Forgive me if I talk too much about this new relationship I have. But I’m learning and relearning so much, particularly since I was married for 25 years, and the new part of being in a relationship is so far in the distant past that it is brand new again. And after only about 3 and a half weeks of dating (and talking on the phone every day) I’ve already come up against that perennial thing that women are compelled to do: they want to change their man.
Before he ever asked me out, I had already stalked his Facebook page. (Hey, if he’s going to publish it, I’m going to read it, ya know?) And the most prominent thing on his page was a long quote he had found somewhere that said, essentially, “If you don’t like who I am, then move right along.” Hmmm, I mused. Apparently his former girlfriend had already tried her hand at changing him, and he wasn’t happy about it one bit. But who would be?
He and I are as different as salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, black and white. Like these things we are complementary, but very different. We also have very different interests. And as this thing unfolds, I keep wondering, “Really, Lord? I’m not getting my messages from you mixed up, am I?” And every morning, I pray, “Lord, be at the head and center of this relationship. Guide us.”
So when, last night, he told me on the phone that he likes to go gambling occasionally, I had to pause. Hmmm. What do I do with that one? There have been a couple of times already when he has told me things about himself and his history that have given me pause…things that have stirred up my holier-than-thou attitude, and made me want to take him and wash him in holy water (not that I’m Catholic). But each time, I hear a still, small voice that says, “But do you see his heart?”
Yes, in fact, I do. He is the most transparent man I’ve ever known. He has made a point of putting all of his cards on the table, so to speak, for me to view, so if there are any “deal breakers,” I can walk away now, before either one of us gets too involved. He’s wild at heart, just like the book by John Eldredge, and rough around the edges. At the same time, I’ve never been treated so gently and with such tender love as he treats me.
And so I wonder, really Lord? And lest you think that this relationship is not the Lord’s will, let me say that from the moment I met him, I was smitten. And I prayed and prayed and prayed over him, months before he asked me out. I asked the Lord to take him out of my head if it wasn’t His will, to take away the desire. I even went so far as to sign up for an online dating service to switch my focus away from him, only to have him ask me out within a week of beginning to receive “flirt” messages from all the online Casanovas who wanted to meet me. (Thank God. I really didn’t want to be shark bait.)
And so here I am, looking at him like so many wives look at their men, thinking, hmmm, if I could just tweak a few things…change some of his interests, get him to be a little more of this and a little less of that… And in the process, we miss what God wants us to see: his heart. And we forget to realize that God made men to be wild at heart. How else would they be equipped to go out and shoot an animal for dinner, erect a house out of logs, protect his property from invaders, and provide for his little woman? Why else were they given the brawn and the boldness, and not us?
Why don’t we, as women, celebrate the wildness of our men? What is a cougar, if stripped of its innate wildness? And if there is a little bit of taming to be done with our men, why don’t we trust the Lord to do the shaping and molding, because only He can do it in a way that preserves that wonderful wildness? Only the Lord can create a masterpiece, while we would most assuredly botch the job.
In a world where so many men have become like women, we need to celebrate the wildness of our real men. We need to give them room to be themselves and glory in the fact that they truly are different from us. They are more rough cut–which is why they are so attracted to the soft curves and more refined sensibilities of their women.
There are few things more tragic than a man who has been hen-pecked and nagged for years by his woman, who has abandoned or forgotten his need to be wild, take risks, live on the edge, and so he retreats to his easy chair, the computer, the TV, or pornography. Let’s do as Jesus would have us do–let’s look into his heart and love him for that. And let’s place him daily into the hands of Jesus, and ask Him to do the sculpting, even as we ask Him to sculpt us as well.
I just sent him a text message… “Good morning sweetheart…I’m writing in my blog about you…about how we as women need to celebrate the wildness of our men, especially in a world where so many men have become like women. So, wild man, go forth and conquer today. I love you.”
Perhaps your man could use a similar text?