I was pond-side on an old woven folding chair, Diet Coke in hand, when something rose up deep within me. It was the urge to jump up and shout, "Sit down!"
Our 2 teens were in a less than reliable boat, with a single paddle like a spatula stuck in a blender. Our 13 yr old son was standing in the front of the boat, casting his line, stirring up visions in my head of a capsizing boat, hidden branches below the water, etc. Things every mom's mind conjures up when we see too many stories on 20/20 or read forwarded emails. Accidents DO happen! I am a walking history of accidents (another post), but there's great value in APPLAUDING ADVENTURE. Just for the record, I did NOT stand up and shout, "Sit down!" or "Be careful!" to my young "growing into a man" son. And all was well. Our husbands need us to applaud their instinct for adventure.
As wives we hold great power to encourage our men to be MEN, and we have great potential to make them feel like weak boys who aren't equipped to take on the world. I speak as a wife of an adventurous husband who likes to take our children and do adventurous things. As a result, I've lost count of the times my head and heart have waged war over how often, how firmly, and how seriously I cry, "Be careful!" or even "I don't think so!" I know I'm not alone here. If men are meant to protect their families and provide for them through engaging the thorns and the ground, wives have to "let them out" to do their thing. It's a way to express love, and it motivates love in return. Too many men today find their only opportunity to attack and conquer through online gaming or an occasional vicious patch of crab grass - faint substitutes for the real thing. I wonder if they would want to do more "manly" things if we wives applauded their instincts for adventure (minus the "O, do be careful. Do you have your first aid kit?" comments).
When was the last time you read Genesis 22? It's the story of when Abraham took Isaac up the mountain for a "campout." Interestingly enough, it never mentions Sarah. She wasn't part of the assignment. Verse 8 says, "Abraham said, 'God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son,' because I will never hear the end of it from your mother, if He doesn't." Ok, that last part was mine ;) but can you imagine how different the story would've been if Sarah would've tried to convince Abraham to play it safe? We know she laughed once; maybe she laughed this time too. Maybe she fussed or laughed and it isn't recorded, but I doubt it.
"For this (see vv.1-4) is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." 1 Pt. 3:5-6
Considering the way God has wired men and the job He's given them to do, sometimes it's "frightening" to wives. But Sarah apparently didn't hang on to Abraham's robe or sneak and unpack the knife from the donkey, because he did what he was meant to do. He was a man who did what he was called by God to do. Check out the rewards in Gen. 22:17-18: blessing, offspring like the stars & sand, victory over enemies, blessing for all nations through him. WOW! I'm sure Sarah was really glad she didn't jump up from her folding chair and yell, "Get back here with my son!"
Now all this is not to say there aren't times when a wife sheds a valuable perspective on life that can serve to protect the well being of her loved ones, but I think we use that "does him good not evil all the days of his life" thing from Prov. 31 a little too often as an excuse to control activities, so we wives feel better/safer. (It will be tempting this summer while at the river or in the woods or at the beach.)
If we want our men to ACT LIKE MEN, leading us and providing for us and protecting us, then we need to create a climate that applauds their adventurous spirit and allows their instincts to be expressed. We have to trust the way God wired and tasked men in this life, in order to deal with what is "frightening." You don't have to start with sending your husband up the mountain to sacrifice your first born, but ask God to make you sensitive to the next time you have an opportunity to applaud your husbands adventurous desires, instead of crushing them. We can keep the first aid kit nearby, next to the Diet Coke. It sounds like that's how "her children" would've done it, and I'd love to be one of Sarah's girls. How about you?
I'm praying for each reader today .... you may get an opportunity to applaud adventure TODAY! Would love to hear about it if you do. :)
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