Marriage…It’s Not Just About You Anymore Bubba

One of the most misunderstood aspects of marriage is the thought that it is a 50/50 proposition. Seriously nothing could be further from the truth. Marriage is giving yourself 100% of the time to your spouse regardless of whether they every give back to you or not. It is an agreement you made in front of witnesses stating you were giving yourself to this person and no other.

The reason so many people find this difficult is because of an unwillingness to stop being selfish. Selfishness is the root of almost every problem a marriage will face, and if you were to look at your actions in your own marriage honestly you would agree. Too many husbands spend their time pointing fingers at what their bride is doing instead of focusing on the areas in their own lives where they could make changes.

Many years ago, I began writing down all of the Scriptures I could find in the Bible about who my wife was supposed to be. I was a baby Christian at the time and newly married, but didn’t really like a few things about my bride so I was going to use the Word of God to make her change. (As I said, I was a baby Christian, I know better now.) Anyway, as I began quoting these passages several times a day, something happened; Cheryl didn’t change, but the way I began to view her did. It wasn’t too long after this our marriage really began to get better and the little things which had ticked me off were no longer doing so.

I’ve seen too many marriages where the husband points out his wife’s flaws, but overlooks all those he has. It’s the plank of wood versus the speck of sawdust story Jesus told in the Bible. (Matthew 7:3) I feel pity for these husbands, I have heard the stories about how little sex they are getting, how they feel all their wife does is complain about how little they do around the house or with the kids and so on. I pity them because the biggest problem they have in their marriage is themselves and their selfish ways.

The reason men don’t give 100% in their marriages is because of fear they are going to be seen as a whipped man by their peers. I gotta tell you right now, I could care less what any other man says about me in regards to my relationship with Cheryl because they are not the one doing life with her, I am. Most of the time men who give me crap about doing so much for my bride, do so because they feel bad for not giving as much to theirs. And the rule of thumb is; if I’m not doing it, you shouldn’t be either. It’s like when your coworkers say you’re making them look bad, I like to reply, “No, you’re making me look good.”

Stop being selfish and take care of your bride men, it is the best investment you will ever make in your life, I guarantee it.

 

 

 

Are You Being Your Bride’s Superhero?

Let me ask you married men a question; do you know your wife’s love language? You know the things you do which show her you really love her? Just saying, “I love you.” isn’t enough, she needs to see something which proves your love as well.

In my home, I’m responsible for taking out the garbage. I see to it all our refuse is put in the trash container and placed by the curb to be picked up on Fridays. If our trash  can is piled high with its contents balancing precariously on top, this bothers my wife. Taking care of this household chore is just one of the many things I do which shows her I love her.

Guys, if you’re like me, you probably worked pretty hard in the beginning when you dated her; pulling out all the stops to impress your girl. If I was a betting man, I’d say you did a lot of crazy things to show her how much you wanted and desired her. The problem is we often stop doing these things after saying, “I do.” Too many men get upset after the wedding because the lovey dovey stuff seems to end and the nagging begins.

When I say nagging what I really mean is, she is telling you the things which bother her. Generally when someone is complaining about something, it’s not so much because they want to make your life miserable but more likely at a deeper level they are really telling you what bugs them.

The best thing would be if we actually just said what we mean, but in my married life I’ve found a lot of times I have to look for clues as to what is meant. It’s probably because she doesn’t want to just nag me as she wants me to find out what it is she needs.

In the movie The Breakup, there is a great scene about this. The couple is arguing about household chores:

Brooke: “I want you to want to do the dishes.”

Gary: “Why would I want to do the dishes?”

And this is the story of married life; the wife wants you to do something and we as men are usually clueless to what she is really saying. You see it wasn’t about him actually doing the dishes as much as his willingness to do them. This willingness to do something is usually at the heart of all disagreements.

Finding out the things my wife likes and doing them and figuring out what she doesn’t like and not doing these makes me out to be the superhero she needs me to be and what man doesn’t want to be his bride’s superhero? And part of this means I’ve got to be looking for the things which show her how much I love her.

This is why I lift the toilet seat and put it back down, why I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and generally look for things to do which say to her heart, this man of yours really loves you. It’s all about the relationship and I want ours to be the best.

Guys take some time and listen for what your bride is really saying to you. It will take work to be her superhero, but it is doable and in the end worth it.

Wham, Bam, Thank You Mam

Today I’d like to talk about something men hate, but let me forewarn you ladies, you may not like what I have to say at first, but I think if you will read this through to the end, you might end up agreeing with me.

Wives, when you tell your husband during sex, “Just hurry up and finish.” You might as well be saying, “You’re not worth my time.”  Now before you get mad at me, hear me out.  Sex is supposed to be the most intimate time a married couple can experience together.  It’s not just about the sexual act; it’s about connecting with one another on a level you share with no one else.

I know a lot of men who think sex is just about getting their rocks off, having a sandwich and then going to sleep.  But there is so much more and guys who only use women as their release valve really haven’t figured it out, regardless of what they think or say.

Having a positive sex life with your spouse takes time and effort on both of your parts.  If you tell your husband often to just hurry up and get off of you, I have a couple of questions to ask.  Is it because it’s painful?  Is he too rough?  Does he only pay attention to you when you’re having sex?  Are there things in your past you’ve been holding on to and possibly transferring to him when it comes time for sex?  Do you climax during sex, or is all about him?

I understand I’m speaking in very general terms here when I say this, but many women could go the rest of their lives without ever having sex again and it would be perfectly fine with them.  Women usually aren’t as interested in sex as men are; therefore it’s up to us men to start working on things before ever making it to the bedroom.

I heard a man say one time, “Sex begins in the kitchen.”  He wasn’t saying to have sex in the kitchen, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but what he meant was, before ever getting her to take her clothes off, sex begins by doing little things around the house without her telling you to do them; like emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash or maybe giving her a break while you get dinner ready for the family.

I heard another speaker tell his audience, “When it comes to sex; women are like crock pots and men are like microwave ovens.”  Yeah, I know there seems to be a kitchen theme here, but stay with me.  A crock pot cooks your meal, but it may take all day to get it ready, where a microwave can cook your food in under a minute.The point he was making is it takes women longer to get ready for sex than it does men.

Guys start putting money in the bank so to speak by loving your bride in nonsexual ways.  Do little things around the house, rub her feet or back with no strings attached or bring her little gifts for no reason.  Loving her well before the actual sex act takes place will bring so much more passion to your lovemaking and will make it much more amazing for both of you.  And if you love her well before climbing into bed with her, she probably won’t be saying to you, “Hurry up and get off of me!” when you are having sex.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.

Oh Crap, I’m Frank Shirley!

I love the movie “Christmas Vacation” with all its goofiness and one-liners.  I was thinking about people this morning, and what value I place on them when I had an image of Frank Shirley; Clark Griswold’s boss pop into my head.

At the end of the movie, Cousin Eddy has kidnapped Frank and brings him to Clark as a Christmas present.  After Clark tells him what a lousy thing he’s done by suspending all the Christmas bonuses, Frank reconsiders the decision he made and says, “Sometimes things look good on paper, but lose their luster when you see how it affects real folks. I guess a healthy bottom line doesn’t mean much if to get it, you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It’s people that make the difference. Little people like you. So, Carl… whatever you got last year, add… 20%.”

It is a feel good moment in the movie, but I know I wasn’t thinking about this scene today just so I could have a chuckle.  No, it is because if I was to be totally honest with you, the truth is; I am Frank Shirley when it comes to people and the relationships in my life.

I have to remind myself daily people are important and have not been placed in my way just to cause me problems. Okay, so this is not the best revelation about me I’ve ever shared, but it’s true none the less.

I’m a driven person who likes to get things done.  For me, if I’ve got something on my to-do list, then I’ve got to check it off the list before taking time to do anything else, including spending any time talking, or developing my relationship with others.  I guess this makes me look like a jerk even though I’m not; I just have this need deep down inside to finish what I’ve started before doing anything else.

I’ve heard it said the most important thing in life are the relationships we make.  I have to ask myself, how well have I done this?  At the end of my life what will be said about me?  Will there be hundreds of people at my funeral saying I was a good man who loved his family and friends well, or will the consensus be I was a good man, but one who placed a higher priority on getting stuff done instead of people?

This kind of makes me think maybe I am a jerk.  I don’t want to be thought of this way, so it looks like a change is in order.  Where do I go from here?  How do I learn to place a higher value on people than I do right now?  Will it take being kidnapped by someone’s crazy family member to get me to the place where I’ll make the necessary changes?  I hope not.

Help me out here, what things do you do to build and develop the relationships in your life?  How do you juggle the need to get things done, and not pushing people aside while you’re doing them?  Post in the comments please, because I don’t want to be Frank Shirley anymore.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.

 

Husbands, Are You Helping Your Bride To Soar?

It was a rainy Sunday morning outside, but the Son was shining brightly during the worship portion of our weekly church service.  Watching my son and his wife lead us in song, I thought back to when Holly was more timid and shy as she sang.  I remembered she said Micah was very encouraging and helpful to her in the pursuit of everything she did and how it had helped her grow in every area she pursued.  As I pondered this, a thought  came to me I’d like to share with you.

It is the husband’s responsibility to afford his wife the opportunities to develop her life and become the fullest representation of a woman in Christ she can be.  The man who refuses to do this for his bride is a selfish man who lacks the knowledge of what it means to be a true and authentic man of God.

~ David W Felts

After jotting this thought in my phone; I began thinking about my wife and what I’ve done over the years to encourage her in pursuing those things which make her heart come alive.  Have I done enough, or does she possibly feel stifled in who she is as a woman because of me? Have I been encouraging as a husband, or a needy little boy with his own agenda?

I believe men are supposed to be three things; a lover, leader and provider. I look to these three areas of my life often to see if I’m being the man my bride needs me to be. It’s not always easy; there are times I just want to run off and do what I want to do instead of the things I need to do in order to be the man I’m supposed to be. But I come back to what my responsibilities are and do what’s right.  I guess this is what separates the men from the boys.

Don’t get me wrong, I think men need to spend time their friends too; all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy after all. As men however, we should be putting the needs of our brides and family before anything else, including our own needs. I know this is not a popular thought in the world today, and the men who live to put the needs of their families before their own are often ostracized by the men who don’t do this.

My life is more fulfilled when I’m helping my bride become who she is supposed to be and spending less time on just what I want to do. I guess the old saying it is better to give than receive really rings true in this instance. If you’re one of those guys who says, “Sure I love you.  I married you didn’t I?” but insists on his own way first, perhaps you should take a closer look at your bride and see if she is a better person after having been with you than she was before she met you. If not Bubba it’s time for you to make a change.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

We All Have That One Friend

You’re at a social gathering mingling and talking with friends and acquaintances when all of a sudden there is a murmur across the room, and everyone starts looking towards the entrance.  As you turn your head, you see what all the commotion is about; it’s one of your friends, the charismatic one who never meets a stranger and probably knows the entire population of the city you live in.

There is a man like this in my circle of friends.  In fact, I’m fortunate enough to call him one of my best friends.  This man truly is the life of the party, and it doesn’t matter what age a person is, they are all drawn to Faron Kelly.  I often watch Faron in these situations, and he always has a smile on his face, and a kind word no matter how busy he is.

I’m amazed by my friend, I say amazed because he has a gift and ability which seems to be a foreign concept to me; he really does love all people, and not just people who can do something for him.  You will see him dancing, hugging and just being the same friendly guy with every person he meets.  I’m serious when I say it amazes me.

I met Faron twenty some years ago at the church I attend, and right away knew this was a guy I needed to get to know.  It seemed he was always happy, laughing and so alive.  I don’t know about you, but when you see someone living life fully like this, it makes you want the same thing; at least it did for me.  And I knew if I had any chance of living like this, then I needed to spend some time with him.img_8400

I consider myself blessed because this man is part of my life and journey.  There have been times when I didn’t know how I would have continued on and he said just what I needed to hear, or all the times I was doubled over in laughter because of something he said or did.  I could go on for days and days telling you about all of the things Faron has done in the time I’ve known him, but let me end by saying this.  If everyone in the world acted like Faron Kelly, I guarantee there would no more wars, poverty or hurting people, not to mention life would just be a hoot!

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

 

 

 

Truth and Honesty; You’re Not a Man Without Them

I’d like to start this out with a confession; I am not a perfect man and I have told more than my share of lies in my life.  I’m not proud of this fact; but to act as if I’d never done this and then write about it would make me the true definition of a hypocrite. Having admitted this however, I believe it gives me the right to discuss lies and honesty among men today.

Have you ever been lied to?  How’d it make you feel? Betrayed, cheated, maybe like you don’t matter at all to the person lying?  There is a whole range of emotions tied together with lying and being honest.

What gets me is when a man lies just to save himself a little bit of grief.  Let’s say for instance you make a mistake at work, you get called on it and instead of facing up to it and taking the responsibility for your actions; you pass the buck, or try to divert the attention away from you and onto someone else.

When you do this, how do you think it makes the person being thrown under the bus feel?  I can tell you from personal experience it makes me fighting mad.  I would have more respect for the man who fesses up and takes the responsibility over the jack wang who doesn’t.

Let me bottom line this for you; if you’re a man, don’t tell lies and always be honest.  It’s really a pretty simple way of life.  The bad thing about lying is you lose all credibility with the person you’ve lied to.  Trust can be regained, but it may take months or years.

Most of the times I’ve been lied to, it’s been because the person lying didn’t care about me as a person; therefore it was easy to lie to me. The problem with this is when I found out I was being lied to, it didn’t make me want to pursue any type of relationship with them either.

I think we should all adopt the “do unto others what you would have them do unto you” way of life.  Perhaps if we spent more time focusing on others and not just ourselves lying would cease to exist.  I can dream, right?

As I said at the beginning, I’m not perfect at this; I’ve told my share of whoppers in my 52 years, but this doesn’t mean I’ve given up.  I’m presented with opportunities to lie just like everyone is, the only difference is I’ve made the decision I wouldn’t lie anymore.

Since making this decision, it has been difficult at times.  Just because you decide to make a change in your life, don’t think everything will be perfect overnight.  It won’t, you’ll be tested until you pass the test. But let me tell you the rewards are amazing and worth all the effort.

Listen men, if you’re in the habit of lying to save yourself a little grief, why not change, and instead of telling lies, grow a set and act like a real man and stop the lies and be honest with everyone.

Now you know what I think, let me know what you think.