Your Man Loves You Honey

In 1977 Tom T. Hall released the single “Your Man Loves You Honey” off of his About Love album. The album didn’t get the fanfare that Tom was used to the previous ten years. In fact, this was the point his career was starting to slow down. Country had changed its focus to a more pop style sound and Tom T.’s style was no longer in vogue

About Love

Your Man Loves You Honey would be his last top 5 single (peaking at 4). And when people talk of Hall’s music, this tune is often overlooked. But this gem is as applicable today as it was close to 40 years ago

The song contains three stanzas (not counting the chorus) of a man, who though he never lives up to his wife’s high expectations (and apparently she reminds him of this), maintains an enduring love for her

Had my golf clubs on my shoulder when you saw me first today Wearin’ my old army sweater that you thought you threw away

And when you saw me standin’ there you shook your head and sighed When you saw I’d bought a sixpack I thought you were gonna cry

Most of the husbands/dads I know try hard. Try very hard. And if there is a common thread that men have (at least the men I know) it is a desire to receive adoration. Praise and attention especially from the one they love most.

But the stories from many men are the exact opposite. I cannot recall where I read it, but an article I read said that if there was one word to describe the American male it is “angry”. It went on to show how starting at a young age, boys are far more likely to receive harsh criticism and ridicule. That boys often receive less love because of the long standing belief that it will make a boy soft.

Boys are more likely to receive physical punishment (slap, belt…) and in school boys are more likely to be publicly disciplined

Throw in there some sport coaches who yell and degrade a young man, the emotional ups/downs that come with dating (yes girls break hearts too).

Then toss in a boss or two who nit-picks and brow beats………..you can see how the author described the American male as “angry”

We deeply crave atta-boys!

Your man loves you honey and I don’t know what else to say

Your man loves you honey but you can’t change my ways

While it is impossible for a wife to undo decades of hurt (that’s something only Christ can do). The question becomes, are they adding to the hurt? When I am in a social environment (where there are other couples), I pay special attention to how the wife treats the husband. Most guys break off and talk about sports or their latest adventure. Maybe a joke here or a vacation story there. We are pretty unadventurous in these settings

This song centers on his wife’s action in their home – everything is apparently private in nature. However, there is a trend I am seeing over the past several years I am not a fan of. I often hear a wife publicly making fun their husband. Highlighting a recent mistake or blunder. I have seen women (in a group setting mind you) talking about how sexy or good looking a co-worker or veterinarian is in front of their husbands. These conversations can go on for minutes with the husband standing right there.

I’ve heard them publicly proclaim doubt in a husband’s dream or goal (weight loss maybe or going back to earn a higher degree)

Endless stories of bad meals cooked, screw ups while watching the kids, hairy backs, waistlines getting bigger, hair getting gray, projects around the house that didn’t go so well, our forgetfulness, how emotional we are during football games…..and on and on.

It is said that the lowest form of humor, is when humor is focused on degrading or making fun of someone else. It requires little talent or wit.

If the objective is to crush a man’s feelings – ladies you’re doing a great job!

Now before you say you’re angry you remember what I did Went to church with you last Sunday took your mama and the kids

Sat right up and heard the preachin’ even wore my Christmas tie I’m not much on organ music 5-strings banjo’s more my style

I’ve made a habit of hanging around great men. Super Hero Russell, Wade, Phil, Dan, Pastor Bob….just to name a few. This is an all-star lineup.

These men would never do this to their wives. No way would either of these men talk about how hot another woman is in front of other couples. Actually they wouldn’t do this in private either! Sure, they have their own flaws, but they wouldn’t go there. And they wouldn’t let me go their either in their presence

If I began publicly criticizing my wife, they would intervene and changed the subject. Maybe even call me out on the spot. These are all star guys! They see the big picture and have great personal awareness, and I benefit from having them in my life

Your man loves you honey and I don’t know what else to say

Your man loves you honey but you can’t change my ways

Despite these humiliating moments, most (if not all of husbands) will bend and not break. And through some hidden power, don’t take the opportunity to lash back in public. I’m not sure if it is discipline or a “why bother, it won’t do any good” attitude that prevails. But, the damage is done. The pain is very real. You can see it in their eyes and posture, or a passive chuckle or smirk – desperately wishing the conversation would move onto something else.

I admire when a man won’t get defensive and play tit-for-tat. I admire when men take the high road. It’s hard, but these men do it!

Oh you should have had a knight in armor and a castle fair Not some restless cowboy faded jeans and shaggy hair

I can’t make it babe without you and you know that it’s true Keep me around for laughs so I’ve been good for one or two

As I noted earlier, Tom T’s song is about what goes on in the home. it is a snapshot of he and his wife (Dixie, who died this past January).

God gives us such an opportunity to serve as a champion for our spouse. To encourage, motivate, love, to be playful and light hearted. We have this platform to minister Christ’s love in a way no one else can.

I know I have certainly taken the easy road and been anything but loving, soft and encouraging. Our world makes it very hard to even desire to pursue such a relationship.

Our nature likes to keep score of wrongs, we like to play the victim and we like to make forgiveness something you have to earn (thankful God doesn’t take that route)

We choose to make our spouse jealous, rather than stupendous

We spend more time coming up with reasons to withhold good, than actually doing good

We choose to point out a mistake, rather than celebrate a victory

We will give a hobby hours of our dedication, leave some scraps late at night for our spouse

We will “like” the most irrelevant thing on Facebook or Twitter, yet let our spouse know they are boring us with something they share at the dinner table

We will contain our anger at work, blow up at our spouse

Your man loves you honey and I don’t know what else to say

Your man loves you honey but you can’t change my ways

This isn’t to say that men aren’t jerks at home. That will be touched upon another day another time

In this post I simply want to point out that most men are trying hard – we spend a lot of time pondering how to be even better

But, we are sensitive to criticism. I know I am, and the men that have gotten closest in my life are the same.

And I hope to become the man that when I fail at home, and I am “lovingly reminded of my shortcoming” that I will be like Tom T, shrug my shoulders and say “Your Man Loves You Honey…..but you can’t change my ways….”

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