Wild at Start

Lately there have been a Ba-ZILLION posts about men… and specifically a particular book called “Wild at Heart“.  It’s the newest christchun phenomenon.  ((Who hasn’t done the 40 days?  At least twice? We’ve finally moved on, it seems…))  I’ve gotten more and more irritated as the blogs have been pouring in.

First, I need to preface for those who haven’t read the book (because I have).  John Eldredge wrote about about men having been demasculinized in our modern day by the demands of women and society, and he calls for men to return to what they were before.  The book’s premise is that there are three things every man wants: a battle to fight, and adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.

Now on the surface that all sounds pretty good… especially to a guy.  ((heh))  The whole macho thing being glorified and encouraged.  But I only see the two major kinks that makes the whole damn thing crumble.  And let’s start with the biggie:  If this is a call for men to return to what they were before, I just want to know:  BEFORE WHAT?

Brian and I listened our way thru Tony Evans’ series on a Biblical marriage.  It was fascinating.  Because he (Tony, not Brian) took the verses about how Christ loved the church, and applied them to men ((since guys are supposed to love their wives as Christ love the church, right?))  It involved claiming headship, honor, and (some other ‘h’ word)… and then, on behalf of the wife, sacrificing, sanctifying, and (some other ‘s’ word).  But the main point was that as Christ was head of the church, so should a man be head of his home.  The warrior-leader.  With a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.

Now (and I beg your pardon my cynicism) but… this is horse-crap.  First of all, men don’t take full headship of a family.  It’s easier not to.  You put things off, and pretty soon she’s paying the bills because if she doesn’t, they’ll be forty dollars higher than they need to be.  Each.  Every month.  So much for financial headship.  You really enjoy that TV show or that magazine, and pretty soon she’s in the kitchen crying because she’s been home alone all day, and when you got there, you had better things to do than pay a *little* attention to her.  She feels unloved, abandoned, alone.  You haven’t even made her *feel* like a beauty!  ((I’ve seen my MIL at the table in this exact scenario. Not pleasant, btw.))  You really don’t care when the family meets for the holidays, and don’t know your brother’s wife well enough to buy for her, and it’s easier to just let your wife do all the shopping… and you’ve never been any good with presents, so she’s doing all the wrapping and trying to coordinate families while people are testy over the phone with her… and you’re not head of your family anymore.  There’s a beauty begging to be rescued, a battle to be fought, and you’re just too damn lazy.

My grandma was spiritual head of her household.  My mother was spiritual head of her household.  My aunt is spiritual head of her household.  N is spiritual head of her household.  I am spiritual head of our household.  I have found that men have not taken up the ‘adventure’, fought the ‘battle’, or rescued the ‘beauty’.  It’s bogus, y’all.  And those were just examples citing spirituality.  Even in nonnie households… my MIL gets what needs to be done done, and makes the decisions.  It falls on her shoulders because he ain’t a’gonna do it.  My next door neighbor, my mom’s best friends (ALL of them), the ladies in my theatre group… every single one of them shoulder the decision making and family responsibilities completely by themselves.  Hey, da man brings home the check, so you should just be glad y’got that much, right?

The only man I’ve ever seen head his home was Kevin (my first fiance)’s father.  He is the only man I ever saw actually live his faith out, and take responsibility for his family – rescuing the beauty, fighting the battles, and living an adventure.  I met him once.  Spent a day with him.  He changed my world in one afternoon.  So, having made such an audacious statements I have above, I need to clarify.  Not all men are that way.  But those who are not are in a miniscule minority not even calculable percentage-wise.  Saying you want something and actually going after it are two different things.   Sure, you can say you want to be head.  You can even claim the almighty title of ‘head’.  But what happens in that house can easily be a totally different scenario than the one you got goin’ on in your head.

I want to take you back.  After all, men want to reclaim what they were ‘before’, right?  ((grins)) Okay, let’s go to ‘before’.  It was a lovely little piece of Heaven called Eden.  There was only one man and only one woman, and so things weren’t too complicated.  No TV, no job stress, no financial worries, no in-law angst.  There weren’t even any kids to worry about.  There was perfection everywhere.  Hello… GOD was there!  It couldn’t have been any better.

Then came the Snake.  ((Oh, how I love snakes.))  The snake lied to Adam’s wife.  Jeopardized her.  There was a beauty to rescue, and a battle to be fought.  And adventure to live.  What did Adam do… back ‘before’ it all?   He let the woman shoulder the decision making and take responsibility.  It was easier, hey, he named the damn snake, she could deal with it, for cryin’ out loud.  He didn’t do what he was supposed to.  And that was specimen number one.  So I ask you again… you men want to go back to how it was… BEFORE WHAT?

And now let’s take it one step further… Women are to ‘submit’ to their husbands, according to scripture.  ((Tony Evans had three ‘s’ word for her, too, but that’s moot at this point.))  Submit not meaning be like a servant to him, bowing and being ruled over, but to allow him to be head of the family.  Now this is where I started laughing.  Brian could NOT figure out what my problem was… but here it is, simply:

Women cannot submit to something that isn’t there.  Okay, I’m with the Bible.  Men should be head as Christ is head of the church.  But if they aren’t (and btw, they aren’t)… then what in THE hell am I supposed to be submitting to?  Do you see why this *doesn’t* work?   If the man were fighting the battles, you don’t think his woman would be his second?  You don’t think she’d be at his back, giving him everything he needs?   Frankly, since she doesn’t have a rescuer, she has to do the rescuing herself.  And after a while, she just gives up on that lazy jerk on the sofa and does it herself – she’ll have to in the end, anyhow.  You don’t think I got sick of nagging Brian to help me talk about camping and the Snake with my mom for SIX WEEKS STRAIGHT??  And what happened in the end?  I had to fight the battle.  I had to rescue the beauty… namely, me.

Wild at Heart my ass.  Call me jaded, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  And I ain’t seen it.

And the second major problem with Wild at Heart?  The focus.  Even if John had a good premise, he blew it in the delivery.  How so?  Well, YOU have a beauty to rescue.  YOU have a battle to fight.  YOU need to get back to where YOU were before.  YOU-YOU-YOU.  Wrong emphasis, dude.  The man is still so wrapped up in himself that he’s not putting the focus where it belongs.  So even if he follows the book’s advice, he’s not thinking of the beauty he’s rescuing, he’s thinking of himself as the rescuer the book promotes.  He’s not thinking of the battle and who it will affect, he’s thinking of himself as warrior.  Do you see what I’m saying?  The focus is on ego.  It’s still promoting the man’s selfishness.  ((sigh))  Did Christ see Himself as the hero, the rescuer, the warrior… or the servant?  Ouch.

Anyhow, I just had to go there.  Because it drives me crazy when people jump on bandwagons without thinking.  And it really sucks when people get so close and still miss it…  which is why I gave up supplemental books.  They fall short.  There’s one book that will never fall short – and if you can get down all of the concepts in that one, you’ll be a far better man than the one Eldredge promotes.  You’ll be as Christ… who gave up Himself… for others.

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