Why Men Are Babies When They’re Sick

OK, I admit it. When I get sick, which isn’t very often, I act like a big baby. I want to be taken care of. Why is that? See what Holly Corbett from REDBOOK has to say about it.

Does it annoy you that a measly cold is enough to turn your guy into a whining, moaning child while you’re expected to carry on with your daily routine despite having the sniffles? Well, we hate to say it, but maybe it isn’t just an excuse: half of guys describe a common cold as “the flu,” and upgrade headaches to migraine status, according to The Engage Mutual survey. Moreover, women report that 57 percent of men seek attention and sympathy when sick, and that two-thirds of men whine and complain. Before you exclaim that real pain is birthing an eight-pound baby, check out these mental and physical factors that may make men more likely to exaggerate their illnesses.

Women may be better able to battle germs
There may be actual science behind the stereotype that a man makes a cold sound life-threatening, while a woman simply rolls with the aches. Women are better able to fight off complications from injury and infection, according to a study in BioEssays. Researchers believe it has something to do with MicroRNAs, which are linked to immune function and produced by the X chromosome, of which women have two. Since men have only one X chromosome, and the Y chromosome may not share the same immunity-boosting MicroRNAs, females may be the tougher sex after all.

Men want their mommies
Not to get all Freudian on you, but your gender could trigger his deep-rooted childhood desires to have his mom take care of him when he’s under the weather. “Most of my female patients complain that their husbands drive them nuts by wanting their wives to take on the role of mom,” says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine. We’re not suggesting you go out and buy him footie pajamas, but cooking up homemade chicken soup like his mom used to make could score you major brownie points.

Women may have built up more immunity
If you’re the primary caregiver to the children, you’ve probably naturally developed more immunity from colds and flu thanks to the little buggers. “Daycare centers are germ cesspools,” says Dr. Minkin. “So if you’re responsible for dropping off and picking up the kids from school or daycare, your husband may not have been as exposed to those germs to have developed an immunity, and therefore may be harder hit when he does get sick.”

Guys go to the doctor less
Guys may actually need you to be their personal nurse, since studies show that men between the ages of 20 and 40 are much less likely than women to a visit a doctor, and that women have more contact with the healthcare system in general. “Guys are afraid of the doctor, and when they do get sick they dramatize it,” says Dr. Minkin. “Plus, women visit their gynecologists once or twice a year, where they’ll be encouraged to get a flu shot if they’re trying to get pregnant or have young kids. There’s no male equivalent to gynecologist so less men get the protection of a flu shot.”

The jury’s still out on this oft-cited reason

You might be thinking the obvious – that the ability to bear children is what has turned us into Superwomen. But there’s little out there studying the pain-pregnancy link and what is out there is pretty mixed. Some research finds that when it comes to pain sensors in our brain, women and men are more alike then different. But other MDs still feel there’s reason to speculate. One small study discovered that women deal with extreme pain better than men, says Dr. Minkin. She surmises this may be because even though the sexes feel pain the same way, men devote their energy to fearing the experience whereas women direct theirs toward finding ways to cope.

Out-Loving Your Spouse

Jesus was a good son. Bill and I recognize a good son; we enjoy having three good sons. A good son carries out the will of his father. A good son represents his family well and moves the family legacy forward. Good daughters would do the same. We meet people each week and many of them are those who value the heritage that have been handed to them and they build upon that strong foundation.

While writing our newest devotional book, A Couple’s Journey with God,we had the opportunity to stay on a beautiful farm. Within minutes of meeting John and Barb Schaller, we knew they had an unusual love. Barb found it easy to gush about how blessed and fortunate she found it to be married to John. John found it easy to compliment a wife he was obviously endeared to by the gleam in his eyes. They are our peers in marriage, married about the same amount of time as Bill and I – over three decades! When I asked Barb the secret of their long-lasting love, she said, “My husband forgives easily. He is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness.” When we asked John the same question, his reply was similar: “My wife knows how to keep giving love when people are hard to love. She love unconditionally and tenaciously.” Notice it is really just two sides of the same coin: he loves without limits and she is limitless in her love.

They are the owners of Morning Star Dairy. They live in the home in which John was raised. John is the youngest of twelve so he had the good fortune to watch his parents have a lifelong love. Love is a rich heritage on Morning Star farm. John describes his mother as a saint who loved lavishly, never uttered a harsh word, and had a servant’s heart. Her heart of love was often expressed toward her husband as she darted about the kitchen waiting on him with an affectionate, “On the way, Daddy Baby.” And that legacy of love continues as one will sometimes hear Barb call John, “Daddy” and with a twinkle in his eye and sheepish grin he will tease back, “That’s Daddy BABY to you.”

How does one go about building a legacy of love that passes from generation to generation? Follow John and Barb’s pattern and the example they saw in action: simply outserve one another. Love is an action verb and it is best expressed with a servant’s attitude. What is a servant’s attitude? Phil 2:3-7 captures it best when it simply says:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant...(Phil 2:3-7)

This year, make the commitment to simply have a “you first” attitude and seek to place your mate’s needs as a priority on your heart. The plus side of having a servant’s attitude is your children are watching, and perhaps you will be laying a foundation of a family that all seek to out love the other!

Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, relationship specialists and the authors of over 35 books including best selling Men Are Like, Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. Find more information on the Farrels, their books, videos, audio and even free resources to help people be “Love-Wise” at 

9 Must-Have Household Items Every Savvy Woman Needs

Since the New Shine.FM’s Bekah got married over the weekend and will be setting up a household, I thought this information be of use to her and maybe you too.

From Savvy Sugar 

We all love saving money, making these budget-friendly items must haves around the house. You might be surprised with the ways you can use these basic things to save you in a pinch while keeping a few dollars in your pocket at the same time. Plus, you probably already have a few of these savvy items already in your home. Click through for our favorite tools and more that will help you save time and money around your house.

  • Needle and Thread: Not only awesome for attaching buttons and mending clothes, a needle and thread comes in handy for fun DIYs and crafts. Having an assortment of needles and thread at your house is much cheaper than paying a tailor for quick hem touch-ups and tightening loose buttons.
  • Baking Soda: A box of baking soda only costs a few dollars and does much more than help your baked goods taste good and freshen your fridge. There are tons of money-saving ways to use baking soda. Instead of using a name-brand cleanser, use it for scouring tubs, sinks, and hard-to-clean pots and pans. And you can sprinkle it under sinks and along baseboards to repel cockroaches and ants, which is more budget-friendly than paying for an exterminator.
  • Black Permanent Marker: For less than $1, you can get a black permanent marker that will help you save money around the house. Use for fixing scratched black paint on appliances or window frames, instead of busting out black paint and a brush, and for touching up your worn black heels.
  • Hot Glue Gun: Used for fun DIYs and simply holding things together, hot glue guns are reasonably priced and a whole lot cheaper than a sewing machine. Repair hems, hold together frayed edges of curtains, and fix the busted seams of your couch cushions. The glue is durable and waterproof and will fix just about anything in a pinch.
  • Binder Clips: Binder clips are great for holding important papers together, but they also keep your cords organized, close up bags of food, and even help you get the very last squeeze out of your toothpaste. Use a white permanent marker to personalize the clips. They’re perfect for helping organize your home, too.
  • Power Drill: Sure, a power drill is a bit of a splurge, but investing in one that comes with a collection of drill bits means you won’t be paying a handyman when you need some help. From putting up your own curtain rods to predrilling holes to hang pictures, the power drill is a pro tool that you’ll get comfortable with quickly.
  • Duct Tape: Used for everything from patching leaks to helping to remove broken windows, duct tape is helpful in so many ways, so having more than one roll in the house is seriously smart. Duct tape is also a savvy home essential when it comes to quick wardrobe touch-ups and cute DIYs.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is the base for tossing together tangy dishes but can also be used for cleaning around the house. Instead of paying big bucks for brand-name cleaners, mix equal parts white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and use it as a general cleaner. The mixture also works wonders on eliminating mildew and freshening old carpets. To help unclog drains, pour one half cup of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup white vinegar. Once the mixture finishes foaming, wait five minutes then flush with hot water, followed by cold water.
  • Hammer and Nails: A hammer isn’t just a hammer. Along with helping you to hang pictures and maybe allowing you to build something cool, a hammer can also be used to measure things, dig holes in the backyard, and break ice in an emergency.


What do you think? Would you add anything else to this list?

Before You Live Together

Dear Dr. Bill,

My boyfriend and I are talking about marriage.  We live in different states and would like to save money for our wedding, so we’re thinking about sharing an apartment.  I have a 6-year-old daughter who loves this man dearly.  The plan is for my boyfriend to have his own room and I would share the other with my daughter.  What do you think?


Dear Jessica,

If you and your boyfriend are Christians and are committed to purity, I think this plan is a bad idea.  Although your intentions may be good, you will be subjecting yourselves to a tremendous amount of temptation.  The bible tells us to “flee from sexual immorality” and to live in a way that is “holy and honorable.”

You also need to consider the message that this living arrangement would send to your daughter.  God’s design for sexuality is that it is a beautiful gift, meant be shared between a husband and wife in a life-long, committed marital relationship.

If that is the message you want your daughter to learn, you will be sending her a confusing, mixed message by living with your boyfriend—even if you are able to resist temptation.

If you and your boyfriend are already physically involved, you should know that the research on cohabitation isn’t pretty.  Couples who live together before marriage have a 60-80% higher divorce rate.  They have higher rates of domestic violence and are more likely to be unfaithful.

Also, if a couple lives together and the woman becomes pregnant, there is a high likelihood that the relationship will end within two years, leaving her to raise the child on her own.

Let me recommend an excellent book that will help you make wise decisions in your relationship.  It’s entitled “Before You Live Together” by Dave Gudgel.

Thanks for writing Jessica.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Click here for the audio version of this article.


Dear Dr. Bill,

My ex-husband and I were divorced several years ago because he was not committed to spending time with our son.  He was not a Christian at the time.  But since then, he found the Lord and has changed dramatically.  As a result, we are thinking about getting remarried.  We both feel like our past issues have been sorted out, but we’re a little unsure of how long we should wait before making this new commitment.  What do you suggest?


Dear Lexi,

First of all, let me tell you how encouraged I was to read your e-mail.  In a day when divorce is so rampant and reconciliation is so rare, it was truly a blessing to hear your story.

Regarding your question, it’s hard to give you a specific timeline for remarriage.  You say that your “past issues have been sorted out,” but other than the parenting problem, I’m wondering what other issues you’ve worked through.

Also, you mention that your husband has dramatically changed since his conversion, but you’re a bit unsure about remarriage.  That leads me to believe you may still have some lingering concerns.

Jesus tells us that a “good tree produces good fruit.”  Given your past, it’s important to see the “good fruit” of your husband’s conversion manifested over time before you jump back into marriage.  Your son has already been impacted by your divorce, and you certainly don’t want to make matters worse by remarrying and then splitting up again if things don’t work out.

My advice would be to meet with a family therapist who can help you determine the best course of action.  He or she can help you fully explore whether you are truly ready for remarriage.

Thanks for writing Lexi.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” tab on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

Student Asks About Marrying In College

Dear Dr. Bill,

I am a 19-year-old college student on a full-ride scholarship. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about 5 months and I already know this is the woman I want to marry. We were both raised in solid, godly families — and we’ve made a commitment to purity before marriage. After much prayer, we’ve decided we’d like to get married in 2 years.

The good news is that both sets of parents approve of our plans. But my parents disagree about the timing. They think we should wait until after I graduate. I think this issue is about their preference rather than facing the fact that I’m ready to make this decision for myself. What do you think?


Dear Cody,

It sounds like you and your girlfriend are starting off with a good foundation. I also admire your decision to pursue sexual purity. However, at 19-years-old, I don’t think it’s wise to make a decision about marriage after dating someone for five months.

Your girlfriend sounds wonderful, and she may be just the person God wants you to marry. But during the first 3-6 months of your relationship, you’re in the “infatuation” stage. Your brains are releasing chemicals called endorphins, which contribute to a heightened sense of happiness and well-being.

During that time, we’re basically “in love with being in love,” and we’re unlikely to view our dating partner or our relationship realistically. That’s why I advise couples to date for at least a year before getting engaged. I believe it’s better to have a longer courtship and a shorter engagement, rather than vice versa.

Also, most people don’t know this, but research shows that people who wait until they’re at least 23 to get married, have a much lower divorce rate than those who marry younger.

You didn’t mention how old your girlfriend is, but I’m assuming she’s around 18 or 19. Although your marriage might work out fine if you marry during college, your chances for success will greatly increase if you give your relationship an extra year or two.

Thanks for writing Cody. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

12-12-12 is Tomorrow

Tomorrow is 12-12-12, which means an increase in weddings. They say that 7500 couple will get married tomorrow. Seems strange since it is a Wednesday and who really wants to get married in the middle of the work week. Most brides consider it lucky to get married on a day like 12-12-12. Grooms also consider it lucky because it will be easier to remember their anniversary! @ShineBMac

A Mom Facing Divorce Struggles with Some Tough Choices

Dear Dr. Bill,

In the middle of marital struggles with my husband, we became pregnant. Despite this, my husband announced that he wants a divorce. Since I am originally from Europe, I’m considering a move back home rather than staying in this country where I have friends but no family. But I wonder if this is the best decision for my child.


Dear Heide,

My heart goes out to you in this very difficult situation. But I would encourage you not to give up hope. Because you are under such a great deal of stress, now is not the time to making major decisions. Give yourself some time and space to think through all of the alternatives available to you.

The research on divorce shows that if couples will slow down the process and seek outside professional help, many marriages can be saved. Although it may feel to you or your husband that divorce is the only option, in reality it’s not.

The fact is that children do better on every measure of well-being if they grow up in a home with a married mother and father. Even if a marriage is less than perfect, staying together is always better for your kids than getting a divorce.

If your husband has no desire to reconcile but is willing to take an active role in your child’s life, I would encourage not to you not to move back to Europe. Fatherlessness has profoundly negative impacts on children, and your son needs his dad.

On the other hand, your husband refuses to take responsibility for parenting his son, moving back to Europe to live with your extended family may be the best option. A loving grandfather or uncle can’t replace your son’s father, but they can certainly give him the male attention and affirmation he so desperately needs.

Thanks for writing Heide. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this post.

Discouraged, Trapped, & Burned Out

Dear Dr. Bill,

My husband and I have four children, ages 9, 6, 4 and 2. He’s a full-time faculty member at a Bible college where I’m a part-time student. We’re both in full-time ministry and love working with the students at the college.

But we’re having a problem over expectations about our home — and I’m struggling with resentment toward my husband.

He loves to have a neat and orderly house and has a tendency to go a little crazy when things are in disarray. I’ll admit that cleaning and organization are not my gifts — I’m much more interested in relationships.

I’m very hospitable and want to use our home as an outreach to the students we work with. But my definition of what’s presentable and my husband’s differ. I feel discouraged, trapped, burned out, and that none of my efforts are ever good enough! What should I do?

Lisa, let’s review here. You have four kids under ten years old, including a toddler. You are working in ministry full-time and going to school part-time. Your husband wants a neat and orderly house and feels it your responsibility to keep it that way. What’s wrong with this picture?

You need to sit down for a major pow-wow session with your husband and discuss your priorities and expectations. Basically, you are working the equivalent of two full-time jobs and going to school. If he wants a cleaner, more organized house, he should contribute 50% to the housework and do it with a cheerful heart.

There’s bigger issue at stake here. Somehow you’ve bought into the notion that you can “do it all”—be a wife, mother, student, and be committed to full-time ministry to college students. It’s time to take a hard look at your life and decide what’s really important.

I’d suggest you take a break from ministry, limit yourself to one class per semester, and focus on your children and your marriage. If you don’t, your stress, resentment and frustration is only going to get worse and your family is going to suffer.

Thanks for writing Lisa. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” tab on the Family Expert page.