by Dale Sadler
Have you seen the most recent movie version of A Christmas Carol? I’ve seen every form of this movie with its various actors, including Patrick Stewart, Scrooge McDuck, and Bill Murray, but this one is my favorite. Visually it was stunning with the 3-D effects and cartoonish realism; definitely a theater-worthy movie.
(NOTE: Please make sure you use online parent tools to check out the content of movies before taking your children.)
During the “Christmas past” flashback, Ebenezer is speaking to his fiancée, Belle. It is in the early days of his business, and Belle is obviously distraught, likely because of days or weeks of pleading with him to love her. (He had committed to her through a “contract,” but it was clear to Belle that he loved money more than he loved her.)
Scrooge is cold towards her. They bicker back and forth about money. It’s clear that his pursuit of wealth has grown immense. Then she asks him a very important question. It’s the question women ask of their husbands every day, which I paraphrase like this: “If you were free today, tomorrow, yesterday, would you choose me — you who make your every decision by how much profit it will bring? Or, if you could forget about money for a time and choose me, would you regret your choice?”
Every woman asks this of her husband either verbally or with her actions. When she dresses nice, she wants to be noticed. When you see one another after work, the clock is ticking until you acknowledge her with a kiss, and she notices if you take a long time. Every so often she wants to hear why you chose her and whether or not you’d do it again. These moments can sweep her off her feet all over again.
So, why not do it? We men must be purposeful in everything, but especially in things that pertain to the care of our wives. It won’t just happen. We have to make it happen.
Too many men choose other things. Some, like Scrooge, do so because they give their heart to something else. They find pleasure in an activity or other women and thus neglect the one to whom they pledged their love.
Some choose other things because the level of commitment needed to make a marriage thrive is often difficult to maintain. If you’ve seen Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (another Scrooge spin off), you know that Matthew Mcconaughey’s character is afraid of being with one woman. He’s afraid. Men like this won’t admit it, but going from relationship to relationship is easier than trying to make one woman happy. Doing this may be tough, but it’s also one of the most fulfilling things in any man’s life. Eagles understand this, so why can’t we?
Finally, men neglect their wives in the name of taking care of them: “If I work harder, my wife will have more things, and she’ll be happier.” But please remember that all the money in the world can’t buy happiness. Scrooge found this out, but today some of us can’t see it. There is fulfillment that can be found in a well paying job, but what really matters is how we invest ourselves in those we love. You can’t hug clothing or have dinner with a diamond necklace.
Men, for your wife (and your children), your time is the best thing you can give. Christmas morning presents are exciting, but the most important gifts can’t be wrapped.
Dale Sadler is a happily married husband and father of two great kids. He is a School Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Service Provider, speaker, minister, artist, and writer. Dale lives in White House, TN, and writes regularly on marriage, parenting, and men’s issues. Visit his website at insearchformore.com to subscribe to his blog and weekly podcast.