Advice to the Groom

Dear Dave,

When your mother and I got married, we used the standard vows right out of the book. I did not even know what my promises would be until the priest read them to me at the rehearsal. Just in case you have not read ahead, they go like this:

“I, David, take you, Lisa, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”

No trick phrases. No hidden clauses. These vows are simple enough for Forrest Gump.

“I take you to be my wife,” is a very vague job description. Who will cook? Who will clean? Fix the car? Mow the lawn? Change the diapers? Different couples work it out different ways. It is not about who does what. The important thing is with whom you do it.

In the Song of Songs, the groom says, “There are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and maidens without number. One alone is my dove, my perfect one.” (Songs 6:8-9) There are beauty queens, video stars, and girls everywhere you look. This vow says, “Of all the girls, in all the world, you are the one for me. I take you”

“I promise to be true.” No cheating. No fooling around. Enough said.

“I will love you.” Do not confuse romance with love. Romance is an unreliable feeling that incites romantic notions such as, “I will climb the highest mountain for you. I will fight dragons for you. I will die for you.” Real life poses a different challenge:

You are sitting on the couch, watching TV, and go looking for a snack during a commercial. You find some apples in the refrigerator and pick out a good one. Then you call, “Lisa, do you want an apple?” “Sure, Dave. Thanks.” But there is no second apple that looks good. Heading to the couch, you ponder which apple to give her. Romance says, “I will die for you.” Real life asks, “Are you going to give her the good apple?” Love says, “Yes, give her the best.”

“I will honor you.” This was the surprise vow for me. I did not expect to make a promise to honor her. But I gave it a try, and it worked out well. I stopped teasing her and made it a habit to defend her and take her side when friends or family wanted to pick on her.

Honor is the most unappreciated vow. Some husbands make jokes about their wives, with little put-downs that are supposed to be funny. These are bad jokes. They cut, they wound, and they destroy trust. A marriage can die the death of a thousand tiny cuts. Avoid negative humor. It is not funny.

Honor is about respect. Treat her like a queen. Make your children respect their mother. Don’t let anyone put her down. She is your lady, and your lady always gets treated with respect.

God bless you, Dave.

Love,

Dad

by John Przybysz, President, Christian Family Movement-USA

A Proud Indian… :)

It happens only in India, Proud to be IndianI am pretty sure, any Indian who reads this will identify with some or most of the following:

 

 

*When the Shampoo bottle seems to be over, I pour some water in it, shake it, and use it for another bath.

*That for me a toothpaste isn’t over until I’ve entirely flattened it out and started rolling it up from the back.

*That I buy broccoli and avocados for 300 Rupees, but still ask for some Dhaniya patta for free.

*That I don’t just recycle gifts,… I recycle the gift-wrapping paper too.

*Our home has fine bone china crockery which is used only when guests visit.

*That I worry about price of gold even when I do not intend buying it!

*That I will beat the crap out of my remote to make it work but not change the battery.

*I get so disappointed if the pani puri guy doesn’t give a free sukha puri in the end when I ask for one.

*That I won’t have my breakfast and starve myself if I have been invited for a lunch buffet.

*That when my T-shirt gets old, I use it as night wear, when it gets older, I play holi in it & then I use it as a pochha.

*That I ask for extra oregano and chili flakes from the Dominos guy, so that I can use them later in Maggi.

You were nodding in agreement and shared a hearty laugh, hai na? 🙂

Self-less………not me!!!

Here’s an anecdote about a self-sacrificing woman:

A long long time ago my husband, our two sons and I had gone out for an ice-cream treat. It was sometime in early 1990s, when our pockets were not as deep as they are now; and I was always thinking of curbing unnecessary expenditure.

As a selfless person, who was too much in love with her family to deny them of any pleasure, I always chose to sacrifice my own excesses. And it didn’t even feel like a sacrifice ever, because I was a woman of very few needs (I still am). In other words I was a very basic person (and still am), who was happy with the basic food-clothing-shelter.

So, when my husband asked each one of us to choose our favorite flavor of ice-cream, I responded as usual, “I won’t have any.” The boys enjoyed one round and ordered another; my response remained the same, “I don’t want any.” I was happy in my family’s happiness. I was happy that my not indulging in a gastronomical pleasure was perhaps ensuring some more goodies for my dear ones. And, the truth was that I wasn’t even too fond of ice-cream (I still don’t care about it).

But that particular day, my husband looked at me and said, “Please don’t do this to yourself and to us. I want a happy wife; not a sacrificial lamb. I have seen that too much sacrifice eventually leads to bitterness and victim-mentality. And I sure as hell do not want you to develop that. You see, after a period of time, the boys and I will stop asking you for your choice, because we will assume that you don’t want it; and that’s when you will feel miserable and unimportant. You will think that we don’t care about you. While in truth we would be behaving naturally, knowing from experience that you don’t care for any goodies. So, I suggest that you always take your share and then if you really don’t like it, share it with someone who does. That will be good for all of us. You will learn how to claim your share and we will always ask you. There will be happiness all around.”

His lecture made sense to me and I couldn’t help but think about many older women who always complained, “I did so much for so and so but today they don’t even care for me.” I also remembered many instances where children would turn back and say, “But why did you do so much? Did we ask you for it? You did it because it made you happy. Who asked you to be so self-sacrificing?”

This train of thought made me take a re-look at the word ‘self-less’, equating it with self-sacrifice. That day this word lost some of its holy sheen, for me!

Sounds convincing. Would work well with the human nature. But….. clashes with the Christian view point. What have you to say on this?