When I first got married, a good friend encouraged me to interview five people and ask a series of questions that would elicit mostly negative responses about my effect on others. During the interviews, I was only allowed to ask questions and take notes — I couldn’t defend or explain myself.
I was not prepared for what was coming. Read more
This morning, my daughters and I were talking about the birth of Jesus, and I was trying to think of a way to capture the wonder of it. I mean, it’s one thing to say “God became a man” – but I wanted them to get it, to grasp how bizarre it was that the God of the universe humbled Himself and moved into the body of a vulnerable baby boy. Read more
“Margaritas, everyone!” said the worship leader from my new church as she filled plastic cups for the partygoers in her home. I was mortified, and I figured God was too.
Then I walked outside where I found our Austrian pastor making conversation and smoking a cigarette. All I could do was put on my best fake smile, bid farewell, and ease away from the party in confusion. Read more
One day, I was standing in the kitchen at my mom’s house, and for the first time, it occurred to me that my favorite music was the sound of tinkering high notes on a piano. So I rhetorically asked my mom, “Do you know what my absolute favorite music is?” Read more
My wife and I live in Washington, D.C., a city that’s full of single men who aren’t ready to get married. If they’re anything like I was in my single days, their unwillingness to tie the knot has a lot to do with their unrealistic expectations. Now that I’m seven years into a happy marriage, if I could give some tips to all the single men about adjusting their hopes for life after the wedding, here’s what I would say: Read more
Back in college, I was a high maintenance friend.
As I’ve described in my article, “Facing Insecurity, Finding Friendship,” “I always needed a prompt reply to my phone call or email, an enthusiastic ‘yes’ to my invitations. I needed to be coddled and comforted and assured that I was liked. If someone neglected to call back, it couldn’t be because they forgot — no way, it had to be because they were ignoring me and my all-important need for affirmation.” Read more
When I first started dating my wife, we were eating dinner one night and she asked a question that I didn’t think was very controversial: “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?”
In my response, I mentioned that I wanted to return to my home state of Mississippi and run for Attorney General, and I also said I wanted four or five children. She looked at me like she was waiting for me to announce that I was joking. I wasn’t. Read more
A few days ago, my wife and I drove our daughters to their first day of school. I hardly noticed that my breathing was becoming shallower as we got closer. I didn’t want to notice it.
“You know,” I said, “I’m not going to cry when we say goodbye to the girls today, but I understand why parents do.” Read more
Last November, I was riding the bus home on a cold winter night, and I noticed a chatty, elderly, African-American man as I walked toward the front. He seemed to be the only person who was interested in what he was saying, and I felt suspicious. Read more