. I learned something about crossing a dishonorable divide.

Timothy J. and I met at a high school in Fayetteville, NC. I enjoyed sports in High School, played tennis and kept score for the basketball team. Timothy J. was a great basketball player. Timothy J. was kind. Timothy J. was handsome. Timothy J. was fun. Timothy J. is black and I am white. We certainly weren’t “colorblind”, we just liked being together. So I didn’t think it a big decision to say yes when he asked me to date him. 

Dating Timothy J. launched me into another culture. I was from a small military family living in a large house in a beautiful community. Timothy J. lived with his larger family in a small house in a “sketchy” area. I went to his home frequently as the hospitality was rich, the food incredible, and his mother watchful. His large family (aunts, uncles, cousins and some neighbors I thought were also related but just called aunt), shared openly their opinions of Timothy’s little girlfriend. We were quite a contrast in appearance. He was 6’4”, dark and elegant. I was 5’5” non-Florida white, brightly red-haired, clumsy, and liked wearing yellow. I learned in our homes and out in public, all people have the capacity to say kind things or to make racist comments. I learned about community as family and earning someone’s trust.

Timothy J.’s family was very open about their faith. They attended revivals and actively engaged in worship. My family, if they went to church, went on holidays and kept to their pew. My Uncle snored in church. I learned all people have the capacity to worship, but some people seem to be more passionate about their faith. I learned that hardship may make us more thankful of deliverance.

I learned how much parenting influences our view of others. I grew up in a home where skin color wasn’t mentioned. What was talked about were character traits. I was taught to befriend those who were kind and to ignore those that were jerks. The jerks were the ones that were self-serving or lazy or lying . You got to know someone by noticing their work ethic and looking in their eyes. Character mattered. My family trusted Timothy J. because they trusted me to make a smart decision. Timothy J. was a good choice for a boyfriend.

Timothy J. and I dated into our Senior years. We broke up when I withdrew from most everyone due to problems at home and my thought that I might need to support myself and my brother. I turned all my attention on studying and not caring too deeply for anyone. I learned that you can shut people out. Timothy J. was voted Most Courteous our Senior year. I, strangely, was voted Most Friendly and Most Outstanding Senior Young Lady. I learned that many supported our attempt at bringing two very different cultures together. I learned that I should have stayed with Most Courteous when I almost experienced date rape by Mr. Entitled Big Shot football player. I learned that selfishness and meanness come in all colors, as do grace, humility, and trustworthiness. I learned I need to spend time with others to reveal my own character and to understand theirs.

To love one another is a sacred place. God calls us to love one another. I wish we could. God is the source of love. He demonstrated His love in dying for us. He continues to love us by pouring forth His truth. Some today are saying they know the “pure truth” regarding the actions of others. I do not. God does. He knows the heart. 

Colossians 3:8-17  But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.