A good marriage is hard to find….and even harder to keep these days. It just seems that marriage has had a bad wrap, and generally, people are unwilling to commit in that way anymore. I, on the other hand, think that marriage is a gift. My marriage has given me countless good things, and I am a much better person because of all that my marriage has taught me, and so is my spouse. I am by no means a marriage expert, but I am a “self help” book fanatic, and I want a great and lasting marriage. Marriage books are often on the top of my “self help pile”. I’ve read enough to know that a solid marriage doesn’t just happen by coasting. It takes conscious and serious effort. Books by Bill and Pam Farrel have been in my bedside book pile for several years. It is really cool that Dan had the honor to tour with them on a February Valentines “Couple’s Night Out” tour. It was then that we realized how truly awesome they are!
Bill and Pam have written around 50 books (and counting!) to help strengthen the marriage and family unit. They not only know what they are talking about, but they practice what they preach. The Farrels are proactive in preserving a healthy, romantic, and dare I say, spicy marriage. With three boys and many grandkids, they are an inspiration. What I love about Pam is that she is always finding ways to keep the spark alive in her marriage, even after many years.
All of the Farrel books are insightful, practical and chock full of wisdom. One of their most well known and celebrated Books, “Men are Like Waffles, Women are like Spahgetti” is both simple and brilliant, and will help you gather some patience and understanding for that stranger you share the bed with.
Our daily life has been improved because of this book. Dan and I both work from home and on the road together, which we have loved, but that certainly widens the door for bumping heads and getting on each other’s nerves. I’ve noticed through out the years that we focus on work quite differently. If Dan has to interrupt my train of thought for a question, or to give me information, it’s not a big deal to me. I stop typing, talk to him a moment and keep going without skipping a beat. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, in fact it’s one of many things I have going on in my brain while I do my work. I can remember to switch the load of laundry to the dryer and stir the pot on the stove all at the same time as concentrating on my work. Dan, on the other hand, cannot handle his train of thought being interrupted so easily. He gets flustered and frustrated when I need him for something while he’s in the thick of his thoughts. When I read about Dan’s “waffle” brain in the Farrel’s book, I immediately thought back to a few of our work from home tiffs. It opened my eyes to the fact that men are simply hardwired differently than women. This is something I knew theoretically, but hadn’t thought of in relation to our every day run ins. I no longer thought of him as being impatient, unwilling to chat or connect with me or putting me second. The Farrel’s book helped me to realize that he was in the “work” compartment of his “waffle brain” and was not as easily removed from it as I was. My “spaghetti brain” is moving to and fro, with many thoughts intersecting, leaving me able to deal with many things at once – and that doesn’t make me better than him – just different. Our patience level for one another has increased just from this one tidbit of information, and we approach each other differently now. There are many more ways we are different. We are learning to accept, make room for and even use our differences as a strength in our marriage.
Since it is a best seller, I know that many of you may have already read this book, but what you probably don’t know is the story behind the book. Below, Pam shares the story of how the idea came to be, and how the fun and unique title was born. What a treat for us to hear the inside scoop and backstory from such a mainstay book in Christian literature. I encourage you to hunt for their books at your local bookstore or online. Your marriage will thank you. And, Bill and Pam, we thank you for continuing to give us such helpful marriage material. Congrats on many years of writing great books together, and writing your own beautiful love story. Thank you also for your fabulous waffles and spaghetti recipes below!!
Men are like waffles, Women are like Spahgetti
Everyone loves a celebration! In 2017, our publisher, Harvest House, will release a special “anniversary” edition of our bestseller, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and this version has many updates and we expanded with many additional tools to help bless and build a couple’s marriage. In addition, we will have a special online page with some extra fun, including some fabulous spaghetti and sauce and waffle and topping recipes. (Go to Love Wise for more info!). We will be crisscrossing the nation, enjoying the best waffles and spaghetti in mom and pop restaurants—and hopefully enjoying the meals with people who live in that city who have read our book!
Our Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti book has even been translated into 15+ languages, so maybe we will send Danielle some unique pasta or breakfast recipes from around the world a little later!
No matter where we travel, in the USA or overseas, we get the same initial question:
How did your book get its unique, original title?
Bill was serving as a Pastor and was also out in the community working with youth sports. Another dad asked him, “Bill, you and Pam have a great marriage. Can I bring my wife in and meet with you? “
After they settled in Bill’s office and he said, “How can I help?”
The husband then turned to his wife and said, “Go ahead!” and the woman began sharing, jumping from subject to subject, and the husband was obviously frustrated and needed some help connecting to his wife.
Bill, knowing the way God wired women’s brains with more connections between hemispheres said, “Think of her mind like a plate of spaghetti. If you follow a noodle around, you will see that it touches many other noodles. She is connecting her life to you.”
Bill then taught the husband some listening skills, and at the end of his wife’s sharing she was happy, felt valued and the husband felt relieved that he gained a new tool to better relate and care for his wife.
She then said to Bill, “So if women are like spaghetti, what is a man like?”
Bill replied, “That will be the next session.”
Bill began to pray for a food word picture that captured how social scientists describe the ability of a man to compartmentalize his thinking, one issue in each compartment. One day, soon after, our sons were making waffles, and God prompted Bill to see that a man’s mind is like a waffle, with individual compartments, separated by walls, and each box contained one issue of topic.
Bill shared this principle with this same couple, and he helped them stay in one box, on ONE topic, ONE issue that needed solved and together they came to unity and agreement on an issue that had previously divided them.
Thus the title was born!
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” – Romans 15:7
*Stay tuned for more marriage fun with Pam next week – the week of LOVE!!! In the meantime, here’s a couple great recipes to try out on your significant other! ….
Pam’s Hawaiian Waffle Toppings
On those mornings you need a hearty breakfast yet have only a few minutes, I like to pop VAN frozen waffles in the toaster (they come in many flavors including a gluten free option). Then chop into small bite-sized pieces:
Several slices fresh pineapple
Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries (whatever you have on hand or is in season)
Sprinkle with fresh grated coconut and/ or chopped macadamia nuts
For more protein, before adding fresh fruit toping, add a layer of macadamia nut butter, then add the fruit toping.
(The fruit topping can be made the night before (except the bananas which will brown so slice last minute). For a more syrup-like consistency, take some of the fruit topping and puree in a blender and pour on waffle first, then add toppings.
Bill’s Family Friendly Spaghetti Sauce
This is one of our family’s favorite meals. We like it best over spaghetti squash (which makes it lower calorie as well. Bake the spaghetti squash earlier in the day as the sauce is very quick to create while the squash can take an hour or more depending on the size). Other quicker options are boiling and serving gluten free pasta, or traditional pasta noodles, which are often ready in just minutes.
In a fry pan, brown several Italian sausages (we prefer a spicier, zippier flavor).Once browned, slice up the sausages and keep in the pan. Then add in:
Fennel and Italian Seasoning, fresh oregano and fresh garlic to taste
Red wine vinegar or balsamic
Simmer until warm. Serve on top of squash or noodles.
Top with fresh Parmesan or a Romano mix cheese.