Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Definition of a Bum. Updated.

This post was originally published last year as the first guest post my Spouse wrote. Several readers have referred back to it on occasion, so I thought it was worth a repost.

While walking the streets of Downtown Houston it is not uncommon to encounter some of the many homeless who live on the streets in this city of more than four million people.  Melissa and I have found through conversations that they have names, stories, and life experiences.  

My girls and I have had extensive conversations about the love we can show to the homeless here in Houston: a conversation, a meal, or just acknowledging their existence.  

However, if I bring up the word “bum” my girls get a much different picture.

I often remember hearing people refer to homeless as “bums” when I was younger, but my definition is a little different than my dictionary app on my iPhone and this is what I teach my girls.   

1.  Person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer; idler
2. Over-enthusiast of a specific sport or recreational activity, especially one who gives it priority over work, family life, etc.
3.  An lazy, but able-bodied person
4.  A drunk
5. A selfish person

I want to make sure my girls and those in our college ministry understand 
what a bum looks like:
  •       A bum is unwilling to support himself.  No job = bum.
  •       A bum is too lazy to open the door for a woman.
  •    A bum will put his physical desires ahead of what is best for a woman.
  •       A bum leaves the trash can full of trash. Call me “old fashioned”, but a lazy man will have a woman taking out the trash and mowing the lawn.  I tell my girls, “You decide, do you see your mom having to do that?” ("Having" being operative word here.)
  •       A bum spends a large portion of his time idle in front of a computer, television, or video game.   The IMB (International Mission Board) is sending more women than men into the harsh, dangerous areas of Africa because our 20 something boys refuse to put down the controller and become men.
  •       A bum allows his hobbies or sports interests to consume his life. These things have or will become his idol and he will have no time to worship the true God or lead is family to worship.
  •       A bum will allow family and work to take second seat to his ego and comfort.   A man who loves unselfishly will work whatever job it takes to support a family. 
  •       A bum is incompetent in the handling of Scripture.  He cannot expect to lead biblically if he is illiterate himself.
  •        A bum will allow alcohol to dilute his senses, leaving a woman to worry that he will not be in sober mind to both defend and protect her in any situation. 

·      Top three musts of a dateable man
  • He must know and walk with Christ daily.
  • He must have a drive to work and support his family no matter what that job may look like.
  • He should be mentored by your dad or another strong Christian male figure in your life!    
God has a man for you, he is preparing his heart, but you will need to be patient in waiting on God.   Have men in your life, if not your father, that love you enough to identify a bum and believe them when they say it.

Paul described love best in 1 Corinthians 13 this way:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, and does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…. Vs 4-7

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reasoned like a child 
when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  Vs 11

A bum will look a lot like an overgrown child…


Whew! Love it! I know there is somebody who needs this word!


  1. You don't really know much of my story, but this was perfect. Thank you for re-posting it and for sharing it again. Good good words.

    1. Girlll, we ALL have a story. I'd love to hear yours and what Jesus is doing with it.

  2. Love this, Melissa. Sara sent me the link and I'm so glad she did! I hate that it even crosses my mind that maybe real-life renditions of your "bum" definition are the only options afforded us single girls. I'm grateful for this reminder that "the dateable man" is a real thing

    1. Hannah, thank you for taking the time to comment. We have 2 girls, and these words can't be more from the heart.
      You are SO worth holding out for the one God has for you. I say have the highest of standards! There are good men out there! Some of them just aren't all grown up yet! :)

  3. Random. I've read this before but it wasn't until now that this brought me back to an old school Destiny's Child song called 'scrub' haha. Scrub/Bum they go hand in hand!

  4. Awesome spousism! Sharing!