I’m afraid I have been lax in keeping up with the latest women’s magazines, but a recent Wall Street Journal column by Joe Queenan sent me to the Redbook website to seek an article he cited about things a woman never should to say to a man. Among the unmentionable comments: “Your tummy is so cute.” “Do whatever you want.” “You’re just like your dad.” I fully agree with Queenan’s observation that men wouldn’t particularly mind any of those comments, and many of us actually would be honored by the last one.

At the website RedbookMag.com, I didn’t find the column Queenan was citing, but I found another list—they must be really big on lists—about 10 things not to say to a man you love. Maybe the love dimension made a difference, but I found this list much more reasonable. Among the comments they suggest avoiding:

“If we leave right now, we’ll have time to stop by Bed Bath & Beyond.”

“Do you need help lighting the grill?”

“I’m putting this whole conversation on my blog.”

“You had so much hair back then!”

“We’re vegetarians now.”

“My dad can fix that; you should call him.”

It got me thinking about comments that preachers would rather not hear from their members, a list that might include:

“We’ve decided to send our tithe to Joel Osteen’s church this month.”

“That new preacher down the street preaches much shorter sermons than you.”

“I’m pretty sure I heard most of today’s sermon on Chuck Swindoll’s radio program last week—and he did it much better.”

“Thanks for today’s sermon. That’s the best half hour of sleep I’ve gotten all week!”

“Charles Stanley is such a good preacher. You should listen to him to get some pointers.”

Perhaps the worst: “I heard the church is creating a pastor search committee. What’s that all about?”

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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