I have noticed something about myself as a guy that I think other guys can resonate with as well. And I find it troubling.
It’s the misconception that the battles I face and the brokenness I experience are unique to me. I think of it this way. As I view my own life and the emotional and spiritual discouragements that I encounter, I am looking for solutions. Meaning, I want my problems fixed. I want to cease doing whatever is tripping me up; I also want to change and add new habits that are going to propel me forward into certain victory.
College days. Some good times in life and a good time for my life.
I look back at what I thought I knew about life then and it makes me cringe. I envisioned I had a good perspective, but the decades now behind me remind that I was not as mature about life as I thought.
As of the time I published this post, it was over one month. One month that I have had no running water in my house. We live in a rural area and there is no such thing as “city water.” Water comes to houses by having a well drilled on your property. That was a new experience for me growing up in California suburbia.
I enjoy the outdoors and how it rejuvenates me. And one of the newer hobbies I have taken up is riding a fat tire bike. I have mountain biked for some decades now, but having a mountain bike with 4-inch wide tires is a whole new adventure. I ride with a group of guys and we bomb around out in the woods…trail or no trail.
I can roll over tree limbs and rocks, motor through mud patches or snow, and can climb about anything. And part of the fun is that I ride with guys who really know the sport and have an expertise about them. And being in my fifties now, I set a low bar for myself, and that is simply DO NOT DIE, so I appreciate getting the do’s and don’t’s of how to ride through and in certain conditions.
Why is it so difficult for me to make things right with my wife? I cannot tell you the number of times that I have replayed a situation or conversation in my mind, only to be both judge and jury and be found “innocent.” As a guy, I have this very unbiblical perception that being a “good husband” means to be shown right in all that I do or to never show weakness.
The very fact that I think this way at times only serves making things right that much harder.
We live in a culture that celebrates the “in only 20 minutes a day, you can have a body that looks like this!” mentality. In lives that just seem to get busier and busier, it makes sense on the surface that if I am going to change in an area, I want a process that is going to give maximum benefits through minimal resources or time.
The problem is that it simply does not work. And yet I seem to think that “maybe this one will be different, maybe this will one will actually take.” And like a mountain, I cannot climb it in “20 easy steps.” It is a step-by-step, day-by-day discipline.
If you have read any of my past blog posts about marriage, you would know that 99.5% of them are aimed at and written for husbands. And that is because, in my own experience, if there are problems in a marriage, there is a very high probability that the husband is leading counter to the vision of Jesus pursuing His church.
But to you ladies out there reading this, if you will stick with me, I might be able to offer you some helpful suggestions in providing for your man what he will immensely value.
We all experience seasons of life where we just feel “down.” Discouraged. Disheartened. Sometimes I find myself there because of a specific circumstance; other times I really could not tell you specifically why I feel the way I do. It is like wandering in a spiritual desert at times and I am not sure where the “exit” is.
My emotions wreak havoc and I find myself turning very introspective. The glass-half-full turns into the glass-half-empty and I start to view my world through a lens that does not take me anywhere profitable.
I feel like for me that marriage has been a lot of figuring out as I go. I got married 28 years ago to this woman for whom I declared my love and devotion. “Love and devotion” -seemed easy enough (enter chuckle about this point).
And from the time that I joyfully declared “I do” until now, learning the art of loving my wife has seen both some major overhauls as well as some fine-tuning to my thinking and actions.
I was recently up in Canada on a backpacking/canoe trip with my good bros from Pilgrimage. And one of the highlights of my week was our solo day, where we break off from our group, find a place in the woods, hunker down, and get with God.
I found a gorgeous spot on the shore of our lake, the sun was coming up, and my view was majestic. Warm mocha heated on my mini stove. Perfect place to chat with God and listen to God.