I was born and reared in Texas. It’s not the deep south, more southwest, but it has a lot of deep south customs and sayings. I say this with some authority since I have lived in the actual deep south for several years.
Southern women are prone to declaring. We declare to indicate we are surprised or caught off guard. In truth, we probably are not as surprised or caught off guard as you might think. It’s possible we want you to think we don’t already have a well thought out plan that you’ve been led into head first.
Southern women also like to refer to a person (usually a man) turning their head. This comes from the concept of pulling our attention in another direction, presumably the man’s direction. At times it means this person has made us think in a new way, but when said in a flirtatious way, it just means that we are beginning to notice his attractive aspects which could be a fine mind, or a handsome face, or a healthy bank account – all of which make for a very acceptable suitor.
“I declare, Sir, I believe you’re trying to turn my head,” is actually a Southern woman’s way of saying, “Keep going. I like what I hear and see. I’m about to start (or in Texas, I’m fixin to start) paying real attention to you.”
Our most ardent suitor, whether we are women or men from the north or south or somewhere in between, is God. God is constantly calling to us to turn our heads. That’s pretty much what repent means, to turn. To turn back in the direction of God. The people of God have been looking away and heading off in a different direction since the beginning of time, but God’s deepest desire is to turn our heads (and our hearts) back to God.
Jeremiah was one of God’s most ardent prophets. He tried and tried to get the attention of the people of Israel on God’s behalf. But Jeremiah 7:26 tells us, “yet they did not listen to me, or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks. They did worse than their ancestors did.”
The people did not turn their heads. And not only that, they stiffened up their necks so there was even less chance of their heads turning. They were even worse than their ancestors, at least in the eyes of Jeremiah. All they had to do was loosen up a little and turn to the sweet voice calling them home, but nope.
I declare! I believe God is still trying to turn our heads. Repent! And return to God.