Content from Fathers Helping Fathers
“Want to be humbled? Get married. Want to be healthier? Get married. Want to know why God put you on earth? Get married.”
Last week I talked a bit about sympathy. I talked a little bit about pain. Today, I’m talking about men finding their spirit, and being all they can be. And the best place for that is in the institution of marriage.
Now realize I’m not an expert, and I will tell you up front, I don’t even know why I’m talking about this. But as I see and hear men talk about the frailness of their understanding of why they got married, and in some cases, remain married, I’m admonishing both sides of the fence that marriage is about commitment, and as George Gilder in “Men and Marriage” stated, marriage is a civilizing institution.
Think about that. For those of you who wish to argue, Aristophanes knew this when he wrote the play “Lysistrata.” throughout history, there are stories of men fighting wars, because they believe were protecting, or it would in some way provide a better life for the women they loved. Yet what starts out as love can quickly turn into something more beautiful or end like Brad and Jennifer.
Unfortunately too often what we view as marriage is idealized to the point that if it’s not perfect all the time, then it’s time for a new one. Here, both women as well as men are guilty. What’s up with that? How can men become true fathers if they don’t stay with the mother of their children long enough to raise these children to become mothers and fathers on their own. That’s an American tragedy today. Not the divorce rate, which is one of the highest in the world. The real tragedy is many of our kids don’t know what a normal picture of a family is, because too few see it.
Gilder claims that “men will only own up to their paternal obligations when women lead them to do so and that this civilizing influence, balanced with proper economic support is the most important part of maintaining a productive, healthy living society.” Now that was a lot to throw at you. But think about it. Men may be clueless, but we are clueless because women, since Eve, have cheated. You ate the apple first, so you got the playbook first.
Men play by rules. Cause we’re men. We intellectualize situations, and we love to fix things. Again, it is because we’re men. But sometimes we are clueless, not because the rules have changed, but because the game has been change. The field we’ve been playing on for the pass weeks, months, even years, gets totally altered. And not only is it our fault because we didn’t listen or see the signals. When we admit to our mistake and ask to be told what game we’re playing…what are we told? That’s right. “Do I have to tell you everything?” Or the “if you’re so smart…figure it out!” Ladies, as much as we would like to do the figuring, it’s practically impossible to do that by ourselves.
Why is it so complicated? I don’t know…but unless we find some answers, abuse will continue, escalate and there will be more families without both parents…and in the end; it’s the kids who will suffer. And that’s why God put on this earth. If you have been blessed with children, your job is not complete until you die. That’s right! Dr. Kenneth Canfield tells us, a child never really grows up until their parents die.
It’s our job to prepare them to take over for us. It is our job to take care of ourselves. It is our job to help each other be the best husband or wife we can be. Marriage is supposed to civilize us, not castrate us.
So how do we do this? Well for starters…give it up. Guys, we have a tendency to blame everything on that time of the month. Admit it! Sometimes we can be just plain heals, slobs, and babies. On the other hand, ladies, there is something to the time of the month when even if Jesus came to your house, He might get an ear full. So what’s wrong with admitting to this little monthly issue and find a way to handle it with civility? Tell him to get lost, if that what you want, but make sure you tell him not to go so far he can’t find his way home. Remember, we need to be told stuff.
Gentleman, don’t lump everything in this basket…around this time of the month, and mark it on your calendar…try. I say that again. Try to be more aware of what buttons not to push.
Find another couple. And this has nothing to do with swapping, but a couple you both can somewhat relate. Couples help each understand that four heads are better than one. Couples help cope with the adage, misery loves company. Couples help put things in the perspective that everybody isn’t doing it; marriage is worth saving; and a promise kept is better than perfection you’ll never get.
So men "be" humbled. Ladies get real. And couples realize that the heart and soul of the commitment you made when you said for better or worse, sickness or in health, richer or poorer. We have valleys so we can appreciate the mountaintop, and if you allow yourself to continue to climb, each mountain you climb will be higher than the last… and the view will be much better.
Hug each other. Try not to let a day go by when you don’t at least pray for God to bless the ones you love…and near the top, don’t forget yourself. Because sometimes we have to be humbled, so we can allow other people to love us and remember we are loved. Just a thought; for you men on the road to becoming fathers!.