As a new wife and not-yet mother, I remember sitting in on a lecture about raising sons. The speaker started off by sharing a conversation with her youngest son. When she asked his opinion on what she should say, his response was, “Tell the women: Feed ’em, Beat ’em & Treat ’em like a man.”
As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon: “I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man…” 1 Kings 2:1-2
Be a man. I’m not sure if women get how treat our men like men.
“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” -John Eldredge, Wild at Heart
I’m not sure we get this. I’m not sure we let our men be men. Oh we, criticize when they aren’t acting like men. We let them know when they don’t pay the bills, take responsibility, speak up, lead or be a father. We let them know when their passivity is on our last nerve. But do we let them be men?
Take some time this week to watch little boys play. They jump off stuff, the higher the better. They shoot things with sticks. They throw rocks. They eat dirt. They run fast, fall hard and growl a lot.
Somewhere a long the line we have told boys this is bad. We’ve told boys they need to be well-mannered, sit still and stop making fart noises with their armpits. That was bad. We need to let our boys be men. We need to let our men be men.
Whether it is jumping out of airplanes or investing in the stock market, our men need to risk something to feel alive. Stop telling him to be careful. Instead tell him to go be dangerous.
They need to feel the rush of battle and the pleasure of victory. I know this because the collection of dead animals on my wall is growing. Your man needs something to conquer, something he can dominate. Maybe its a building project or a business deal for your man. Let him engage the battle, cheer him on and be there to relish in his victory.
Instead of telling him telling him there’s not enough money to pay the electric bill or he didn’t dress the kids right, tell him he’s got this. Stop reminding him of his failures or creating new failures for him. Speak life to your husband. Let him know you believe he has what it takes. Let him know you believe in him.
“True femininity calls forth true masculinity. We awaken it, arouse it in a way that nothing else on earth even comes close to.” -Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s soul.
Draw out the man in my husband today. Grow his courage and his strength. Help me to cheer him on in his battle. Give me the words to draw out the warrior in him. Lead him in his quest and show me how to walk beside him in that adventure.
In Jesus Name. Amen