Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Love You Because...

OK guys, how many times a day do you tell your wives "I love you"? Hopefully at least two or three times. Well here is a challenge for you.

At Eastlake this morning Matt said something that really stuck in my head so I thought I would share it. When we tell our wives "I love you" let's try and add "because ...".

This will be tough for most guys if you are anything like me. I am not constantly thinking about why I love my wife. I am just not wired that way. I love her and I tell her I love her and that is that, right? Well not for Rebekah. She (and I think this is true for most women) is always wondering why I love her, or if I still love her, or how I could possibly love her.

So the challenge is this, start telling your wife, "I love you because..." fill in the blank. Now this is going to take some thought for most of us and here is the tricky part, once you start you won't be able to stop. You will probably need several things at one time also. Here is why, if you say "I love you because you made an excellent dinner." They are going to say "So you only love me because I feed you?" If you aren't prepared with several other reasons your are going to be stuck.

So put some thought into it. While you are at work or going about your day try and come up with a few good "I love you because..."s for when you get home. Don't be a wimp about it, dig deep and really tell her why you love her. It will be worth it. Your wife will know you love her and why you love her. If you tell her every day she won't ever have to wonder, she will know and she will love you for it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

To Date Or Not To Date

There are a lot of theories about dating out there, especially in the Christian circles. This blog is not meant to debate them. It is just part of my story and experiences and what I think about dating.

Probably the most popular view in church circles these days is don't date someone unless you are going to marry them. This can lead to a number of problems on several levels that I will talk about in a minute. The way I like to think of it is, don't date unless you are ready to get married.

I dated a girl before I met my wife and I went into that relationship thinking, "this is the girl I am going to marry". I had never dated anyone before and in the back of my mind was the idea that if you date someone you have to marry them. At first, we were spending time together and getting to know each other and just enjoying being together. We dated for almost two years, and by the end her family had moved away and we were in a long distance relationship. The whole thing was a mess. We had gone way to far physically which I justified by saying it was OK because we were going to get married anyway. I had even asked her dad several times if we could get married. Luckily for me he was much smarter then I was and kept saying we needed to wait and not rush into anything.

Can you see how things could have been different if I had had a different perspective going in to the whole thing? If I had been thinking "lets get to know each other and see what happens" instead of "we are going to get married eventually" it could have been a lot different.

I thought I was ready to be married but I had a lot of learning to do. I would have gone into that marriage already unhappy and with a lot of baggage and it would have either led to years of painfully putting up with each other for the sake of the kids, or we would have just gotten divorced. I wasn't ready. God's plan was better then mine.

So what I am saying is this: Don't be afraid to date, but be careful. Make sure it is what God wants. Thinking you have to marry the person you are dating is a dangerous idea and I have seen a lot of people get hurt by it. If you take care of having a right relationship with God and know what He wants for you, God can bring the rest of the pieces together. I am not saying don't even look for a wife, I am saying trust God and keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Living! - Or Just Staying Alive?

"I don't want to survive, I want to live!" - WALL-E

So it comes down to this, do we want to change? Is it worth the price? Are we OK with merely being "OK"? Do we believe that there is a greater purpose for our lives and if so are we willing to do what it takes to find it?

Mark 1:17-18 
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.
When Jesus called the disciples he simply said come follow me and they left everything and followed Him. They knew deep down that there was more to life than just fishing. They sensed their chance at something greater and they walked away from everything they knew without looking back.

I think that all of us, deep down, can sense that same call if we are willing to stop and listen. The question is, are we willing to follow? Can we walk away from all the stuff we have strived so hard for? It's just stuff after all.

The point of this blog is to challenge us to start taking steps toward something better. Becoming the men that God created us to be. So are you content with your life or do you want something better? Are you willing to do what it takes to get there? What is God asking you to change in your life?

Do you want to spend your whole life playing in the back yard where it's safe, or are you going to jump the fence, go exploring, and see what God has for you?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Romance Shouldn't Stop At "I Do"

Having a two-year-old and a four-month-old can make things a little tricky when it comes to those intimate moments. This is often rather frustrating, especially for us guys. Finding the right moment can be tricky and when the moment does come it is often rushed and rather unromantic. So here are some ideas to keep the romance alive so that when the right moment presents itself you are both ready to make the most of it.

It has been said that men are like microwaves and women are like ovens. Men are ready to go at any second while women need some time to warm up. This means that when the moment comes it is easy for us guys to be ready to go but not so easy for our wives. That is why we as guys need to step up the romance, get our game on and make an effort to keep the romance alive for our wives. 

Women love being romanced. They want to be wanted, to know that you are thinking about them and love them all the time. Not just when the moment arrives. Little things go a long way.

When was the last time you bought your wife flowers? Not just for a special occasion but on any random day just to say "I love you and I wanted to do something special for you". A note left on the bathroom mirror before you go to work is a great way to make her smile and she will be thinking about you all day and waiting for you to get home. When you get home from work, tell her you missed her and give a kiss. Not just a peck on the lips but a real kiss. My wife says if she can't remember the kiss then it didn't count so give her a kiss she'll remember.

Helping around the house and with the kids is a great way to show her you love her. Do the dishes, change a diaper or two, watch the kids so she can take an uninterrupted shower. If you don't know where to start just ask her if she needs help with anything. Try and think about her needs as well as your own. She has had a long day too and everyone likes a break.

Try and go on dates every so often. It can be hard with small children but it is worth the effort. The last date we went on we had Grandma watch our two-year-old and just brought baby Emerald along with us. Go for walks, it is easy to bring the kids in strollers or whatever. Hold her hand while you are walking. Remember how you used to hold hands everywhere you went?

All these things are just ways to let our wives know we love them and appreciate them. If you let them know how you feel all the time it will be much easier to have some quality time together when those moments come along. Also, as life will do when there are little kids around, things aren't always going to go as expected. Don't get mad if you have to hold off and postpone for another time. Just take it as it comes and make the most of it. Nothing will kill the mood for your wife faster then if you get upset with her because she has to go and take care of one of the kids.

So. The point of all this is not just some cheat sheet to help you get your wife between the sheets. It is about changing how we think about our marriages and remembering that our wives love to be romanced and if they feel special so will you. ;)