Words from a Father

Husband of One, Father of Four

Tag: women

475. Quote: Your Dad on Humor and Restraint

“Humor in entertainment allows people to simultaneously show repulsion and acceptance in a socially acceptable way. If we laugh, even nervously, and see our neighbor laughing also, we convince ourselves that we are not all that bad; we are average. In this way humor is subversive to social and moral responsibility because we judge ourselves by ourselves. This subjective standard is the weakest of all barometers since it changes with the times and is not subject to any scrutiny, except a cultural backlash advocating higher morals. Sadly, history shows that those requesting higher moral standards are quickly silenced in the name of free expression. And that is perhaps the greatest irony: those advocating free expression work hardest to silence those expressing a desire for social self-restraint.”

—Your Dad, from an essay on the misrepresentation of women in media

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375. Hints

When a woman starts dropping hints, they cease being hints.

357. Essay: The Role of Manhood (Initiating and Cultivating the Spark)

The guy is responsible for cultivating the spark. Shy and awkward or not, if the girl is that important to him, he’ll do it. If she’s not, he won’t. This is the bottom line.

Example: How many times have you looked at a married person — that you would call a loser or a dork — and thought, “How in the world did they pull that off? Of all people, how did they get married?” Well, even though they are a dork, they pulled it off by having enough of a spine to get things rolling. The other person was that important to them.

Another example: When a man initiates it’s called romance, but when a woman initiates, what’s the main description we think of? Is it manipulation, pushy, desperate, needy? Whatever it is, it’s certainly not called romance, and we see a clue to the truth of relationships in this perspective. Women don’t want to be the architect, they want to be the one who gets swept away. Conversely, men don’t want to get swept away by a woman; there’s not the same honor in that as there is in pursuing her and winning her heart.

Another: I have yet to hear a love story that ends well when it starts with, “I made sure all our classes were together; I sent him gifts; I asked for his phone number; I guess I finally wore him down enough. Next thing we knew, I asked him to marry me.”

I don’t know of any female who hopes to someday be second place — especially to a man without the guts to set and keep his priorities straight, and to stand against those who would try to get him to bend to their idea of “what he should do,” be it work, hobbies, or what have you. If he’s not strong enough to initiate the relationship, he won’t be strong enough to keep you first through the stresses of life.

Second place in a relationship is lame, daughter. And you don’t want to be on the receiving end of lameness.

344. Suggested Reading: Wild At Heart and Captivating

One of the books that most impacted me was Wild At Heart by John Eldredge, and eventually the companion book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge.

The first is written to men, but is quite eye-opening for women as well. Its premise is that men seek three primary things: an adventure to live, a battle to fight and win, and a beauty to rescue. This is seen in movies, business ventures, sporting events, and the art forms we are surrounded by, as well as by the lives of men everywhere.

These are the things that motivate him so if one of these aspects is taken away from him, he will begin to fade. He may cover it up or ignore it as much as possible, but like a shell on the beach he will feel drained of all life. So use the thrill of the journey, the satisfation of success, or the mystique and transcendent nature of beauty to both your benefit, but never as manipulation. Hard work is a great opportunity, but a man whose heart is alive is better than a man who just works. This book resonated so deeply that I made reading it one of the things your mom had to do before we got married.

Captivating was released a few years later and balances the equation from the woman’s side, with the understanding that a woman always feels that she is “too much” and “never enough” simultaneously. A woman wants to be the beauty and be swept up into an adventure with her great love.

Do yourself the favor of not speeding through them just to check them off the list, though. It’s worth it.

215. Guys and Girls

Guys: The color of your belt and shoes should match. Stick with brown or black for everyday wear, go with black for special events.

Girls: When you dress up, set the color theme, then accessorize with a contrasting color.

Guys: Compliment her shoes and her hair, but not in the same sentence. Saying, “Wow,” is not enough; grunting is demeaning.

Girls: Complimenting the small acts of kindness and effort will compel him to do more.

Guys: Treat her like your queen and maybe she will be.

Girls: Treat him like a king and he may pursue that honor.

209. Cold

Girls are always cold.

Be chivalrous, son, not exploitive.

76. Gifts

Guys want gifts that are useful. The more useful, the better.

Ladies want gifts that make them feel beautiful, captivating, desired, and noticed.

Choose wisely.

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