Thursday, January 29, 2009

One Dude's Perspective on Romance

Today we have a male guest blogger: my dear husband, Scott.

My name is Scott Stewart, and I’m a problem solver.

This has been true of me since childhood. Solving mathematical equations is actually fun for me.

A math professor once told me, “Mathematics is the science of science.” It is absolute. Feelings, assumptions, opinions and perspectives do not apply; they are irrelevant.

This is important for women to understand because I believe many guys think in this way.

When my wife comes to me wanting to discuss something, I am becoming increasingly aware that I need to discern her objective. If her objective is for me to help her with a problem she is having, AND I’m able to pick up on that, I am more than happy to offer up solutions.

However, if her real objective is to express her feelings, opinions or concerns, AND I’m able to pick up on that, I have to change modes. My role changes from problem solver to listener and supporter.

Of course, she will quickly point out that I’m not always able to determine her objective, and thus fail miserably in my role. Women are experts when it comes to the art of subtlety, and men woefully inadequate.

So what does all this mean?

Let me start by stating what’s not obvious: I love to be romantic; I love to be romanced.

I think romance is only possible because we are human, because all of us have feelings and emotions.

I’m not sure why, but it’s much easier for guys to focus on solving problems than it is to be romantic because problem-solving is concrete; we like concrete! Maybe the reason guys struggle with romance is that we just don’t have the brain capacity to understand our emotions enough to act on them.

Chalk one up for the women out there.

In sports, we can argue about the officiating when our team loses, but our team still lost. It’s easy to grasp. It’s concrete. Did our team lose? There’s no maybe and there’s no subjectivity – just YES or NO.

So, again, why do I love romance?

It seems that all I’ve said so far is that guys like me don’t have the capacity to appreciate what romance is or even why it’s important.

One of the reasons I believe in romance is because I have feelings too; sometimes suppressed, but always there. I actually do get emotional.

For example, I had a tough day at work last week and I heard John Waller’s “The Blessing” on the way home. God had a message for me that day: “Scott, life may sometimes be tough but I’m always there for you and you can lean on Me.”

He expressed that message via the airwaves by giving me that song and it was an awesome emotional experience. I was once again awed by His presence.

OK, so I have emotions and I’m actually not a robot. What does that have to do with romance?

In two words, emotional stability.

"If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy" is true. As husbands, it’s in our best interests to listen to our wives’ concerns, to keep an open line of communication, to ALWAYS be honest, and to act on our feelings by being romantic.

Any action that my wife perceives as romantic is, by definition, romantic.

When I bring flowers home for no reason, clean house while she’s away, give her a massage, fess up when I mess up, or simply listen to her with genuine interest for her well-being, these actions are all earning me points.

As these points accumulate, they are redeemed (always at her discretion): giving me the remote when the big game is on, cooking my favorite meals, listening without objection during my rants about politics, and obviously in other ways too. There are perks for being romantic!

On the other hand, if momma really ain’t happy, we lose that sense of order and stability in our lives. And we hate that. When we don’t consistently invest in our women, they may close that important line of communication with us or even lash out in anger. Whether it’s silence or violence, this indicates instability and can have devastating consequences.

We guys shouldn’t simply ignore or reject romance as irrational, unproductive or silly. We will have a fuller, more satisfying life if we embrace romance and consciously work to keep that romantic fire burning brightly. And trust me, this is not easy.

One final note. As Christians, our relationships with our spouses will necessarily impact our relationship with God.

I remember a marriage enrichment class that my wife and I took years ago, and one of the concepts we learned is that marriage is a covenant between man, woman and God.

God will unconditionally fulfill His part of the covenant. It is our responsibility to keep our end of the bargain by having both a strong marriage (spiritually, emotionally and physically) and a strong relationship with God.

If we maintain this balance, we fulfill our covenant. If we fulfill our covenant, God will do great things through our marriage.

So guys, be romantic. Love romance. It’s the Christian thing to do!


  1. Well done Scott! There's nothing like delving into a man's perspective and getting the chance to see what you men are thinking. I loved your last part about marriage being a covenant and the wonderful things He will do when we honor our part, so true! I hope you will participate again! Best wishes, Amy

  2. Thanks for guest-blogging, Scott! What a refreshing post to hear you encouraging all the guys out there to be romantic. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I'm speechless . . . er, wordless. This is my son sharing his wisdom on romance. Who knew?
    One aspect he didn't touch on, though, is the example he is setting for his children. Scott didn't say "I do" and instantly receive this wisdom. His dad (my dear hubby) patterned selfless love (and yes, a little romance)for our sons. All four of our sons have lovely wives who grow lovelier each year with the careful nurturing of their husbands.
    This post today is truly a gift. Thanks, Scott.

  4. Thanks Amy, Lacy, and Mom for the comments!

    I don't know how Denice talked me into doing a guest post, but now I expect each of you to con your husbands into the same thing. Tell em' it will earn them some points!

  5. Very insightful, Scott! You sound a lot like my husband, a math major/engineering type. It's true, men do seem to prefer the concrete over the abstract. I love the way you've expressed how important it is to keep everything in balance, always with God at the center.

    (And I think you've got a pretty great mom, too!)

  6. It wasn't hard talking such a sweet guy into doing a favor for his wife.

    And yes, he did indeed earn brownie points for doing this.

  7. Scott, you just got major credits added to your love bank ;)
    Great post Scott, Denice- i know you that it made you very happy. i think i will ask Paul to read it for sure =)

  8. When I start reading the post I chuckled. My husband is a great fixer of problems. It took him a lot of years to learn that sometimes I didn't need him to fix it. I just wanted to tell him about it.

  9. I think this is amazing insight! My husband is a softy when it comes to emotions, but still has trouble understanding mine! What impressed me is you totally get it! I wish that we could forward this to every husband, every man! I may just send my hubby over here. He does know this stuff, but reading it from another guy's perspective would probably be helpful!