My hubby doesn't watch football ... but he hunts. Correction: he hunted. He doesn't have as much time to hunt now, which makes for a loooong face on the first day of hunting season. And he runs. He loves to trail run, but that's not something he can do around our yard, so he goes out in the woods for a while on his own or with a friend. But your hubby may watch football ... for what seems like months on end. I watched streams of men dressed in orange being drawn as if by a magnet to the stadium on Saturday, while I picked out yams and beans at the Farmer's Market. (While I did that, my hubby ran a 17 mile trail race - he is manly!) Some of them were accompanied by women dressed in orange, too, but with large "T's" hanging from their ears or embroidered on their skirts or painted on their flip flops. What is "that thing" your husband wants to do? And how do you feel when he is trying to do it?
Why DO men hunt, yell at other people playing football, golf, or run around mountains? I think of it this way ... God put them together to contend with the world as providers, defenders, and protectors, but today our men may find their battles are mainly mental. They may contend with mortgage rates and employees, but having a place to exert man-sized strength and determination may leave them empty. The lack of physical competition and challenge leaves some feeling disappointed and downcast or ... downright NOT manly. "Men of old" had lives full of arrows and guns and building and jousting and .... all kinds of man stuff. God designed the leaders of our homes to desire masculine things. Physical goals and successes build up a man's confidence to face the world and shelter those he loves. And he thought he was just going to a football game.... ;)
Our men don't need us to "be men" with them or for them, but they need us to put a stamp of approval on their desires to be men. Here are a few ways to show your man you support his "man-type" dreams:
- listen to him share (learn the lingo and pay attention ... eye contact, ladies!)
- let him spend $ (not talking about breaking the bank here) for his challenges (tools for battle)
- lighten up about having guys over (make snacks, don't interrupt, & make lemonade instead of lemons)
- love him by letting him have time to "go" (he'll be more likely to love being home with you)
1 Kings 2:1-3When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son."I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go...
It's not long after a little boy learns to speak that he declares things like, "I big! I strong." And before his words make sense, he'll throw all of his might into moving "Daddy-sized" things, accompanied by grunts and puffs. It's part of the fabric of a man, even when he's small. Encourage your man's desire to be strong physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It's GOOD for us as a couple when our man desires to be the protector, defender, provider he is made to be. When a woman values & applauds strength in her man, he is more likely to be strong.
After football season comes basketball season, and somewhere in there deer season starts. Of course the bowling alleys are always open. ;) Snow and cold won't stop the heart of a man to feed his manliness ... there's ice fishing and skiing and chopping wood. Spring will bring turkey hunting and fishing and boating. The "battlefield" your guy plays on isn't really the important thing, but every warrior wants to know he has a maiden back at home, waving his flag and cheering him on. So let's get our flags out, girls! There's a ball game or a hunting season with our man's name on it, and that mean's our marriages can do more than survive it ... we can grow STRONGER because of it!
Do you have a girlfriend who says she's a football widow or gets grouchy closer to hunting season? Send her this post. :) Really. And I'm praying for each one of you reading Marriage Mondays today! At a wedding this weekend, I heard the pastor say: "How God turns strangers into lovers is a wonderful mystery," and that may be even a little more true during football season. ;)
I'd love it if you'd leave a comment and let me know how you're encouraging your guy to "play"at the serious business of being a strong man!