Kevin Menezes

Loved and Saved by God alone to Love and Serve God alone.

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What Makes Men Tick

My posts are usually targeted at no one in particular, but this one is specifically for women. Some of the points here are based on conversations I have had with my married friends. I felt the need to write this coz I believe women would do things a lot differently if they really understood what makes men tick. I promise to be forthright. I will not beat around the bush. I will not mollycoddle you. I will say it like it is. You ready? Okay, here goes:

  1. Money Will Always Be a Factor.

How much of his salary does your husband spend on himself? If he is like most men, his needs are pretty basic. In fact, if he wasn’t married, he probably wouldn’t have to work so hard. He knows that. But he still goes to work because it is a man’s job to provide for his family. He trades in 10-12 hours of his life every day in exchange for money. That’s what a salary really is to a man…he is trading hours of his life so that he can put food on the table, pay for the kids’ education and give you money to get your hair done, your nails done and everything else done.

So while it’s just money to you, it’s actually costing him his life — hours after hours that he knows he could have used to do the things he really loves, like spending time with you, or playing a sport, or watching a movie, or reading a book, or sleeping, or just doing nothing at all. But he is sacrificing all of that to take care of his family. By the time he is done taking care of everyone and everything, he will have lost the best years of his LIFE. Years that he will never gain back. He knows that.

So guess what? No matter how much he earns, he will never be okay with “wasteful” spending. Every time you buy things you are never going to use, that’s his life he sees going down the trash. And it’s true. So the least a wife can do for her husband is be a good custodian of the money he gives her.

  1. Stick With the Plan.

We live in a world of extremes. Some women in this city struggle to make ends meet even with a budget of Rs 1,00,000 per month, while some women make do with just Rs 10,000. How do women from low income families put three decent home-cooked meals on the table? I guess it all depends on how resourceful you are.

Life is seasonal and every couple must adapt accordingly. You should have a budget for everything (living expenses, investments, leisure, etc). And once you and your husband freeze on the budget for your home, stick with it. Coz if you bust your budget, it throws everything else out of whack. Therefore, be resourceful. Spend wisely. Turn out the lights, fans and other appliances when you don’t need them, cook sensibly so you won’t have to throw food in the trash, and stop buying things you don’t really need. Everything costs money and someone has to pay for it. Guess who?

  1. Be Kind to his Folks.

A friend of mine almost lost her marriage coz she just couldn’t stop bickering about her mother-in-law. Here’s the deal: No matter how much your man loves you, he will never be okay with you or anyone else criticizing his parents. And that is how it should be too. Coz a ‘good husband’ is usually a ‘good father’ and a ‘good son’ too. He won’t let anyone walk over the people he loves.

In fact, if your husband only takes care of you and neglects his parents, you must be very wary of him coz you are living with a half-baked fruit cake that could implode in your own face one day. After all, if he does not care for his own parents, what’s the guarantee that he will always take care of you and your kids.

But if he takes cares of his folks and is courteous and respectful to your parents too, then the least you can do is return the same courtesy to his parents. In fact, how you treat his parents is a reflection of who you are as a person. Follow the Commandment which says ‘Honour your Parents’ (and that includes his parents too). It doesn’t matter who they are, what they say, or what they do. How they treat you is none of your business. Your business is how you treat them. Mind your own business.

God will bless your marriage and you solely based on your attitude towards your in-laws. If you disrespect them, kiss happiness goodbye. But if you treat them well, then know this: No man can resist a woman who is kind to his parents.

  1. There is Such a Thing as Too Much Talk.

Have you ever sat next to a table of women? I have and here’s what I noticed. Oftentimes, they all talk at the same time and no one is really listening to anyone. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine with them. Coz women have this incredible need to verbalize everything. They are not looking for solutions, they are just talking…it’s what women do.

In fact, a woman feels really connected to her husband when there is a lot of talking going on. Most men don’t get that. Because the thing with men is that we are wired to take care of the people we love and to solve everything for everyone, especially the woman we love. So when you keep talking on and on about what’s bothering you, your man is trying hard to figure out all the ways he can help you. And when he finds that your litany of troubles is never-ending, he gets frustrated and walks away. So you need to let up with the talking a bit.

In fact, I’ll give you a better solution. START PRAYING. Women who pray regularly and take all their worries and cares to God, don’t feel the need to unload everything on their husband the minute he walks into the house. Because she has already hashed it out with God, she is now able to filter through her zillion thoughts to tell her husband the one thing he really needs to know, or the one thing he really needs to do. She’s happy. He’s happy. It’s a win-win.

Last point: Never bring up a heavy topic when your husband comes home at the end of the day. He is already tired. This is not the best time to have one of your verbal diarrheas. There will be another time for that. Right now, he just wants to come home to a happy wife. He just wants to know that she is fine. That the kids are happy. Then, he feels like all that hard work was not in vain. He feels like he is working for something worthwhile. Give him something tasty to eat and leave him alone for a while. (It’s incredible what good food and some free time can do for romance.) Next day he will charge out of the door and happily trade in a few more hours of his life just so he can see you smiling.

Okay, that’s it for now. I know this post is extremely one-sided and most of this may not apply to you and your marriage. That’s because I only tried to generalize what makes most men tick. If you want to know what makes women tick, please refer to my earlier posts where I also talk about all the things that men must do.

That’s a much longer list. 😋

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Be Kind

Just because you have a hundred REASONS to be mad at somebody doesn’t mean you have the RIGHT to be mad at them. At least not if you claim to be a Christian — and I am not talking about the “religious” sorts.

If you really own up to Jesus, then you understand by now that you are NOT PERFECT either. You MESS up too. And although God has a million reasons to be mad at you, He still chooses to FORGIVE you — every time.

God is neither angry nor fussed about you. Your crap is all on you, and you can run with it for as long as you like. But if you seek divine assistance, all of heaven is under orders to rush in and help. You know why? Because God likes you.

Now, if God can be that nice to you, then surely it is not unreasonable to expect that you would extend the same courtesy to other too. The greatest test of spiritual maturity is not how many scriptures you know by heart or how well you pray in tongues — it is reflected in HOW YOU TREAT PEOPLE.

Do unto others as you would have it done unto you.

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Walk the Talk & Talk the Walk

I know a man who loves his wife with all his heart, but he has never told her ‘I love you‘ even once because, um, he doesn’t roll that way. His love is very evident though in all the things he does for her and the kids. All she needs to do is read between the lines.

I know another guy who keeps telling his wife he loves her all the time, but he doesn’t do much of anything besides that. The family is more or less exactly where they were when they started. Same place, same problems. The only thing that’s moving up is their age.

Obviously, none of these blokes are really cutting the ice.

The first guy’s wife would happily do without half the things he’s buying her if he opened his mouth and told her just once, ‘You know what? I love you with all my heart.’

The second guy would probably do better to just shut up for a change and do something.

In movies, the heroes get away with just being cool. But in real life, you’ve got to do both: Talk the Walk and then Walk the Talk. There are no other options

Just saying…

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God’s Not a Politician

If you seek the will of God for your life, don’t be surprised if He does not ask you to join a religious group, a political party, a protest march, or fight with other groups about which brand of politics, religion, or ideology is better. God is not a politician (and heaven is most certainly not rocked about which party won the election in your constituency). What’s more, God is not religious either.

In fact, if you turn to God for advice, the only thing He may ask you to do is go get a job (if you don’t have one already) and start providing for your family. And if you are already providing for your family, He may ask you to help the poor and downtrodden too. Because that’s what God really cares about. He cares about people. He cares about you.

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Do you use Google often? Do you know what Larry Page looks like? If you answered ‘No’, you are not alone. Of the millions of people who use Google every day, many have never even heard of Mr. Page.

In the same way, it is possible to work for Microsoft and never have met Bill Gates. It is possible to work for Reliance and never have met Mr. Ambani. You get my drift?

In quite the same way, it is possible that you have been in church all your life and have never yet met God.

And in the absence of a personal experience with the Creator all we are left with is the Culture. You look around and you think ‘Okay, so this is what church folk do. Sing a few songs. Stand up and sit down on cue. And then out the door we go’. And after a while that becomes such an empty experience.

It’s like attending the private party of someone you don’t know personally. In the absence of a relationship, once you are done with the cake and the food, you will always look for a way to sneak out.

And because there is nothing else to it, after a while you won’t come for the cake and cheese either, except maybe on Christmas and Easter — and even then only because grandma said it’s an obligation, and everyone’s going and besides you haven’t worn your new suit in a while. Get what I am saying?

But when it’s the party of someone you know and love dearly, you hang out till the end, you bring gifts, and you wait until you have had a chance to personally wish them. Why? Because you have a personal relationship with them and you cherish that.

A Personal Relationship with God — wasn’t that the crux and theme of Jesus’ life and message?

The way I see it: Jesus did not die so that the world could have another RELIGION, or so that we could have church on Sunday. He died so that we could have a Personal Relationship with God. And in the absence of that RELATIONSHIP, you are just another bigot masquerading as a Christian when you are anything but. And even you know that.


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Fasting & Prayer: The Benefits of Lent

I usually back off from a lot of things during Lent, including social media, to make time for prayer and reflection, and to declutter my life…and it is always such a rewarding experience.

We tend to think of Lent as a period of abstinence, fasting and giving up, but actually the opposite is true. If you do Lent right, you can actually gain a lot more…

Lent and everything that goes with (prayer, fasting, etc.) is basically for people who want to move forward. If you have anything pending, like a court case, a health concern, an illness in the family, a loved one who is struggling with an addiction, a strained marriage, or an increment that is overdue, then Lent is the perfect season for you.

There is so much to be said about this subject, but let me keep it simple. The way I see it fasting is for people who want things FAST. And there are some things in life I want more badly than food. But if we only abstain from food and don’t mix that sacrifice with prayer then we are not really fasting — we are dieting. And the only thing you can expect from a diet is to lose weight.

But fasting is not just about losing weight…it’s so much more. Through fasting, I’ve gained wisdom, revelation, insight, I’ve had all of my prayers answered, my kids are thriving, my wife is happier, my health is better than it has ever been (and that includes my mental, emotional and spiritual health).

Yes – I did lose some weight too and in all the right places. The little tuck I’ve gained around the middle makes me look younger and I actually feel very youthful. Through fasting, I’ve also gained more tolerance, patience, perseverance, discernment. I am more relaxed, more calm, I am smiling more…you get the picture, right?

I admit: fasting is not easy. The hardest part about fasting is getting started. Sometimes, the hunger really gets to you. And people usually try to offset it by eating something heavy just before starting the fast. In my opinion, that’s self-deception. The whole purpose of fasting is that you must feel hungry. It’s a sacrifice, right? It must make you uncomfortable and want to eat badly. And in that state, when you get down on your knees and pray, you begin to move mountains.

The irony is that once I got past the initial discomfort and started reaping the benefits of fasting, I wanted to fast more. And the thing with fasting is that the more you fast, the easier it gets.

The Bible presents fasting as something that is beneficial for everyone. If you asked me, as a friend, I would strongly recommend it too. And you don’t have to wait until Lent to get started, although that’s the best period. Why Lent? Look at this way. If you want the bank to sanction a loan, you’ll go during business hours, right? You won’t go at midnight when the bank is closed. Similarly, it makes sense to approach the Throne of Mercy in the hour of mercy. It’s as simple as that.

People often misunderstand what abstinence is all about. We can always have a feast and we rarely miss an opportunity to eat. In fact, most of us eat way too much most of the time and that’s not very good either. But that’s not what fasting is about. God does not derive any sadistic pleasure from our hunger. Fasting is less about what we’re giving up and more about what we’re making room for. When we fast, we exchange what we need to SURVIVE with what we need to LIVE. Fasting frees the body and mind from the things holding us down and helps us hear God more clearly.

If you are past the age of 30, you already know by now that life has this propensity to throw all kinds of curve balls. You’ll be challenged in your job, your marriage, your health, your finances, etc. And every once in a while you will want something so badly that you would be willing to give up anything for it. Even food. That’s what Lent is really about. It’s for us and our benefit. When we fast and pray we are essentially telling God, “I need You. I can’t see where my life is headed from down here. I don’t know what’s coming down the road, but You have a better view from up there. You can see the big picture. Please take care of this for me. I trust You.

I don’t know about you, but I try to take my life one day at a time. I look at what’s happening in my life. I look at my marriage, my kids, my home. I look at what’s happening around me and in the world and then I decide what I need to do. Some days I am FEASTING and some days, especially around this time, I am FASTING.

What about you?

You have 325 days in the year to eat what you want, when you want and how much you want. But you only have 40 days of Lent to fast and pray. And this is the final week. If you are not maximizing what this period is all about, you are really missing out.

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Tender Love Trumps Tinder Love

If you hold something under pressure for too long, it has the potential to explode, but if you release the pressure, it dissipates — right?

In the same way, when you have sex with whoever you want whenever you want, it loses both intensity and value. But if you confine sex to marriage, it can be a dynamite.

That’s why sex within marriage is potentially so explosive.

Who would have ever thought that the reward for sexual purity is pure pleasure — but it is so by God’s design.