Archive for the ‘on Marriage’ Category
April 3rd, 2012
Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.”
Marrying a man is a trade off, like having an ox around. Men are a lot like oxen, and I am speaking from experience. We are usually bigger and stronger and less astute than women. Again, my own experience. We are basic, and designed to work (whether we like it or not). We come with consequences, occasionally messy ones. Sometimes in the house-would-eventually-be-condemned kind of way, sometimes emotionally, financially, socially or spiritually.
Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that men generate mess as a byproduct of being men. We plow ahead, ox-like, stomping forward toward some goal and for us to do our thing, other things have to take a backseat. That can look really messy. This is true of women to some degree, but my experience has been that women are better balancers of the consequences of their work. I am more ox-like.
But the good news according to the proverb above is that there is great reward with an ox! We are worth more than the mess we create. An empty manger may be more convenient, but there’s less value in it than a messy one.
February 8th, 2012
I don’t believe most women are natural arguers, I think they are reasonable skeptics. They require more convincing than men since most men think highly of their own judgment and will believe anything they came up with themselves, or solves a problem quickly so they don’t have to deal with it. Women often, sensibly enough, require reasons and often a compelling presentation to be comfortable. Discomfort equals interest – loud, and persistent if necessary.
The scenario is all too common: husband sees an issue, makes a fantastic snap decision to fix said issue and then, eventually, remembers to tell his wife. Who then begins to show interest by asking questions. He becomes annoyed, she persists, and they begin to argue. He of course finds her unreasonable, and totally responsible for starting the argument. But she is not trying to be difficult – though she may be – she just needs more information and adequate time to process it. Especially since the decision came entirely without her input. In fact, the less she feels a part of the process, the more skeptical she will be, and the more seemingly argumentative.
If you are the insecure or impatient type you will dismiss this behavior as nagging or quarrelsome. And if you treat it as such, you will be training your wife to actually become nagging and quarrelsome. If on the other hand, you take the time to answer all of her concerns – patiently – you might actually find that you haven’t thought things through as well as you had assumed. Of course it’s better to include her on the front end of the big stuff. But for those times you forget and shoot from the hip, it might be a blessing to have a natural skeptic around.
February 1st, 2012
Men, getting in touch with your “feminine side” is a total waste of time. You don’t have a “feminine side” – all your tender emotions are there because they are masculine. They came from God the Father. Society has named them and categorized them “feminine” but they aren’t exclusive to women. Don’t believe me? Look at the men of Scripture. David’s psalms, Jeremiah’s sorrow, Moses’ fears, Solomon’s poetry. Still not convinced? Look at Jesus’ tears and God’s gentleness, and the Holy Spirit’s patience. When you stop feeling there’s a battle between being masculine and experiencing all of your God-given emotions then maybe you can stop focusing on yourself in a relationship.
If there’s a feminine side to get in touch with, it’s hers. That’s why you aren’t communicating or getting along. You aren’t going to figure her out by studying yourself. And don’t expect to ever comprehend a woman, settle for apprehending. That means you can grasp her enough today to build a wonderful life together without exhausting what will be there tomorrow. She was designed to be a mystery and not a puzzle. Puzzles are solved and when they are, their interest is gone. She is a mystery and mysteries were created to be delved into, and wondered over, and ultimately appreciated with some sense of awe. There is no end to a mystery, just another layer, so don’t quit because it gets tougher. The one who endures will be rewarded.
November 3rd, 2011
After being away from home on a business/fishing trip, the first thing you want to do when you get home is:
A. listen to your wife talk about everything she, her friends, the kids, and the neighbors did while you were gone
B. have sex
C. enjoy a fine Scottish ale
D. eat a steak while watching TV
After a long day of problem solving, workplace politics, and personnel malfunctions, what you want most when you get home is to:
A. listen to your wife talk about her day in journalistic detail
B. enjoy a fine Scottish ale
C. eat a steak while watching TV
D. have sex
When you are done with the entire list of chores that avalanched your otherwise free Saturday – including things you could have sworn were still undecided – the thing you most want to do is:
A. listen to your wife’s assessment of your performance and her new list of things for next Saturday
B. eat a steak while watching TV
C. have sex
D. enjoy a fine Scottish ale
If your wife says “We never talk,” the response you are most likely to give is: “Well, honey let’s…
B. “have sex.”
C. “enjoy a fine Scottish ale.”
D. “eat a steak while watching TV.”
If you answered “A” to any of the above, you are the ÜberListener.
September 14th, 2011
Anne is a determined decorator, or as she likes to describe it, environmental engineering. Any number of times I have come home to our well decorated home to find it well RE-decorated. Not that she buys new stuff, but furniture I thought unmovable by human beings under 6’4” now casually grace different rooms… on different floors. One day I was particularly surprised to see the piano was not in its usual place and the TV armoire, which weighs more than a Hummer, was across the room.
“Why didn’t you wait till I could help you?” I ask, trying to hide the glee that I didn’t actually have to do anything (points for the willingness).
“It was no big deal. Kyle and mom helped me.”
At the time Kyle was nine, and her mother was 70.
“Before you tell me the funeral arrangements, I’d love to know how you did it. I don’t even see any blood.”
“I worked a rug underneath the cabinet and we slid it across the room.”
“What about the piano?” Now I was sure she had to confess to being the actual Wonder Woman.
“Well, you know it has wheels.”
I stared dumbly for a moment. It did? You mean I could have rolled it when we moved in?! Without letting on, I coolly responded, “I meant up that step from the den, yeah, from the den, I mean, of course you could roll it from there. What about that step?”
“We managed.” She smiled and changed the subject to how I liked it. Of course I liked it fine; I liked it before too, but I wasn’t about to help move it back. Funny how she can’t open a mayonnaise jar when I’m available, but let me leave for work and nothing is too hard if it means she has to wait!
June 28th, 2011
• Bought her a dress for her birthday without realizing it was no longer the 80s or what her size was.
• Talked her into adopting a stray cat (she hates cats) who destroyed her favorite wall hanging practicing its climbing skills.
• Sold “our” old convertible without consulting her first.
• Took up gourmet cooking, invaded her kitchen, bought myself new pans and knives, and then accused her of not appreciating my help.
• Invited a few foreign students to our house (70!) for an Easter Egg hunt, without asking what she thought. The house would only hold 25 at one time. (I had to call back and cancel.)
• Laid my head on her chest during a romantic moment on our honeymoon. Pretty much a deal-breaker to introduce maternal imagery into that kind of moment.
June 9th, 2011
This is to celebrate our 23rd anniversary on Saturday, June 11. We have now been married half our lives!
May 27th, 2011
From my new book, Put the Seat Down, a guy’s guide to the first year of marriage.
May 21st, 2011
May 8th, 2011
Shortly after we moved into our current house about 12 years ago, my wife, Anne, determined to landscape basically everything. The first big hurdle was getting topsoil to create raised beds. Being on a limited budget didn’t even slow her down. She called a church member who owned a large landscaping company to find out where the cheapest topsoil was. He told her where to get it, but there was a one hitch, she’d have to pick it up… three tons of it! I got a phone call that went something like this:
“Hey Honey, I got the topsoil we needed really cheap! And no delivery charge!”
“Great. When are they going to deliver it?”
“Well actually I got it myself. I’m on the way to the house now.”
“What do mean you’ve got it? I thought you needed tons of it.”
“Well, yeah, I’ve got about three tons. I borrowed a dump truck.”
“You’re driving a dump truck?! Where are the kids? I thought you had to pick Kyle up from school.” Kyle, our oldest, was a first-grader at the time.
“I did pick him up. Baby’s at your Mom’s. Kyle and Anna Claire (five) are in the cab with me.”
“You went through the carpool line in a dump truck?”
“Yeah, he thought it was great! All his friends were watching. The teacher had to lift him up to get in.”
“I suppose the guy who loaned you this truck showed you how to dump it.”
“Yeah, it’s not that hard. I thought I’d just back it right up in the yard and dump a couple of piles where I needed it.”
“Well do me a favor. Could you just drop it all in the driveway? I’ll move it later with the wheelbarrow.”
“Why would you want to do all that extra work?!”
“Because I’m guessing that between the dirt and the truck, you’ve got well over ten tons and I don’t want to call the city to come a fix a broken water line. OK?”
“Hey, that’s a good thought! I’m glad I called.”
“Yeah, me too.”