By Bo Sanchez

Let me speak to married men this time.

One morning, let’s say you find your wife in bed with tears in her eyes. When you ask her why, she mumbles, “I’m depressed.”

As a husband who has read the Bible, attended prayer meetings, and was now active in the parish, the temptation at this point is to love her with your mind. “What? How could you be depressed?” You shake your head in dismay. “Sweetheart, you’re not yet spiritually mature! Trust God! Follow Proverbs 3:5 and you won’t be depressed! ‘Trust in Thy Lord with all thine heart, leaneth not on thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shalt direct thy paths!’”

If you are the wife, and your husband tells that to you, I’m giving you permission to say to him one of the most expressive words in our language: “Heh!!!”

Husbands, don’t love her with your mind.

Love her with your heart.

When she says, “I’m depressed,” do this: Put your arms around her, stroke her hair, and plant a kiss on her forehead. And then say, “It’s okay, hon. It’s okay. Can you tell me why you’re sad? I’m listening.”

Now imagine your wife says, “I’m depressed because this morning, I looked at the mirror, and I saw so many wrinkles on my face!” (Boo-hoo-hoo…)

Immediately, husbands, you’ll be tempted to love with your mind again. So you say, “That’s all? Darling, you’re vain!” you say with a preacher’s bombastic voice, “Where’s your spiritual maturity? Scripture says, ‘Seeketh thy treasure in heaven where thieves doth not break in and steal or moth destroy,’ and ‘Indeed we believeth that when this earthly tent of ours shall passeth away, we shall findeth a new home, a dwelling in the heavens, not made by human hands, but made by God to last forever!’”

Husbands, don’t love her with your mind.

Love with your heart.[1]

At this point, she doesn’t need a preacher. She needs a lover.

Cradle her in your arms again, and if you have a somewhat-tolerable voice, sing to her the love song of Steve Curtis Chapman, “I Will Be Here.” (If your voice chases away cats and dogs, just say the lyrics.)

“I will be here,
You can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us were older,
I will hold you,
I will be here,
To watch you grow in beauty…”

[1] There is only one time where you should love with your mind, and that’s during courtship. Think. Analyze. Evaluate. But once the wedding ceremony is over, the heart rules.

Define Your Core Gift and Remain Faithful To Who You Are

By Bo Sanchez

Here’s My Gift: I’m Not a Theologian With Three Doctorates---Just a Preacher In Blue Jeans…

UNLESS you remain faithful to who you are, you have no gift to give to the world.

A few months ago, The Philippine Daily Inquirer ran a cover story about me in its Sunday edition. If you were not able to buy a copy, blame my mother who bought every single copy she could get her hands on—and gave it as a gift to all her friends. (She is still the uncontested President of The Bo Sanchez Fans Club.) My photo was so large, covering the entire spreadsheet, it made my nose look like the grand piano.

But I loved the label. Because in that article, editor Ruel de Vera officially knighted me as the “Preacher in Blue Jeans.”

Ruel said I’m a “Preacher in Blue Jeans” because people understand what I preached. That I don’t lecture about purely “spiritual” stuff, such as doctrine, or prayer, or the Bible... Instead, I speak about the nitty-gritty stuff of daily life— like how to earn money, how to have a loving family, and how to overcome temptations and problems…

When he interviewed me, he said I’m also a “Preacher in Blue Jeans” because people can identify with me. Especially when I become vulnerable, sharing my weaknesses and sins. (He was referring to how I confessed that I was sexually molested as a child.)

Not everyone feels the same way though.

I remember how an old priest scolded me many years ago for writing the way I did. He was a learned, scholarly priest, and he castigated me, saying, “Bo, stop writing about yourself. All you talk about is yourself. Start writing about God!”

I told him, “I’ll consider your advice, Father…”

I did, oh, for about 10 seconds. (I wanted to respect an older man.)

But I threw away his advice in a snap.

Because he wanted me to write like him.

Because he wanted me to write to religious guys like him.

Because he wanted me not to use my core gift and become someone else.

Others can do that, but that’s not my edge.

Yes, I usually write about me. And about my 87-year-old father who can’t see clearly anymore, I have to cut his fingernails and toenails for him, which is to me my greatest achievements in life. And about my 81-year-old mother who at an early age infected me with her devotion to God. And about my loving wife who is the real magic behind the preacher. (I cannot do what I do now if she didn’t support me 100%.) And about my wonderful sons, Bene and Francis, who remind me that life is unfair: How could I have deserved such fantastic gifts as these two boys?

I write about my large nose, my missing tooth, and my daily struggles.

I write simple stories, discerning God’s fingerprints in ordinary events.

I write to people who like listening to gritty reality, not scholarly theology.

And do you know what made me more confident in throwing out his advice?

As I spoke to this priest, I was leaning on a five-drawer filing cabinet, jam-packed with happy, tear-stained, heartfelt letters from my readers. Thousands of thousands of letters, telling me that they have seen God through my stories. (I was tempted to ask him, “Do you also have a filing cabinet filled with thousands of letters from your readers like this one, Father?” Thankfully, I stopped myself.)

Friend, don’t let anyone force you to be who you are not.

Your gift won’t be for everyone. So don’t try pleasing everyone.

But there are people out there who will be desperate for your unique gift. That’s your target market. Go after them and serve them. Don’t mind everyone else.Some people won’t like you. (That particular priest didn’t like me, but I’ve got lots of priest and bishop friends who like my writing—and tell me that they steal my ideas for their homilies.)

Friend, define your core gift, and remain faithful to who you are.