Monday, May 9, 2011

Money, Money, Money

Money is one of the big things that couples fight about, right? Yes. I'm right. Admit it. You two argue about money just like everybody else. Anytime we've got two people with finite resources and infinite ways to spend them, we get tension. So, what to do about it?  Make a plan.

Men: in many cases, I think this is your job. There are a lot of women who do the day-to-day financial managing. In a lot of cases, I think they do a better job than their male counterparts! But, what I have noticed during many conversations is that lots of women don't like to come up with the plan--especially during times of transition where perhaps some things need to be cut. So, let's play to our strengths. In my family, this works best when I make a preliminary plan. I make decision about what I think we should cut and I make a plan that works, i.e. a plan that spends 100% of the budget, or less.  Then, Mrs O and I can sit down and talk about it together.

Why is this my job? Mrs O can budget, right? Yes. She does a fine job at it. Making budget cutting decisions is stressful for her, though. I can give her a gift by absorbing that stress. I call it slaying her dragons(with little boys at home, we frequently have a 'knight in shining armor' theme!)  By slaying dragons, I mean that I can respond to the things that cause her tension.  It's not that she can't do it herself, but simply that she feels supported, protected, and secure if I respond to her fears and stressors on her behalf.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's in a man?

I had a moment of revelation the other day.  Have you ever had one of those?  One moment I'm pondering this question and the next moment I know the answer--at least, I think I do.  Let's start with the question. 

What makes a man? 

I used to be really worried about this kind of question.  I didn't feel like I fit the mold.  I've never been much of a sports fan.  When I first heard of March Madness, I was in college and I thought it had something to do with Seasonal Affective Disorder!  I know more about cooking crepes and growing roses than I do about cars, basketball, or carpentry and I'm built like a broomstick.  Nonetheless, I eventually became comfortable in my own skin, but then I still wondered: what makes a man?  What is a manly man, anyway?

My moment of revelation came when I started to approach this question like I approach most others.  I started thinking in terms of my faith.  What does the Bible say about men.  What do I think God purposed in me, as a man?  I can't really find many--or any--verses that describe just what a man should be.  The one that comes closest is the one in Ephesians that talks about a husband: Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church.  Perplexing.  Profound.  Pointed.

So, what do I think the answer is?  I think I've had it backwards all along--and I'm not talking about March Madness.  I was aiming to become like a man when in reality, I already was a man.  How silly is that?  I should not be aiming to become like other men, but rather aim to be more like Christ in character.  God didn't create me to be a manly man.  He created me to be a godly man. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day: Bargain on Flowers

If you are still looking for the finishing touches on the Mother's Day celebration, here's a deal for you from FTD and Living Social:

Only one day left to take advantage of it!!  So, hurry!