Sex, Golf, And Peanut Butter (Part 2) . . .

I couldn’t believe what I just heard! Could she really mean what she was saying? The statement came out of the clear blue, and based on my recollection, was inconsistent with previous thoughts she had shared with me. After months of both of us bemoaning the horrible condition of our dog-ridden carpet, I had stripped it all away – cleaned up the nails, staples, and scraps of pad, in order to prepare for the installation of a new floor – a real, raw, hardwood floor. Although it was a task I had never attempted before, I was confident that I could do it, and I was motivated.

But after about three weeks of having no furniture in the living room, and living on a rough-hewn plywood floor, she was becoming impatient. But the impatience she then referred to was not what I expected! Standing over me in the living room, arms folded, while I was cutting and installing the red oak planks, she said, “You seem to have become addicted to this project. What about me? It feels like the only thing you care about is getting this stupid floor done.”

I remember blinking up at her, stunned that she could be suggesting that what I was doing wasn’t important. But the expression of hurt and loneliness on her face told it all. She was right.

I had bored headlong into a project that although doable, was bigger than I had ever imagined, and my determination to do it, do it right, and finish it, had blinded me to the other parts of life going on around me. I wanted her to be proud of my effort. I wanted her to love her new, beautiful, glossy redwood floors, and as I pondered it, more than anything else, I wanted her to be proud of me. 

Needless to say, I was a bit stunned, and a little hurt by her accusation that I had been ignoring her and her needs. But as I thought it out a bit more, the images of the past few weeks of preparation and work literally clarified before me, and I realized I had no leg to stand on.



In a recent Realtime poll of married women, they stated that one of the things they feel would benefit their marriages more than anything would be that at a minimum, their husbands would recognize the behaviors they project – that make them (the wives) feel less important than . . . (fill in the blank).

Last week in Part 1 of this post, I challenged you to identify your own behaviors – the ones your wives may have been referring to when they completed the survey with Realtime. The ones that we as husbands have continued in spite of the hints, suggestions, or semi-ultimatums we may be receiving from our wives.

The related scripture was from Luke 12:34

“It’s obvious isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (MSG)

As I read Eugene Peterson’s translation of the verse, I really got blindsided by the first four words – It’s . . . Obvious . . . Isn’t . . . It?

Ummm . . . well . . . not always I suppose. But having given it some thought, little firecrackers started going off in my brain. I guess the reason for that was . . .

What seems obvious to me is not necessarily the perception of my bride . . .


Because what was obvious to me, was that I was doggedly on my hands and knees with every spare minute I had, working feverishly to get this home improvement project done – and done right. She kept telling  me how great it looked, but at the same time she was longing for some time with her husband – time that had nothing to do with the new floor that was quickly becoming a barrier to our relationship. Although it was a relatively small thing comparatively, it was the kind of thing that could become bigger – if I intentionally ignored her now public plea.

Later in Luke 12, Peterson implies, “Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!”

She is the greatest gift – the best! 

That makes my thoughts, my desires, my actions; secondary to her needs . . . IF I am truly a servant to her. My habits, hobbies, and/or behavioral addictions may not necessarily be a bad thing in moderation – but doing those things to the exclusion of her needs, turns the things I am passionate about, into sin.

BAM! It kinda hurts to think that at times, but it is nonetheless the truth.

How can you come to grips with the things you do that might be impeding the relationship with your wife? 

And wives, what are some of the simple things that we as your husbands are ignorant to, that might well be good for us to know?

We eagerly anticipate your responses.

And, as always . . .



About Kyle Hargrove

There's really not much that's all that special about me . . . It was probably about a decade ago when I realized that "in all its glory." At about that time some of life's recent experiences taught me that regardless of who or what anyone ELSE is, and regardless of how much I may have built MYSELF up, I'm just one life circumstance from being just like anyone else. Although my pride took a ding in the process, it was ultimately a positive and humbling experience that gave my life a different direction altogether. I'm a pretty ordinary husband and father . . . Of course, ordinary comes in lots of shapes and colors. My wife Debbi and I have been married since 2000, and both of us had been previously married. She is a school administrator and has a work ethic that has been passed down generationally - usually leaves home in the dark, and for at least half the year, comes home in the dark too. We're praying that as our kids get through college, she can retire and fulfill some of her most intimate dreams. Debbi and I have five children (Adam, Cameron, Callye, Caleb, and Brandon), one grandson (William), one son-in-law (J.R.), somewhere around five "adopted kids," (not officially but in our hearts), and four dogs (Symon, Sombra, Sophie, and Duke). I often say that I love my kids and love my dogs, but there have been days that I liked my dogs more than my kids. That is of course, suggested in jest . . . mostly :) One of our sons has completed college, and the other four kids are still finding their way through that maze. We love Auburn University (Debbi's alma mater), and Texas A&M University (doesn't everyone?) It took a long time for me to understand my job . . . Professionally, I've had the opportunity to experience some fairly diverse "job titles." I came up as a burgeoning sports journalist, switched to church staff ministry, returned to school to earn two masters degrees, entered the world of private practice, experienced the world of corporate training, founded a Christ-centered residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, and enjoyed some more private practice. Oh, on top of that, I have enjoyed the thrill of becoming a teaching chef in my spare time. All of that took a lot of learning, understanding, and energy. But in 2003 through the benefit of Fellowship of the Sword, a ministry out of Fort Worth, Texas, God showed me what my real job was, and for the first time ever, I really, really "got it." He showed me that my real purpose in this life was to first serve Him, and in the outflow of that, to serve my wife, serve my children, and serve anyone else, anywhere else, who exhibited any need, whatsoever. For a very egocentric person, learning to serve is initially kind of hard. But as the blessings start to roll in, it becomes a joyous lifestyle. It's not always easy. I'm not always successful (I'm still kind of selfish). But it is one of the highest privileges I enjoy - the calling from God - to serve people - just like He did. If we're going to develop the character of Jesus, we had better get serving - the sooner the better. Cooking, singing, golfing, reading, speaking, teaching, and writing . . . Those are a few of my favorite pastimes outside of "work." I try to not let those things define who I am, but sometimes the golf thing gets in the way a little bit. And I'm really not that good. But I value my recreation and free time. I love being around people, and meet very few "strangers," but need "me time" too. I prefer outdoors to indoors, cool weather to hot weather, mountains to the beach, and being active to sitting still. I have traveled the world, and want to find new places, and visit the previous ones again. You could say I was born with a sense of wanderlust. I want to encourage you . . . This blog may have themes but the desire to write it, and the commitment to maintain it is about one thing more than any other. If through the blog, you can be encouraged, recharged, reminded, uplifted, motivated, or if you can just relate to something you read, I will sleep well and know that God has used something - as benign as it may seem on the surface, to help you move forward in understanding who you are, and what your purpose ultimately is. Life was intended to be dynamic - not static. One of my good friends Ricky Bobby once said, "If you ain't first, you're last." Although there may be some detractors to the actual truth (or benefit) of that statement, don't you want to live your life progressing? I don't want to sit around and wish I was getting better at what I do, or who I am. I was born to pursue - to improve - to invent - to move forward. When it's all said and done, I'd like to know that I ran after God, rather than for Him to have had to run after me. We'll all be challenged . . . Writing is sometimes as much about me as it is about you. My "bag of tricks" comes as much from my own experiences as it does anything I've learned from a textbook. I don't know about you (actually I do but certainly can't speak for you), but the things I have learned in this life have typically come from challenging circumstances, mistakes I've chosen to make, mistakes I've unintentionally made, places I shouldn't have been, and a myriad of other mostly-painful experiences. I think we're a lot alike. And I think we're about to find out. As always my friends . . . FINISH WELL!

Posted on May 9, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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