A men’s breakfast can be fun and still have a greater purpose than eating and conversation. When organized with a larger objective in mind it can be a great way to bless people and a means to live out the Gospel.

Today’s episode is about my Men with Waffles breakfast and the impact it had on others not even in the room. Especially women.

Breakfast with a friend

 A few weeks ago my friend Randy was in town for the Christmas holiday. We used to go to the same church, but his job change meant a move to Pittsburgh. He and his wife are still closely connected with friends they have back in Wisconsin where I live, and they try to get back here at least once a year to see everyone.

Before Randy got to town he texted me and asked if we could meet during his Christmas visit to Wisconsin. It’s always an invitation I cannot turn down. So we got together for breakfast one morning. We caught up on each other’s lives in ways that seemed like he had never moved away, even though it’s been almost 9 years. That’s the way it is with good friends you haven’t seen in a while.

When it came time to order, I chose eggs. Randy ordered a waffle.

This unimportant event reminded me of waffles in a more significant context that Randy and I were part of several years ago. I’ll you about it. It’s my Men with Waffles story.

This calls for a men's breakfast

It happened during the time I was teaching an adult Sunday school class at our church. Randy and his wife Kathy were part of that class. My story picks up after the class took a break for Christmas one year. We resumed shortly after the new year, and at the beginning of that first class of the year, we chatted about how everyone’s Christmas went. It was then we all discovered something unusual. 

Five men in our class of about 30-35 received a waffle maker for a Christmas gift. All of the waffle maker recipients were husbands, which to me seemed a high parentage of the class to have received this uncommon Christmas gift. I don’t think any of the wives collaborated on these gifts for their husbands.  

Although I did hear a rumor of an unmarked white box car parked near the church one day, selling shrimp, pictures of Elvis on black velvet, and … waffle makers. It’s just a rumor, so don’t quote me on it.

Anyway, here we have 5 guys with brand-new waffle makers. It just seemed fitting that we needed to do something to note this out-of-the-ordinary event. So I talked it over with my wife, Janet, and got her okay to host a men’s breakfast at our house where the 5 men with their new waffle makers would bring them and make waffles for all the guys in our class.

Event planning

We set a date for a Saturday morning that most all of the men could attend. Those with the waffle makers were to bring them and all the necessary ingredients to serve everyone.  In addition to waffle batter, guys brought fresh strawberries, whipped cream, sausages, and orange juice. I supplied coffee, plates, and utensils.

It was a feast!

In planning for this men's breakfast, I wanted to add a little structure to it that went beyond just men with waffles sitting around and talking for a few hours about what men usually talk about when women aren’t around. You know, their children, their mother, and what they were making for supper that night. Things like that.

So here’s what I did. I set up an easel with a flip chart with pages of blank butcher paper about 2½ by 3’  in size.  And before we started the waffle extravaganza, I said to the guys something along the lines of 

Sometime this morning, in between eating your waffles, I’d like each of you to come over to this easel, take a marker and write down on the butcher paper one thing you appreciate about your wife. One sheet of paper per guy, then rip off the paper when you’re done. When we finish eating we’ll go around and each person gets to share what they wrote.

With that, the waffle-making commenced. I thought the men who were not making waffles would come over right away to write something on the paper. They didn’t. not one.

Was this men's breakfast a mistake?

“Oh great, I thought. This is surely going to bomb. They just want their waffles and nothing more. What was I thinking? How embarrassing. What a dumb idea.”

Well, at least the waffle makers will get a proper inauguration, and everyone will be fed, I thought. I must say, the waffles with all the trimmings were magnificent! My friend Randy was there and he will testify to it. They were far more impressive than the waffle he ordered at our recent breakfast.

I made sure to take photos of the whole event. I’d be happy to show them to you after dinner at your house sometime. Wednesdays work best for me, though I’m flexible. The last time I mentioned this one of our listeners actually had Janet and me for a delicious soup supper.  It was on a Saturday evening, so you see I am flexible.

Anyway, as we were eating and talking I tried not to think about how no one was going over to the easel to write anything. But then to my relief, the guys did start to trickle over to the easel to do what I asked, like slow drops of water dripping off an icicle on your roof when its 34 degrees outside.

What husbands wrote

Slowly, one by one they came. Each one writing down one thing they appreciated about their wife, then ripping off the paper and rolling it up to take with them.

As we finished eating our waffles (did I mention it was a gastronomic delight?) and then cleaning up the kitchen, we found our way into our living room. With everyone seated, I then asked each guy to show what they wrote.

Mike wrote, “I appreciate how Vicki plans fun things and makes everything more fun!”

Bill wrote, “I love Rachel’s tender lovingkindness”

Scott’s butcher paper read in big bold letters, “I appreciate how Marci makes me laugh after a stressful day t work.”

Dick wrote this about his wife, “I appreciate Kathy for her loving and caring nature.”

Gregg’s sheet of paper read, “I appreciate Marian’s sense of adventure and insights into relationships.”

Another Mike in our group wrote, “I appreciate Gail’s sense of humor and her ability to make me laugh.”

Brad wrote, “I appreciate Elizabeth’s steadiness and her reality check.”

Randy, our friend who later moved to Pittsburgh, wrote, “I appreciate Kathy’s genuine faith and her love for our daughter Molly.”

And then I wrote, “I appreciate Janet’s sky blue eyes, her wisdom, and her love for our kids and grandchildren.

There was one more from Allen, which I will tell you about in a minute.

After everyone shared what they appreciated about their wives, guys hung around for a while and then left.

The men’s breakfast aftermath

With everyone gone, I then went through all the photos I took and arranged them in a slide presentation to show the next morning in our Sunday School class so the wives could see what their husbands wrote.  There were photos of making the waffles, candid shots of men sitting around talking, and most importantly, an individual photo of each husband holding up a large piece of paper on which he wrote something he appreciated about his wife.

To the photos in the slideshow, I added a soundtrack. A recording of the late Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” with his daughter Natalie Cole dubbed in to accompany him to create a romantic ballad duet.

So imagine you’re a woman in this class and you see this slide presentation of what these men wrote, accompanied by Natalie Cole and her late father singing “Unforgettable.”

So many “oohs” and “ah’s.” The loudest of which came at the end when the photo of Allen appeared and what he appreciated about his wife. Allen was a man of few words.  I think it’s fair to say he was the quietest man in our church. On his butcher paper he wrote in large bold letters simply, “I appreciate Carol.”

He couldn’t bring himself to name just one thing he appreciated about his wife, it was Carol in her totality that he appreciated. The ladies loved it.

A men’s breakfast with a purpose

Now you might be thinking why would I do such a thing? I mean what does our men with waffles breakfast have to do with church and studying the bible?  My answer is everything. Everything in the 12th chapter of the Book of Romans, especially verse 10 where the apostle Paul writes, “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.”

Our class had been studying Romans 12 and what we did at our men with waffles breakfast was one way we could honor the wives in our class – to express what we appreciate about them.

So how about you?

There are so many ways we can honor people. It benefits the other person, certainly. But it also can bring a measure of delight into the person doing the honoring. 

It’s another way to spread a little relational sunshine around the people we meet. It sparks joy in both them and you. Above all, it reflects the character of God. It’s part of God’s character to bless us, to affirm us, and we can do the same thing with others.

And you don’t have to organize a men's breakfast like I did. You can honor someone like Randy did with me by saying, “Hey, you want to get together? I’d like to spend some time with you.”  It’s that simple. And it’s that profound.


As we close up shop for today, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode. I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to think of a way you can bless and honor someone by telling them what you appreciate about them.

For when you do, it will help you experience the joy of relationships God desires for you. Because after all, You Were Made for This.

Well, that’s it for today. If there’s someone in your life you think might like to hear what you just heard, please forward this episode on to them. Scroll down to the bottom of the show notes and click on one of the options in the yellow “Share This” bar.

And of course, especially this week, don’t forget to spread a little relational sunshine around the people you meet this week. Spark some joy for them.  And I’ll see you again next time. Goodbye for now.

Other episodes or resources related to today’s shows

172: How to Develop Deeper Relationships

139: Why Should I Listen to This Podcast?

021: The Most Important Relationship of All

Prior and most recent episode

210: Word of the Year for 2024: Curious

All past and future episodes    JohnCertalic.com

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