“As a married man with daughters ages, it becomes evident that it’s not his mind that goes; it’s that he acquires the ability to randomly change it.” – A. Baker
Tag Archives: Marriage
What I’m Not
I know it may offend some of you, but I need to get this out in the open right from the start – I am not a woman, nor do I feel like one…and I don’t want to.
I am very happy to be a man – one born that way – with no desires to experience female-related problems. Those males who do desire to “feel like a woman” seem to want to avoid those problems, too. For example, I rarely hear it reported that a sex-change operation will promise one the glorious ability to experience menstruation, heat flashes, mood swings, or endometriosis; that doesn’t appear to be a selling point.
And now that I think about it, should I ever – which I won’t – decide to become a “female,” I tend to think multi-tasking and “women’s intuition” wouldn’t magically appear with the removal of my guy parts and the injection of estrogen. So, if I couldn’t have those two advantages, why become someone who has to worry about hair, makeup, heels, fabric combinations, etc., etc., etc.
Oh, and if you think what I just said was stereotypical and sexist, it might have been. And if it was, then why is it that men who say they want to become women can’t become women in the masculine context in which they were born? In other words, why is it that Bruce Jenner had to turn into the stereotypical vision of what a “woman” is “supposed” to look like? Why couldn’t he, and every other trans, stay the way they were instead of trying to fit into the box of the stereotype? There’s MUCH more that I could say on this issue, but I will digress.
What I Am
Like I said, I know I am not a woman, and I don’t want to be. And because I am not a woman,
it might be hard for me to understand …scratch that… it’s nearly impossible for me to understand how women think. However, I do have some valuable insight based on years of experience with women; therefore, you might find it beneficial.
You see, even thought I am not an estrogen-producing sis-female (to be PC for once), I have lived a long time with a bunch of them. But what’s more important than what I don’t understand is what I DO understand, and that is the mind of a man.
I am a man… a red-blooded, stereotypical, gun-toting, testosterone-producing (no shots needed), stand-up-peeing kind of guy. I have a one-track mind, can compartmentalize like you wouldn’t believe, and love the smell of gunpowder in the morning.
What’s more, I am a faithful husband, a spiritual leader, and a father to three wonderful girls. That’s what I bring to the table today.
My daughters (at least the two younger ones) are eventually going to find husbands, one probably sooner than the other. The advice I would like to leave with not only them, but all of you other girls out there, is what to look for in a man you will marry. Take it from me – a man – I know the difference between a good one and a not-right-now-put-him-back-on-the-shelf one.
10 Words of Advice to Girls Who Are Searching
- Know your own worth.
- Don’t settle.
- Find a man who loves God more than you. Matthew 6:33
- Life is like a trip through the Atlanta airport – even the smallest of baggage gets heavy after a while.
- Never, ever assume the man you meet will become the man you want. Ain’t gonna happen.
- Accept nothing less than a spiritual/moral leader you can respect; if he looks up to you more than you look up to him, ditch him.
- It’s better to be single than smothered, abused, and/or controlled.
- Know who you are, what you are, and Who’s you are, then find a man who accepts and compliments (yes, I used that word) all you desire to be.
- If he doesn’t honor and respect his or YOUR parents, then he will most likely never be the kind of parent worth respecting – and he might not live long (Matthew 15:4; Ephesians 6:2-3).
- Lastly, make sure you like his family, and he likes yours… and that your family likes him, too. Marriage is meant to grow family, not destroy it.
Look, you don’t have to agree with any of my advice, but it comes from years of experience and professional observation. You have a choice in the matters of love, so don’t let someone sweep you off your feet without first doing your homework.
When you let the wrong man sweep you off your feet, you’re likely to fall from arms that can’t hold you.
When I read what was on the cup I literally laughed out loud. My wife, a little annoyed by my disturbing behavior, continued playing a card game on her phone (which is her normal practice as she winds down to sleep).
She briefly glanced in my direction as if to ask, “What’s so funny?” But she didn’t ask… She knows I can’t keep something funny to myself.
She makes a quick play on her phone before my inevitable interruption.
I rolled over and said, “You’ve got to see this,” and showed her the picture. Hardly able to keep from laughing once again, I read to her what was on the cup…
As if waiting for a punchline, she asked, “And?”
Once again I started laughing…
Then I said…
“And evidently you must be the other kind.”
(I’m sorry Valerie, but it was too funny not to share.)
Marriage takes two 🙂
Like I mentioned in a previous post, because it is both Father’s Day AND our wedding anniversary, I thought I would share with you a list of things I jotted down the other night when I couldn’t go to sleep.
Folks, there are a lot of resources out there meant to help your marriage to succeed. However, not a lot of them specifically deal with things that can ruin your marriage. So, after 23 years of everything from marital bliss to marital warfare, I can speak with authority about the following items.
Why 26? Because that’s where I decided to stop. Each one of these could be expanded upon and sub-pointed.
26 Ways to Contribute to a Ruined Marriage (in no particular order)
- Never pray together as a couple.
- Think about yourself more than your spouse.
- Believe that what matters most is your personal happiness.
- Never pray for each other.
- Pursuing your own interests while ignoring those of your spouse.
- Saying negative things about your spouse to other people (especially those of the opposite sex).
- Having a “Plan B.”
- Spending all your time, energy, and money on your kids.
- Avoiding sexual intimacy.
- Pornography (soft sore, hard core, in print, in video, in literature – doesn’t matter).
- Flirting with others.
- Arguing and/or fighting, but with the sole objectives being to win or hurt the other.
- Not putting God first.
- Using each other.
- Lack of trust.
- Lack of, or poor communication.
- Baggage not dealt with.
- Running to Mother.
- Lack of leadership (for men).
- Lack of submission (for women).
- Too many single friends.
- Fear of / intimidated by your children.
Honestly, any one of the above items could lead to disaster, but what about when several of them are in play? The Enemy would love nothing better than to see your marriage fall to pieces or be nothing more than an empty shell.
Start over and give your relationships to God. He can rescue you, heal you, and restore you – but only if you will let Him.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly like combined celebrations. Some people have the misfortune of being born on the 25th of December, and I’m sure they understand what I’m talking about.
For me, tomorrow is Father’s Day, but at the same time it will be my 23rd wedding anniversary. What were we thinking? And that’s not just me talking – that’s what my wife said!
Seriously, how am I supposed to enjoy reveling in the grandeur of the fact that, yes, I am the “World’s #1 Dad,” while at the same time focusing my attention on how wonderful my wife is? I’m not that good at multi-tasking!
Not About Me
But in reality, what would make me a better dad and husband than to forget about my celebrations and focus on my wife? If I really cared about myself, being selfish is the last thing I should be.
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. – Ephesians 5:28 NLT
Father’s Day is a day we should, by all means, celebrate fathers, especially the good ones. But what kind of husband would I be if I let tomorrow be all about me? Heck, I wouldn’t even be the dad I am if it weren’t for the godly woman who’s stayed by my side for the last 23 years!
Without Valerie I wouldn’t be a father, nor would I have the opportunity to be a great dad. Without my precious wife picking me up from the floor all those times I wanted to give up, I wouldn’t be a dad; I’d be dead.
To accept the trophy of exceptional fatherhood without giving credit to my wife would be like winning an Oscar without thanking one’s directors and producers. I had the raw talent, but Valerie has been able to draw it out of me.
I am going to be publishing a few more posts today and tomorrow. To be honest, there’s a lot I want to cover in relation to both fatherhood and marriage, but putting it all in one post would be too much. So, be on the lookout for those.
However, before I close this post out, let me just add that if it weren’t for the Lord, neither my marriage nor the blessed gift of fatherhood would have even been possible.
- It was my God that allowed me to grow up with a faithful, consistent, godly earthly father who set the example for me.
- It was my God who brought Valerie and I together way back in 1992.
- It was my God who has kept Valerie and me married ever since June of ’94.
- It was my God who gave us children.
- It was my God who made a way when there seemed to be no way.
So, I guess I am looking forward to tomorrow, for more reasons than one.
The following is fiction, but based on a sad, tragic reality: children are growing up in a culture with no norms, no absolutes, and no foundations but the shifting sands of desire. The “birds and the bees” are not what they used to be.
Here’s a helpful link should you get confused with gender-related terms: CLICK HERE.
Teigan was getting ready to leave school, when at that moment, just as soon as she exited the gender-neutral bathroom, she saw what looked to be a cis gender female with a large belly. Looking down at her own sun dress, she thought to herself, “I wonder if I could look like that?”
Teigan was just like any other gender-fluid child; gender was whatever the mood of the day dictated. Although born a male, Teigan’s parents refused to impose any stereotypical roles; they encouraged role experimentation and never referred to him as “son,” only “child.” Therefore, if Teigan wanted to wear a nice dress out to dinner with her parents, then her parents would select the most appropriate ribbon for her hair. If Teigan wanted to play ball with the other boys, he would put on his Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt and jeans and head out to the park. Teigan’s gender preferences were as fluid as water in a mountain stream, changing direction with every obstacle and shift in terrain.
Thinking of the cis female (a female who identifies as a woman/has a feminine gender identity) h- saw earlier at school, Teigan was excited to ask h- parents the question all adults dread: “Where do babies come from?” You see, there were times when Teigan wanted to be a mommy, just like the cis female h- had seen earlier. But it was the particulars of “how” that confused h-.
According to Facebook, there are over 58 different genders one could select when signing up for a new account, and Teigan knew there was no way h- could choose just one. Teigan was not a just a boy or a girl, h- was whatever h- felt that day…and that posed a problem. You see, Teigan had noticed that the only genders with large bellies (the ones with child) were typically cis females, along with the occasional gender questioning or FTM. In most cases, the one with the large belly never fluctuated gender like Teigan did. “How, then,” Teigan wondered, “could I get a big belly to show off my dress, but then wear blue jeans later with the cis boys?”
Teigan had gotten gold stars for paying attention in h- sex education classes. H- had learned all about how tadpoles and eggs become something called a parasite, or fetus… but h- was still confused. The time had come to ask his parents.
“Dad, Papa, where do babies come from, and how can I have one?” Teigan asked.
Teigan’s father’s eyes shot over at his husband’s with a look of “what do we say?” Dad sat down his latte and replied, “Papa will tell you all about it.” Papa, realizing his husband would only end up acting like a wife if he refused, agreed to give Teigan a thumbnail sketch of the new “birds and bees,” or as it’s understood today, “Birds and Bees 2.0.”
Papa began: “You see, Teigan, when a loving couple wants to have a baby, depending on their gender, sexual orientation, or surgeries that may have been performed, they might go to bed and hold each other really close. At that point, when they get really, really close, a baby is made.” Papa continued: “For others, they just go to bed and wake up the next morning, after which they decide to go have a baby made for them.”
Teigan, still a little confused, then asked, “But how can I get a big belly and have a baby, too?” With excitement, Teigan added: “It would be fun to waddle around like the cis female I saw at school – I think she was a teacher – and wear a big, pretty dress! If I fall in love and get really close can I get a big belly and have a baby, too?”
“I’m sorry, Teigan, but we haven’t evolved that far…yet,” Teigan’s other father, Dad, said. “We’ll just have to wait and see what Mrs. Clinton can do.”
Heartbroken, little Teigan began to cry. As the tears began to wash away h- sparkly blush, h- whimpered, “But I want to have a belly like those cis females who are always cis females.”
“Maybe someday,” said Papa. “Yes, maybe someday,” said Dad.
“In the meantime,” Papa asked with a smile, “why don’t we go get some ice cream?”
“Awesome!” exclaimed Teigan. “What should I wear?”
When I was a child, a long time ago, my dad told me the “facts of life,” which included the “birds and bees” info. Included in that awkward lecture, however, were references back to the book of Genesis, where we are told God made “male and female,” not cis male and cis female. It was certainly a simpler time.
What are we doing to our children? What kind of harvest are we going to reap after sowing such seeds of confusion? Are all the options we’re creating in order to satisfy and coddle a morally bankrupt and confused generation going to strengthen familial bonds? Will the term family even survive the next generation?
And [Jesus] answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made [them] at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh‘? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6 NKJV
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Lately I have been getting a lot of requests* from my readers and random people I meet on the street. They have been asking things like, “Hey, Anthony! Why don’t you write a blog post that deals with relationships and dating?”
There have also been multiple married couples** across the country come up to me and point-blank beg me to share my thoughts on marriage, keeping the love alive, etc. Probably 25 couples*** specifically asked, “Can you enumerate a list of actions we as couples can take to ‘spark’ things up, but in a Baptist way?”
So, what else can I do but give my readers what they ask for, right?
Therefore, as requested, here are approximately 10 easy tips to spark up your love life – if you are a conservative Evangelical or Baptist, of course.
10 Easy Tips to Spark Up Your Love Life
- Open the car door. I know, it may sound old fashioned, but the ladies really to like it when you open and hold the door to the car, especially when other people with bad marriages are looking. NOTE: Make sure you hold it open and watch your wife/fiance/date actually complete the task of getting all the way in before you turn your head and shut the door. Remember, it’s not your responsibility to notice the ooo-ing onlookers touched by your chivalry; that’s the female’s place…you don’t want to break her ankle.
- Buy her flowers. Christian girls adore God’s creation just as much as the nearest tree-hugging liberal. Therefore, don’t forget to buy your woman some flowers now and then. NOTE: Make sure beforehand if she is allergic to any particular specimen. Otherwise, make sure you have some anointing oil handy, along with someone who can demand that the spirit of asthma be gone.
- Choose the right restaurant. When your better half wants to go out to dinner, or when you suggest it, ask where she would like to eat. When she then says, “Oh, it doesn’t matter; wherever you want to go,” you softly say, “I think I would like to go to _______.” With what do you fill in the blank? The restaurant SHE likes, NOT where you would actually want to go.
- Tell her she looks beautiful. Married guys, right when you roll over in the morning and see your wife, tell her you love her AND “you look beautiful this morning!” No, she won’t believe you, but she will enjoy hearing it. Then, later in the day, say it again, right when she doesn’t expect it. NOTE: Don’t tell her she looks beautiful more than twice in the same day – she’ll know you’re up to something and the plan will backfire. Single guys, just tell her she’s “pretty” and save the rest for marriage.
- Tell your man you’re proud of him. In all seriousness, if there is anything a man wants, it is to be respected. Even if he’s been acting like an idiot and messing up everything he touches, let him know you are proud of him for trying. The last thing you want to live with is a bumbling idiot whose depressed, too.
- Brag on your husband. Don’t misunderstand, bragging on your husband is just the half of it. What you need to do to spark things up is brag on him to other women, and do it is such a way that he is not supposed to know what you said, but you “accidentally” let him find out. For example, send an email or text to your BFF saying something like, “God gave me the best husband any woman could ever dream of! I’m sorry your husband isn’t as wonderful as mine…#praying4u” Then, leave your computer on, or “accidentally” forward him a copy.
- Surprise him with tickets to a manly-man guy flick. Believe me, ladies, if you want to make your man feel special, accepted, loved, and adored, say to him, “Honey, guess what? I got us both tickets to go see Star Wars! Unless, of course, you’d like to go see The Day the World Was Saved by Blowing Up Stuff; I’d really like to see that, too.”
- Pick some flowers for him. First, you’d be amazed at how guys can be touched by something as sensitive and caring as you giving him flowers. But, keep this in mind – don’t buy them! Your man will be far less stressed if you don’t spend money on stupid stuff like flowers that are only going to die in a day or two, anyway. Pick the flowers and he will love them – and you!
Trans–Gender & LGBT Folk:
NOTE: I can’t help you. However, see the United Methodist, Presbyterian (USA), Unitarian Church, Alliance of Baptists, and Ecumenical Catholic websites, to name a few, for further information. Or, just look for wherever the co-opted symbol of the rainbow is displayed.
For Couples (heterosexual, married, and not just living together):
- Pray together. Don’t just pray for each other; pray WITH each other.
- Go to church together. Don’t just go to church, however; sit with each other and worship together. NOTE: if you have children that seem to require the whole pew and it forces the both of you to separate and sit at either end, see my other post entitled “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child.”
- 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. That’s all I’m going to say about that; you’ll need to look that up on your own.
BONUS: Spend the evening together at your local Lifeway Christian Book Store.
The last bit of advice I can give is this: Put God first in your relationships and He will provide whatever you need to make it great and make it last.
* Not really.
**Again, not really. I’m joking.