You’re not the only one that matters

October 26, 2009

One of the things that seems to have invaded our society is an overall sense of selfishness. You see it in the things people say and do everyday. One of the worst examples I have seen is the idea that as individuals we can do whatever we want as long as we don’t believe we are hurting anyone.

What happened to the concept of being greater than ourselves. The concept of having a responsibility to those around us. Even to our society as whole. John W. Gardner pointed out that, “Some people strengthen society just by being the kind of people they are.” Don’t you want to be one of those people? Deep down wouldn’t you love to make this world a better place by just having been yourself.

I know that I do. I want to have an impact on this world. I want to be remembered as someone who made a positive contribution to society. I have decided that for now, the best way I can do that is to have a positive impact on the people in my life. I try to do this with my wife, my kids, my extended family, my employees, and even to those I have a more limited relationship with.

I desire to effect change in even small ways by being kind to those I encounter. Encouraging those I interact with. Even if it is nothing more than sharing a smile with an unknown passerby.

If I can do this in my marriage, I will have improved society as well. My wife already does this too. She has a positive influence on the people she comes into contact with. Together, we can influence our kids. Our kids can influence their friends. As they say with just a few degrees of separation we can reach anyone in this world. Thus, our actions truly can improve our society as a whole.

I hope that you too will make a change towards this end. I hope you will see yourself not just as one person who can do whatever you want. But more as one man, one husband, one father, that recognizes that you do in fact matter, but not only to yourself. You can start today to make this world a better place by just loving your wife, loving your kids, being positive in the workplace, just being a great man.


Look the other way.

October 25, 2009

Focus is a very powerful thing. What we look at, what we are focused on makes a huge difference on what will be in our future. Both literally and figuratively. When we are in marriages that are troubled, marriages that are filled with strife, it is easy to focus on the problems rather than the solutions. But we have the ability to change that. To change our focus.

There is a Maori Proverb, a native Polynesian population of New Zealand, that says, “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” That directly speaks to how we can begin to change our own situations. If we will just begin to focus on the things that are good in our marriages, the things that really do work, we can use these as a foundation to build upon.

I know that even in my own marriage, I could easily begin to focus on the problems. I could get lost in the things I want Janine to do different. Do better. And sometimes I do. But when that happens, most of the time, I am aware of it, and that doing this has caused me problems in my past, and I don’t want to do that again.

Do your best to focus on the positive. Do your best to identify the things your wife does well. The things she does that helps and supports you and your family. When you are directly focused on those, they will be your sun, and the shadows of the things that are hurtful or detrimental will be behind you away from your constant view.

Don’t give up

October 24, 2009

I would never want to pretend or deceive any of you men who are in marriages that are very difficult by telling you that if you do all the things I have talked about here, then everything will be perfect in your marriage. That is just untrue. Difficult marriages are difficult because of the two people in them together. But the truth is that one is often more culpable for the strife than the other. Although some have said that it takes two to tango, even in dancing there is often one of the two dancers that are better or worse than the other.

That being said, no broken or hurting marriage would not be somehow improved when one of the parties decides to make a positive difference.  When one party makes a commitment to love completely, to appreciate the other for the good they do, to forgive the past errors and move the relationship in a new direction.

When you make a commitment to do these things there will be days that you want to give up. There will be days that you feel completely defeated. There will be days where you can’t help but think that you are wasting your time and it isn’t helping anything. On those days you just have to dig deeper.

I don’t know why I can’t seem to see Ben Stein saying this but I know he did and it so apropos to today’s message. He said, “The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated…it is finished when it surrenders.” That truly is the whole of it.

It is so important to love your wife completely. It is so important to encourage her daily. It is so important to appreciate everything she does for you and your family. But none of those will matter if you don’t make the decision right now to see it through till the end. The most important thing you can do to change the future of your marriage and family is to first decide to never give up.

Some additional housekeeping

October 23, 2009

Yesterday I mentioned that some of you readers had concerns about the delivery of my suggestions being directed only to men. I hope that I was able to clean that up a little. Today I want to share one more issue that has come up that some people find offensive. That being that I am a Christian.

It seems hard for me to fathom that my belief in Christ and who He claims to be would be so offensive to anybody, yet I know that it is. I hope I might be able to give some of you a different view of what it means to be a Christian. For it is clear to me, that most people don’t have any complaints or objections to Jesus Christ, just an objection to the actions of those who claim to follow Him.

I understand that completely. I know that many people who lay claim to a Christian faith have been at the forefront of hypocrisy, judgmental-ism and hate. But that does not a Christian make. There is only one thing that can truly identify one as a Christian, that being that you believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He was and have accepted His gift of salvation for your soul. That’s it. Nothing else.

When asked what was the most important thing that someone could do as a follower of Christ, Jesus said to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds. The second most important thing He said was to love your neighbors as yourself. So that is what I do. I truly love God. I truly love my neighbors. My neighbors being anyone I come into contact with. This makes all of you my neighbors. And I love all of you.

I hope that above all, you will see here in the work I do, that I am just one man, who longs for a day where marriage and commitment will once again have the value they once did. I hope that every man and woman would care enough about themselves to be able to be kind and  considerate of every other person they have a relationship with. And finally I hope to continue to learn here, and everywhere else in my life, how to live a life that is wholly pleasing and clearly committed to the two things that Jesus said I should do. Love Him and love everyone else.

Men and women alike.

October 22, 2009

I have had the pleasure of receiving many comments from people who have pointed out the fact that much of what I say is not advice that is solely applicable to or should it be inferred to be only to men. I agree. Almost across the board, every suggestion I post, and they are only my suggestions and my opinions, though they are based on my own historical evidence and results, could be addressed to all people, men and women alike.

Much of what I write about is how all people should treat all other people. Every one of us should show respect and kindness to others. Each of us would do well in this world to encourage those we love, those we work with, and all those we have relationships with.

The reason I specifically target the audience I do, that being married men, is that I have not had the opportunity to find a great number of people struggling with and seeking answers to how they should treat other people in general. But people in marriages do often struggle, because of the closeness and daily involvement with their spouses, with how to improve their marital relationships.

Having only experienced the struggle as a man myself, and finding that for me, I can identify with the men in this situation, I chose to address that point of view. That being said, it does not in any way invalidate the argument that women would be well served to do the same.

So to all of you reading these posts, please feel free to read them as being less gender specific, though they are not written that way, and apply all of the suggestions to your own relationships, as best you can, to improve whatever relationship you are in.

My intent from the beginning, and remaining to this day, is to offer helpful suggestions to all that might be in need of ideas and applications in better handling their relationships.

Any offense that might be taken, is not intended and it is with the utmost respect to all that I post these thoughts. I appreciate every one of you that comments, equally to those that agree, those that disagree, and all those in between.

Do it with fervor

October 21, 2009

One of the things you might have noticed about me, although I don’t know if it comes across in my writing as strongly as it does in person, is that I am passionate about whatever I do.  My marriage is no exception and thus loving my wife is done with the same zest and zeal as every other personal or work endeavor.

As you might have seen in some of the comments that have been received, there are many people who disagree with my ideas, my style, and my suggestions on how men should love their wives. And although I sometimes don’t understand what value they garner from an opinion that seems, at least to me, to devalue another human being, I do in fact welcome and enjoy their involvement and participation. That being said, I have never been one to follow the road more traveled, when truth and historical evidence point me to another path.  I worry much less about those who would discourage me than I ever do about the cost of not doing what I know to be right.

I believe it was Ayn Rand in one of the dialogues in her famous book Fountainhead, that said,

“My dear fellow, who will let you?”

“That’s not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”

That is how you must feel about doing what is good for your wife. What is good for your marriage. You have to have the strength and conviction of a mighty and noble man, to be considerate, caring, affectionate, and kind to the woman you love while maintaining a clear and fortified image of your masculinity.

You cannot do this halfheartedly. It will take the very best of who you are. It will take a focus and determination that no one can stand against. It will take the fullest measure of your passion and your fervor to effect change. But ask yourself, what is of higher value in your life than for your wife to be loved, your kids to be witness to true love, and for your family to be strengthened and confirmed by your honor.

Princess for a day

October 20, 2009

Today’s post really has nothing to do with what a man can do for his wife to make her feel loved. It could certainly help a man who is getting married though.

Janine and I are starting to get our photos back from our wedding and have watched our wedding video a number of times lately. While doing so, we have watched myriad other wedding videos on the site where ours is hosted.

While watching all these videos, something really amazed me. Every woman in every video looked beautiful. Now I will have to say that none looked as beautiful as my wife did on our wedding day, but nonetheless, every bride was beautiful. I kept having her click on more and more to see if it was really true.

After watching at least a dozen weddings, I was overwhelmed with the fact that at least for one day in every woman’s life, she gets to be beautiful. She gets to be a princess. And that made me happy. It made me happy for all women but most of all it made me happy for my daughters.

I have always tried to encourage, honor, adore and praise my daughters for all of their gifts and abilities. But I really am looking forward to honoring them as a princess and a bride on their wedding day.

I hope that whoever they marry, will in fact ascribe to all the things I talk about here and all the other ones I don’t even know, that will make my daughters feel like princesses for the life of their marriages.