Sunday, January 29, 2006

Reason #19: He Knows the RIGHT Answer!

Guys, there is only one answer to the question, "Do you like my hair?"

You may be tempted to offer an opinion on her new hairdo; you may be coaxed into giving suggestions on how to change her coiffure; you may even be tempted to tease her about her tresses. Don't do it! Those five little words seem innocent enough, but it's a trap!

There is only one RIGHT answer to the question, every time. Offer a simple, sincere-sounding "Yes!" then, change the subject or run out of the room!

My DH knows the right answer. We've had many conversations over the years on how to answer the question, "Do you like my hair?". But, today, in a moment of fatigue and hunger, in-between bites of beef stew, my DH got caught in the trap!

As I let those five little words slip from my mouth with a good-natured tone, DH looked up and casually commented, "Well, yes, I guess so--but it looks kind of like an 'old-lady' style, doesn't it?"

"Oh, so you think I look like an old lady, do you?" Sparks flew, smoke blew from my nostrils.

"NO! I didn't say that, I should have just said, yes!" He ran in terror from the room, and I heard him mutter to himself under his breath, "Idiot!"

I have to admit, it's so much fun to catch him off-guard.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Reason #18: He Offers True Forgiveness.

My husband, a pastor, both preaches and lives the concepts of true forgiveness. I have heard him pray for people that have deeply hurt him, with words of blessing, grace, forgiveness, and love.

"Lord, help me to love _____ the way you love _____."

I, on the other hand, struggle greatly with holding on to offenses that really were not even directed toward me, but toward my husband. I need to stop reading his "hate-mail" because it really is hard for me to look at people in church on Sunday knowing what they wrote on Thursday in an e-mail to my husband!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Reason #17: He Talks; Not Shouts!

My DH is a Preacher, a Minister, a Pastor, a Man of the Cloth, whatever you feel most comfortable with calling it. I've already shared much about how I feel about his calling/profession. He really is a great pastor! One of the things I love about my husband is that he doesn't feel the need to SHOUT! when he preaches.

We had a guest speaker today. He was a missionary--a very young, newly-married missionary. He was given a "window," which means a 10-minute presentation, instead of preaching a whole sermon. He did a fine job. But he did the "preacher-thang" that I despise:
"Who died for you?" (cupping his hand to his ear)
JESUS! (the audience dutifully responds)
"Who forgives all your sins?" (raising his voice slightly)
JESUS! "Who is your Savior?" (working up a frenzy)
JESUS! "Who loves you?" (shouting)
JESUS! (by now, the audience is exhausted)
After the service, the comment was made that this preacher was really "anointed". What exactly does that mean? Is "anointed" another word for LOUD?

In contrast, my DH began his sermon with an unusual introduction. He gave a bit of an explanation about why he was going to preach on something completely different than the bulletin notes. That in itself was not unusual, because he occasionally is prompted by God to change his sermon at the last minute. What made it so unusual was how he began to talk to the audience in such a low-key manner, it was like he was just sitting across the table from you.

"This morning, I woke up at 3:30am. I've been having trouble sleeping for the past six months or so, I don't really know why. Sometimes it's because I'm stressed or worried about things, and sometimes it's just because I'm hungry. Well, this morning, I woke up because I was hungry, and I just had to get something to eat. I had a craving for yogurt. So, I was standing in my kitchen, in front of the open refrigerator, looking for the yogurt, and I began to think about today's sermon."

He went on to give a powerful treatise on Psalm 139:14, "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"--in honor of "Sanctity-Of-Life" Sunday. His sermon was riveting, convicting, and deeply moving. A man sitting up in the balcony bowed and cried with his head in his hands; two women raised their hands to answer the altar call for salvation; five people responded for prayer for forgiveness of sins, several came to the altar and poured out their hearts to God. And he didn't have to SHOUT!

At the restaurant, sitting across the table from me, DH commented on the young missionary's shouting match. He reminisced about a pastor-friend from a little country church in Iowa who was known to preach an entire sermon to his wife and children and one man in the back pew, shouting every word with a loud voice. One day, the pastor's nine-year-old son told my DH that his dad preached, but DH just "talked".

Perhaps it's just a matter of personal taste, a difference of "style". Maybe it's just what you grew up with, hearing someone shouting at you from behind a pulpit every Sunday morning. There certainly seems to be a wide variance of opinion as to what "anointed preaching" looks and sounds like.

If preaching equals shouting, I'd prefer talking over preaching any day, especially on Sundays!

PS: this post only applies to preaching; not cell-phone usage. Every time my DH answers the cell phone in a public place I have to scold him for shouting instead of talking!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Reason #16: He's a Giver of Good Gifts!

My first gift from DH was a very practical, yet luxurious gift: he gave me a beautiful coat.

Back in our college days, we were poor young students. Correction--he was a young student, and I was a POOR young student. My first impressions of DH were his flashing gold pen, leather briefcase, and three!piece suits. Across the crowded classroom, I watched as he scribbled furiously, looking for all the world like a pre-med or pre-law student, not a student of theology.

He was one of few privileged students who had his own vehicle. Granted, it was a pitiful excuse for a car, but it provided transportation. DH had been handed down a Ford Pinto, from two older sisters who had wrecked it several times apiece. It was a precious sight to see him driving down the street with one hand on the steering wheel, and the other on the driver's side door so that it would not fly open.

Before I digress too far down memory lane, I will simply say that he came from a well-to-do family, but he was not a spoiled rich kid. His parents had earned every penny the hard way, through the Depression years, and they were not about to dole it out frivolously. Dh had his tuition paid, but he kept a part-time job the entire four years while attending college, so that he could afford to support me!

I was poor! I came from a ne'er-do-well family. My father was a poor preacher, pastoring at little country churches with funny names like "Hammersly Fork." We were very familiar with food stamps, free meal tickets, and food banks.

So off I went to Bridal College--I mean Bible College--to find me a man! (I mean a ministry!) Seriously, the greatest gift my father gave to me was the promise to pay half my tuition costs, and to help me to subsidize the rest with grants and scholarships.

I needed a coat; a good coat that could withstand the midwestern winter winds, but not be too warm for the southern sun. DH bought me one for my birthday. I needed new clothes, and some shoes. DH got me some outfits for Christmas, and his mom bought me a pair of shoes. I needed a watch. DH bought me one. I needed a wallet. DH bought me one. And so on, and so forth, all throughout our college days.

DH spent sleepless weeknights as a front desk clerk in a hotel, so that he could treat me like a queen on weekends, taking me to the finest restaurants. He proposed to me on my birthday, hiding the ring in a bouquet presented by the waiter, and led me out for a victory ride around the city, when I said, "Yes!" No, we didn't ride in the Pinto: it was in a limousine!!!

Fast forward ten or twenty years: DH still treats me like a queen, but not every weekend! DH bought me a purse for my birthday (I needed one! really!) and a watch for Christmas. And my son bought me a wallet! My daughter bought me a make-up brush set and some other more feminine, but practical gifts, like fuzzy socks.

Like every man, DH had to learn the hard way that strictly practical gifts are completely unacceptable: like the toaster that he gave me for our anniversary. (But it was a four-slice one!)

In order to be appreciated, a gift for a woman must be not only practical, but luxurious!

To translate that concept into "male-speak" it isn't a "gift" for a woman if it only benefits the house. That would be considered a useful tool, like a vacuum cleaner or blender. A lot of men understand what a "tool" is, but they get tools as "gifts", so it confuses them greatly. To make matters worse, they totally understand the concept of "practical", but hardly ever agree on the term, "luxurious".

Teach your man what "luxurious" means to you, and you will both be satisfied when he chooses to give you something practical--but luxurious!

Thank you, Lord, for my dear husband. I'm very appreciative of his good gifts. I could go on and on about all the good gifts he has given me, but he would appreciate me giving him the gift of a good night's sleep!