Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is…

Today's Guest Blog comes to us from my good friend and Christian counselor Dave Garrison. Enjoy.
- Dan

Christmas can be a tough time of the year, can’t it? Aren’t you sick of all the commercials this time of year, too? Each one promising the same: a better body, true happiness and a more satisfying relationship…if only you buy their latest wonder product (“In just three easy payments!”). It’s enough to make me want to throw a brick through the TV set.

My kids are most susceptible to the influence of this “want” advertising, and each day brings a new desire to be added to their Christmas List for Santa. I fall prey to it too: Yes, I want the latest Apple gadget, but I also want more money and more certainty in my life. All of that seems shallow and fleeting…and it is.

The Bible makes clear what the real wants of men and women are: “Husbands love your wives” and “wives respect your husbands” (Ephesians 5). Guys, our wives or girlfriends want our love and our nurturing…and likewise, we want (and need) their respect and appreciation. But wanting to make your partner happy can be futile. The shiny, glittery things fade or rust; money is quickly spent (and gone); and there will always be “the next best thing”. Solomon, the wisest, richest guy who ever lived called these things “meaningless” (See: The Book of Ecclesiastes). So what’s a guy to do?!

I’m right in the thick of this.

Looking deeper into my relationship, I want my wife to be happy this Christmas season. You know the saying “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy”. But what I’ve come to realize, after many failed attempts, is that I can’t make my wife happy. No amount of money or bright and shiny things can take away the pain and grief she’s experienced this year: the death of her mother. Maybe I can’t make her happy…but what I can do is love her in the mess, and try and make a difference in her world. Like, doing more around the house. Helping out at meal time. Working with the kids on homework and not being so snarky about my own emotional and physical needs. And dare I say it…turning off the television. These are all steps that I know would lead to making a difference in my home.

After taking another look at the Christmas Wish List, I think it should probably look like this:

MY KIDS: My undivided attention (and not just during Halftime)
MY WIFE: My love and active involvement in the day-to-day life of the household

As far as I know, Apple hasn’t come up with an app that takes the place of a dad (thank God!), nor has RonCo created a replacement for a husband (“Slices, dices, does the dishes!”). Not yet anyway. Perhaps God is saying, “Be a good Santa and give your family what they really want…More of you.”

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