Now that we’ve talked about a lot of different things that your wife needs, we are going to talk about her need to partner with you in a great adventure.
Stereotypically we think about adventure as being a man-thing. You know, boys doing stupid stuff, potentially getting hurt, and grinning ear to ear afterwards, saying “That was awesome.” And that’s true, and most men enjoy some type of adventure.
Quick Sidenote: (If you don’t enjoy doing stupid things and living a risky life, that does not mean that you’re not a man! Too often our culture creates these Gaston caricatures of what manhood means. True adventure means following God and obeying His simple commands, loving your wife and family well, and doing your work with wholehearted passion and excellence, and living a life of integrity in your community. That’s an adventure if you let Jesus lead you in it.)
Following God is Adventure
So my point is that adventure is a lot more than just the great outdoors and guns and engines and risk. The book All In by Mark Batterson captures it well when he says “When did we start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? That faithfulness is holding the fort? That playing it safe is safe? That there is any greater privilege than sacrifice? That radical is anything but normal? Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous.”
Daily Obedience is Adventure
Our lives should be marked by the adventure of aggressively following Jesus in faith through every step of the way. And here’s the next part – your wife deeply longs to live that adventure with you. She wants to be a part of something big, with you. Now, sometimes something big actually looks pretty small. So, sometimes living the adventure will look like tackling a home improvement project together with your wife over a long weekend. We groan. Why? Because we know that too often this goes badly. And in fact, that’s proof that it is an adventure. Most adventures can go badly if we don’t do them right. If we don’t bring the right gear on a camping trip, it can be miserable. If we don’t plan ahead before an epic trip to a foreign country, we’ll have a lot of problems. And if we don’t tackle the repainting of your daughter’s bedrooms this weekend with prayer and humility, then chances are, it will be more like a misadventure or a disaster and less like an adventure. These things are an adventure because the end is not guaranteed! A day in the hammock is nice, but it’s not an adventure for exactly the reason that it’s easy. And don’t get me wrong, we need those days also! Relaxing and playing with your wife is crucial. Maybe I’ll talk about that someday. But today I’m talking about your wife’s need to live in adventure with you. To accomplish a task. To be involved. Something meaningful and important.
It’s What We Do!
Guys, we get this. Or maybe we don’t get it, but we just do it because it’s hard-wired in us. Engrained in us. We go to work, and on our good days we look at what needs to be done and we knock it out, we conquer it, we tackle it, we crush it. We go to the gym, and we push ourselves and do better than ever. We always need to feel like we are accomplishing something and making progress, like we’re getting closer to the goal. We’re piling up some money, or building up our network, or building up our skills. So we get it. The metaphorical mountain is there, so we climb it.
Men, don’t live like a solo vigilante from an old Western. What we need to do next is to slow down a minute, look around, and see how we can get our wife involved. See how we can partner with her. Or maybe, you can see what she’s doing, and figure out a way to partner with her. Maybe she has a passion that’s in her heart and you can come alongside her and help her to unlock it. After all, God made us to need each other. So she needs you, whether she acts like it or not. This blog is a great example of that. I get the true honor and privilege of partnering with my wife to fulfill her dreams and to carry out her mission. And it’s a blast! I’ll tell you what, we’re the closest, and the most in love, when we are working together on something important and meaningful. Don’t get me wrong, God doesn’t call all of us to blog or start an orphanage or do anything that the world might call extraordinary. Today’s mission may be as simple as figuring out how to break through to your child who is being defiant. Or it might mean tackling that closet that irritates her every time she tries to find something. It may be to help your kids grow up into responsible adults (That looks like reminding them to do their kitchen chores BEFORE they watch TV so that she doesn’t always have to do it.) It may be something pretty mundane or even unpleasant, but I promise you that even the small steps of partnership can lead to connection, joy, and love. Like backyard camping, these small things can serve as practice for the truly great adventures that lie ahead.
What Adventure For Us?
So men, take some time to pray today about what adventures you can invite your wife into. What adventure is she desiring that you can support? Join with her to accomplish it. What adventure is she pursuing that you can come alongside her and partner with her and support her?
Credit Where It’s Due
Note: this concept comes from WAH Captivating. If you’ve never read it, it’s not a bad idea. They have identified that every woman desires to be romanced, to reveal life and beauty to the world, and to play an important part of a great adventure.
As I help my wife to live out these core desires I will help her come to life!