Dear Mr. Man…

April 9, 2009

Sexual Healing

Filed under: Marriage & Relationships,Uncategorized — P. J. Easter @ 4:59 am
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Q: Dear Mr. Man:

It has been several months since my husband and I have made love. She always tells me that he is tired or not in the mood. This makes me moody and frustrated. Please help.

A: I have been following posts on New York City Moms and on Dad-Blogs about an episode of  The Oprah stk60811corWinfrey Show that aired this week. My buddy, NYCity Mama, wrote a post about this show. The show was called, “The Truth About Motherhood”. According to Oprah, this was a “judgement-free” zone where mothers could admit their likes and dislikes about motherhood. Some of the dislikes that were mentioned were bodily fluids, toy explosions, and not being in “the mood” as  much anymore. It is the last point that I want to address. Very plainly. Very clearly.

Anyone who believes that a marriage can be strong and healthy without sex has lost their damn minds. Period.

There is one very famous “mom-blogger” who said on the show that she and her husband did not have sex for seven months after their child was born. She also said that intimacy is rubbing ankles as their 40-pound child sleeps between them. Sounds like some boundaries need to be set.

Here’s the deal. Men need initmacy from their wives. It is a reinforcement of the emotional commitment that he has made to his wife. It is also a way for men to communicate their love for his wife. Men are visual and physical creatures. It is why we are fascinated by the vivid colors on a high definition big screen, it is why we wrestle other guys, hand bump, and “noogie” our sons. Physicality is an extension of our emotions. Check out this poll on sex in marriage that my brother, E. Payne, recently conducted.

It is no different in the bedroom. The act of love making is an intimate connection to the soul of the woman God has blessed us with. It was intended for man and woman to share this intimacy in this very connected way. I am using the word “connected” in a very deliberate manner. This connection is obviously physical, but, when it is done right, there is a connection of heart and soul.

 The absence of intimacy creates another set of issues entirely. According to some religions, the cessation of sexual relations in a marriage is the functional termination of that marriage. Did you catch that, friends? The termination of your marriage. Wow, that’s so deep that I need to pause for a moment…

Okay, I’m back.  With the exception of being unable to be sexual with your spouse due to physical limitations, it is unnatural for a married couple to not be intimate with each other. Unfortunately, when intimacy is witheld in the marriage union, it is possible that sexual fulfillment will be sought outside of the home. Not cool. Marriages cease to be the celebration of life and love that they were created to be. They become traps and dens of deceptions. The smallest molehill of problems become as large as mountains when there is no intimacy in a marriage. People who withhold intimacy and wear it as a badge of honor need to man up. It’s time for healing. Sexual healing. Now stop reading and give your spouse a call. Peace.

Mr. Man

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April 3, 2009

Wisdom and Fools

Filed under: Fatherhood Fridays — P. J. Easter @ 2:13 pm
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      When Bae was born, I was scared. When J.C. was born, I still didn’t have the fatherhood thing down. Plain and simple. I didn’t really have any idea on how to be a father. My father, like so many others fathers in my neighborhood, wasn’t around after a certain point in my life (another story for another time). I didn’t have a role model to follow for fatherhood. So all I really knew was that I didn’t want to be like him. I knew I had to provide for them and I knew that I loved them That was the extent of my “daddy-wisdom”. There is no instruction book when it comes raising children. Or is there? fatherhood-friday-logo

The Book of Proverbs, found in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible is full of wisdom for dads and moms. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom found in Proverbs for fathers and parents in general.

·         “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I will guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths”. (4:10-11)

·         “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you”.(2:11)

·         “My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck”.(3:21-22)

·         “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man”. (3:3-4)

·         “”Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse a man for no reason—when he has done you no harm”. (3:27-30)

There are so many truths for life found in Proverbs. These truths, when applied to your life, will help you to become a better father, husband, and man. It will provide you children with a firm foundation for success in life. It will show you the difference between wisdom and fools.

Mr. Man

Here is a challenge: Every day for the next thirty-one days, read a chapter from Proverbs for additional wisdom for life. Let me know if you decide to do it. I am.

 

March 19, 2009

Fatherhood Friday:A New Kind of Cool

Filed under: Fatherhood Fridays — P. J. Easter @ 9:15 pm
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Q: Dear Mr. Man,

I turn forty this year and I am starting to think I’m “over the hill”.  How can I recapture my youth?

A: Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but attempting to recapture your youth is akin to Bobby Brown making a successful comeback. Sure, there are things you can do to ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle. Physically there are lots of activities that we can do to maintain our vigor.  Aside from the physical aspects, I personally prefer my life today than where I was nearly 20 years ago. fatherhood-friday2

I’ve heard people say that “40 is the new 20”; I understand the spirit of that statement. However, I would counter that 40 is the new 40; which is a new kind of cool.

When I was in my early 20-somethings, life was crazy, confusing, and convoluted. I spent years trying to discover who I was and what I wanted and needed from life. Biologically an adult, but not truly a man. Full of mistakes and bad decisions, my 20’s were chaotic. I am fortunate in many ways; fortunate that I found my faith. Fortunate that Adi came into my life and helped stabilize me. This may not have been your experience, but it was very real for me. 

Fast forward to now. At almost 40, life is  creative, cultured, and cool. I am comfortable in who I am and what I believe. Adi helped me mature into manhood with her patience, tender strength, and support. My faith has grounded me. I am the father of two wonderful kids. A mentor and father figure of mine once told me he thought, “Life was ok. in my20’s. Then I turned 30. 30 was a great age for me, but things got really good around 40. Now I am in my 50’s and I feel like I’m on top of the world.” I didn’t understand when he first said this to me because I was in my 20’s.

Here is my Top 10 list of the “new kind of cool” I’m talking about.

It’s a “new kind of cool” to:

  1. Have faith in God and submit myself to a power greater than me.
  2. Have a wife to shower with adulation and to share my thoughts and fears and dreams with.
  3. Finding teaching moments when the boy and I play basketball (or any other activity)
  4. Know that I am the model my daughter looks to in order to know what type of man she will marry (even if she doesn’t know yet).
  5. Hear the heartbeat of my firstborn for the very first time through the ultrasound.
  6. Be the funniest guy in my house. My kids will laugh at almost anything.
  7. Learn someting new every day. And to share that knowledge.
  8. Have friends with the same values as you and aren’t afraid to correct you if you get off track.
  9. Serve others.
  10. To teach my kids to be respected for their work no matter what they may do for a living.

It’s a “new kind of cool” that many of you are choosing to man up each and every day in your own unique ways.

I like this new kind of cool. Do you?

Mr. Man

Question: What is your “new kind of cool”?

February 26, 2009

America the Beautiful. The Free. The Insolvent.

Filed under: Politics — P. J. Easter @ 12:08 pm
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Image courtesy of: http://www.gimmiethescoop.com

Q: Dear Mr. Man.

Do you the Stimulus package will help the economy?

Signed,

Mocha Dad

A: Anytime an entity such as the government spends over $1 trillion (including interest and fees), it is bound to help the economy. There are measures that will have an immediate impact (funding for police and fire departments to prevent layoffs, for example). However, the overall package will take too long to provide the stimulus as intended. What about the $400 tax credit being sent to 95% Americans. That equates to $7.69 per week by my math. I’m not an economist, so I may be missing something. That might feed one of my kids for one meal.

I am also concerned that there is no clear plan to pay down this additional debt.

I applaud the President and Congress for making this a “pork” free package, but this package has fallen short. There are better ways to stimulate the economy and exercise fiscal responsibility.

How does one stimulate the economy? The fastest growing industries (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ) are all a part of the service economy. Businesses providing goods and services to Joe Consumer. If there were a way that you could instantly put more cash into a family’s paycheck, we would gradually see an increase in consumer spending and saving.

I would propose, as many others have, that there is a freeze (six months to a year) or a significant reduction on the federal income tax that is deducted from every working American’s paycheck. This would instantly begin to stimulate the economy because most people would used the extra income to purchase the goods and services that they had to cut back on due to the slowdown.

Even if people choose to save, this gives banks more money to invest and loan. The banks cannot continue to live in fear. They must reopen the lines of credit to Joe Consumer and Jane Business Owner, but do so in a way that is wise and responsible. Do not allow people to consume more than they can afford. Ever.

The stimulus package does not and should not neglect the unemployed. The package has provisions that increase unemployment benefits. Hopefully this will help those  who need the benefits as the economy rectifies itself. However, there should be safeguards put in place that ensures that people who are able to work go back to work once the economy strengthens. Responsible citizens will do all they can to get off of the government’s dime. With that being said, the irresponsible should not be supported.

Faith-based organizations should get a share of the stimulus. These organizations can provide nourishment to the body and soul. Working in conjunction with the government, these organizations have the ability to provide hope where there may otherwise be none.

The key to all of this is not to live in fear, but to live strong and boldly. Seek opportunities  during these times. Buy stock while some of the blue chips are selling for pennies on the dollar. Do not deviate from the 80-10-10 rule (Tithe at least 10%, Save at least 10%, Live off of 80% of your income) or implement the rule. We cannot afford to live in fear.

Economies are cyclical. We will come out of this. We have to be responsible. We are the only ones that can make this happen.

We are the only ones who can make the American Economy…Man Up.

Mr. Man

February 18, 2009

Man Up!

Filed under: Manhood — P. J. Easter @ 10:09 pm
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manup

Image courtesy of: www.theblacklibrary.com

Q: Dear Mr. Man.

Why do you say “Man Up!” all of the time?

A: Typically when someone hears “Man Up”, it comes across almost as a challenge of a one’s manhood. It is typically preceded by a statement of unmanly behavior and being told to “man up” (example: “Dude, don’t be a punk. Man up! You still have nine fingers left.”). This attitude reinforces the belief by some that men have to be unfeeling and insensitive in order to be considered strong. Rather than a challenge of manhood, I consider it more of a call to manhood.

This definition of “Man Up” from Urban Dictionary.com best describes how I think the phrase should be used:

“to fulfill your responsibilites as a man, despite your insecurities and constant ability to place yourself in embarrasing and un-manly scenarios. “

Man up is a call to males (and unfortunately females who have assumed the responsibilities of a failed man) everywhere to step up to the plate and to be the fathers and husbands and providers and friends and spiritual leaders and MEN that God intended us to be.

It is a call to raise our children and to provide for them. It is a call to teach your boys how to be men by letting  them see how you treat your wife and daughters. It is showing them that even though you may not live in the same house, you are never far away. It is holding your wife’s hand in public and telling her that you love her unashamedly.To man up is to play with your children even though you are so tired you can barely walk. To man up is to go for something that you really, really want. Then you fail in the achievement of that goal. 

You fall down. You feel emotions that come with it. You get up. Then you try again.

God created man in His image. God loves. God hates (sin). God smiles. God weeps. God mourns. If God were a man, wouldn’t He be the ultimate one to “man up”?

 Why should we as men be any less? Why would you want to be?

Brothers, don’t be afraid to…

Man up!

Mr. Man

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