Friday, February 08, 2008

Why you shouldn't compare your husband to an appliance, a food or a planet

WARNING: Long diatribe ahead.

In the list of things I've learned in twenty years of marriage, at the top would be that...

Larry is not a microwave,
he is not Mars,
nor is he a waffle.

Larry is my husband. Larry is a PERSON. Larry is a UNIQUE GIFT FROM GOD. He is a wonder, all His own.

SECOND WARNING: some of this post might be TMI to some of you. If you are one of the people who have thought some of my blogs were too personal in the past, then you might want to move past this one. Just thought I'd put that up front so as to save you the energy of a negative comment. :-) You could take this time instead and go read Daily Bread devotional on line or the latest news on Christianity Today and spare yourself the agony of reading about my personal life. Okay, now on with it.

Is it just me or has pop psychology invaded the church at an alarming rate? I get irritated that some of today's Christian authors and even some pastors want to ram down the throats of today's people a bunch of theories that are:

1) Not really in the Bible ... or

2) Very, very, very (did I say very?) loosely supported by the scripture. I believe it's fine to share your opinion and say that it is such. But to claim some things as "THUS SAITH THE LORD" when it's just your theories on men, women, marriage or really anything is sorta questionable at best.

This applies to a lot of things but at the top of my list would be that according to some, Larry is from Mars while I'm from Venus. (I know, that particular book wasn't written by a Christian author, HOWEVER, the book has been so liberally quoted by many people in Christian marriage seminars, and church events/services and even whole messages preached on it by some.) I speak at a lot of churches besides my own throughout the year and most times before service I'm waiting in the pastor's office or joining them for prayer and nine times out of ten as I'm browsing their bookshelves in their office - which is something I love to do - I find the Mars/Venus book. My point is simply this - you can find many good things in non-Christian books and I see nothing wrong with that, HOWEVER, at the same time, let's not get up and announce that "God made it this way" or that. Then a few short years later came the fact that supposedly men are waffles and women are spaghetti. WHAT?! I'm sorry, please don't reduce me to a piece of pasta and my husband to a piece of grilled bread. It must have been a slow year in the publishing industry is all I gotta say.

My friend Pastor Leanne Weber is one of the funniest people I know and she also agrees with me wholeheartedly on this subject. I laughed so hard when she told me when she and her husband Patrick got married they got a bunch of these books as gifts and any that didn't contain a person message in them, she regifted or sent to Half Price Books and made money off of them. (LOL)

I've attended marriage conferences where the teachers have proclaimed, "everyone needs to realize that sexually God made men to be microwaves and all women are crockpots..." Okay, sometimes true, but not completely or always true. While it may be true at times, you cannot make that stereotypical assumption across the board, or across the bed, as the case may be. There are times Larry is not feeling like the aggressive or fast paced one when it comes to sex, and before he can even get undressed, I'm tearing into him like a wild tigress. Usually he's praising God for it, not going, "wait a minute...STOP...God ordained you to be my little microwave..." I have a woman friend I was sitting beside in a marriage seminar once and we were listening to the conference speakers as they gave this whole spiel and talked about all of us being crockpots, and my friend leaned over to me and said, "well, I guess they have no idea that I can go from zero to an orgasm in about 90 seconds!" We cracked up over it but the truth is, ALL WOMEN ARE NOT ALIKE. Each one of us is a unique gift fashioned and shaped by God Himself.

Every woman doesn't need 30 minutes of foreplay in order to have an orgasm.

Larry and I sat in a marriage seminar one time where the teacher confidently declared: "men, when it comes to your sex life, please realize that simultaneous climax just never happens in a marriage." Oh really? I guess I should consider my sex life a miracle then! So, what happens if two microwaves are in a marriage? Does that means you're in a microsexual marriage? (Couldn't resist, LOL)

I have to be honest with you that one reason I have prayed that my husband would live to a very old age and that we would be married until "death do us part" is because I never want to have to face the possibility of getting married to someone else. Why? Because MEN ARE NOT THE SAME. They are all different. They are all unique. I don't want to have to learn to communicate with a new one -- emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially...I like what I've got...I know Him, and I'm sticking with Him til' the end, at least that is my desire that God would grant me all those years with him.

I honestly believe in my heart that when you get remarried, you don't necessarily bring all that experience in with you to the next marriage simply because you are not married to the same person anymore. It's never good to compare. Really, how many of you have heard of someone getting mad because "my husband/wife always compares me to their ex or brings up the past with them..." whether good or bad. Honestly, they don't want to hear about that because...they aren't the ex! Note to anyone dating right now: please don't talk about your ex incessently to your new love interest. It really doesn't endear you to them whether the relationship was good or bad.

When it comes to the physical, people have asked me before, if I think people with a lot of prior sexual experience have an advantage in marriage. NO. Absolutely not. Why? Because having a deep connection sexually is all about TRUST and FAMILIARITY and knowing the UNIQUENESS of your partner. That doesn't happen in a week, a month or even in a few short years. Honestly, if Larry passed away and I married someone else, I'd be going back to "marriage kindergarten" as I call it. When it comes to sex, I'd be back to "sexual kindergarten". Why? BECAUSE NO TWO PEOPLE ARE ALIKE AND I'D HAVE SOMEONE NEW TO LEARN ALL OVER AGAIN. What about this do so many people who seem to be craving stereotypes more than a hot fudge sundae not understand?

What about communication? Contrary to some, every woman doesn't want to hear the same words from her husband or receive the same gifts or actions. Not to quote another Christian psych book, but just to make one point - if we were all the same, why would we have so many different 'love languages?" For instance, the greatest thing I like to hear Larry tell me is that I'm smart. When he says, "you have a beautiful mind", it lights me up inside. (One of my favorite songs is, "My Baby's Got a Beautiful Mind" by Jo List!) I love it when he tells me I have a beautiful mind more than if he were to say, "you have the most beautiful body" or even if he were to bring me flowers. I'd rather him compliment my mind. I know that might be odd, but that's me. You say, "Deanna, that's not what I feel. I'm different. I want the flowers from my husband..."


Honestly, I get more turned on when my husband takes out the garbage than when he brings me flowers. I like flowers, but I love "acts of service". That's my #1 "love language", not just from my spouse but from anybody in my life - my kids, my friends, etc.

We are not cookie cutters. What part of Psalm 139 don't these Christian writers and teachers understand? Some more things I really wish these Christian writers would stop propogating;

Every man does not want a motorcycle.

Every man doesn't want to skydive.

Every man does not watch football and disappear into his own world everytime the NFL season starts.

Every man is not even sports oriented.

Every man is not clueless in the kitchen or changing a baby's diaper.

Every man does not want to do dangerous stuff and bring himself to the edge of death and back again just for a thrill.

Every woman does not want to be a mother. For that matter, every woman doesn't even want to be a wife.

All women do not hate sports. I have women friends who are just a fanatical about sports as my husband is!

Every man does not dislike musicals, flowers, or wonder why there are kleenex boxes at the altar at church.

For crying out loud, can we get rid of the stereotypes and let people be who God has created them to be? Can you see how believing stereotypes hook line and sinker, and especially believing them to be "ordained by God" could lead people into massive communication problems in their relationships?

What if my husband assumes that I want what he has been told EVERY WOMAN wants. He gives me that, yet I end up feeling confused or very unloved. Maybe instead of trying to find out what WOMEN want, he needs to find out what I want as HIS woman....his unique woman. Honestly ladies, I love flowers but if Larry brought me flowers every single day but never ever helped me around the house, deep in my heart I would feel very unloved. I don't give a rip that 2,562,052 other women might have been proven to want the flowers more. That's them. I'm me.

Please, please, stop lumping me into a category or a "role". I'm not a role. I'm not a category. I'm a human being.

Some people are so desperate to understand the person they are married to, but they do everything but ASK them what makes them happy. How many people have ever thought to just say, "darling, what makes you happiest? What would you most like to receive from me? If I could say anything to you that would lift you up to the highest of heights, what would it be? If I could touch you in such a way that would make you the most satisfied person in the world, what would that be? Tell me. Show me..." God is the only person we can get to know by reading a book. (His Word) There is no Bible of Larry. To get to know my man, I have to do one of two things - read what God's Word says about him or talk to Him directly - not try to find out what the other billions of men on the planet want.

My friend Pastor Leanne has also blogged about this subject and she says the following: "Why can't John Eldredge, Brad Stine, and all the rest just let our men be who they are? Who came up with the definition of what a man or a woman is "supposed to" be? I prayed for a husband who was not a sports fan...who did not go out hunting and fishing...someone who would be my companion and enjoy the same things I enjoyed. And God gave that man to me. Of course we have some separate interests - we are not clones of each other!! But so stinkin' what if my husband likes to watch ice dancing with me? Who really cares if directing a theatrical production fills him with more adrenaline than attending a football game? What skin is it off anyone's nose? He's exactly what I asked God for, and I, for one, would not be happy if he went to a "Godmen" or "Promise Keepers" rally and came back all excited about going fishing with the boys!" (To read more of Pastor Leanne's stuff, go here.)

Larry loves fishing and football, however I'm glad he also loves Broadway shows. My unique "one in a million man" is crazy about the show Grease, and I even bought him a Grease script a few years ago for Christmas! Larry has been to see Grease about 17 times, no exaggeration. He took me to Beauty and the Beast in New York and it was HIS idea! I'm glad I'm married to a man who likes to wear pink at times and isn't a bit afraid to do so. I'm married to a man who is an incredible cook. And not just on the grill either. My incomparable man can make homemade mashed potatoes better than anyone. My extraordinary man has a party punch recipe that should be famous. My distinct man actually likes and prefers when I lead sometimes. He is not threatened by us actually... (gasp) sharing leadership! By the way, in case you've never met Larry and you are wondering...he's not the least bit gay, nor feminine.

I'm glad I'm married to a man who understands that sometimes I want to be the sexual aggressor and yes, sometimes I find a 5 minute quickie perfectly satisfying and that doesn't make me some kind of weird freak. What does that make me? A UNIQUE WOMAN CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.

You know I'm getting so fired up as I write this (because i feel so strongly about it) that I'm tempted to go out to the kitchen and smash my crock pot into a bunch of pieces and throw it away a symbolic gesture!!!!!!

Nah...I really do use it way too much to do that....

When you look at your spouse, please look at them...really LOOK at them...and realize that you possess something no one else in the world does. When they made your spouse, they broke the mold.

My request to my husband is this...please...don't tag me, box me in, or label me. Just love me for who I am uniquely and I'll do the same for you.

Let's please find some new things to compare ourselves to. How about this - I believe the correct assumption biblically to make would be this one:



No two alike.


Deborah said...

First had to look up a word so I could understand what diatribe meant. lol once again you hit the nail on the head. I love the fact that Fred is different from other men and that I am a different woman, my husband's love language is gift of service where mine is physical touch and I love the fact that he took the time to find that out and we know what makes us tick. Wonderful that our men are not threatened by a woman that can lead. I believe it says alot about their character and that they know who they are as men and are confident in their sexuality! Girl I just love your blog!!! keep it up. Makes me smile everyday and some days cry but I think you should be on tv telling the world this! May God just take you to highter heights in Him. love always me

Pastor L said...


I personally love that my husband is a walking musical theatre encyclopedia, and that he is (in most areas!) a better cook than me.

We really need to stop "marrying" Christianity with these ridiculous stereotypes. "Sports fan" does NOT equal "godly man," anymore than "quilting aficionado" equals" godly woman.

Since I'm surrounded by piles and piles of snow right now (we just had one of the worst storms in Wisconsin history, apparently!), I am definitely relating to the snowflake analogy!!

Pastor L said...

P.S. No stick readings yet - I'm not necessarily "late" yet, at least not for me - so I'm still waiting it out a little longer...very impatiently, I might add!!!

Pastor Lisa said...

Every engaged couple needs to hear this!