Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day Advocate

Yesterday was Valentines Day.  Every year I get amazed at how few men put any effort into this holiday.  Out of probably more than a dozen men that I have asked, only one (ONE!) said that he is taking his wife out to dinner, and another is making his wife Eggs Benedict (which hardly counts in my opinion).  I've heard the argument that love shouldn't be a man-made, pressured-into holiday, but shown randomly and unexpectedly instead.  And I totally agree.  But after years of marriage, doing romantic things for each other tends to unfortunately slip away.  And that's why we men NEED Valentines Day - to remind us how our wives love being wooed and gushed over.  To light a fire under our arses and get our romantic juices flowing again (assuming they were flowing while dating).

And not only is this good for the marriage relationship, but it's good for the kids to see as well. Daughters and sons WANT to see daddy pursuing mommy and being romantic to/for her. It not only helps boys learn how to treat women and daughters to know how they should be treated, but it also helps them both to feel secure about mom and dad's love for one another.

OK, so how about this for a summary:
If there is a husband that is actively romantic on a somewhat regular basis throughout the year, then he is officially excused from participating in the commercial holiday called Valentines Day. 

However, for the other 95% of us lazy bastards, DO NOT avoid joining me in using Valentines Day as inspiration to continue to pursue romance in your marriage.  You don't have to join the crowds at a restaurant either, you just have to put forth some thought and effort to let your wife know that you care and that she is worthy of wooing and pursuing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pondering the Paradox of Prayer, part 1

My boss' boss' wife passed away from Cancer on Monday.  Everyone who knew them had known that this was probably going to happen somewhat soon, but somehow it still seems to have come as a surprise. She was fairly young, probably in her mid to late forties?

I used to play tennis with Jaime (her husband), and he was my direct boss when I first started working at Northrop Grumman.  We've been to their house for a few department pool parties, and seen Sonya before while out and about town.  Reading what I just typed, it's evident that while my wife and I know them ok, it's not like we're their best friends or anything. But Jaime is someone I like and respect, and it's somewhat heart-wrenching to us that she's gone.

I think perhaps the hardest part about her death though, is the fact that not only have many people been praying for her and their family (their church, several co-workers who are Christians, etc), but my kids have also been very dedicated to praying for her as well.  I've very proud of this last fact, because while Amanda and I have prayed for Sonya with the kids (before bed mostly), they have taken ownership of the cause themselves too.  This became evident when one of their Sunday school teachers, upon hearing that Sonya had died (on Facebook), mentioned that they had asked to pray for her in Sunday school.

Now that the cause is gone though, they are left to process what happened.  Did God forget about their requests, or did He just ignore them?  Did He even hear them at all?  Why pray if in the end it doesn't matter anyway?

I think it basically comes down to trusting that God knows best.  We can't understand what's going on and cannot fathom why He does some things, or why He lets other things happen despite our fervent requests to the contrary.

It's similar to Amanda and I knowing what's best for our kids.  While we want them to always come to us with their wants and needs and trust that we can help them, sometimes their desires conflict with our plans, and sometimes we know that what they're asking for isn't in their best interest.  In those cases we refuse to heed their requests, despite their pleas.  It has nothing to do with whether we love them or want them to be happy though.  We just see things from a different, wiser (hopefully), and broader (big picture) perspective.  So it is with God.
counter stats