Sunday, February 3, 2013

This isn't a spectator sport

Hey guys. I know you're out there. I am getting way more traffic here than I expected. But, no comments or questions. This is not me on a soap box. I am not making big declarations that I have it all figured out. This is a journey. It has a moving target for a destination. By the time we have ourselves and our wives figured out, the circumstances have changed. We will never fully arrive. We are designed to pursue our game. They are designed to be pursued. So, I will never have all the answers. I keep finding new questions. Some of you have answers I need, I have some for you. I am a big boy. I can take a challenge if you don't agree with me. I am open enough to listen to another opinion. However, I know what I have been through. I know what worked and what didn't. An opinion without experience to back it up isn't worth much. I don't want to hear about Disney world from someone who hasn't been there.
Men don't normally ask for directions. Asking for advice or direction says that we aren't 100% sure or in control. No problem. Think of it as me asking you for help. Help me find areas to grow that I might not find on my own. There are lots of you who are older and wiser than me. Once, I told a much older friend that I was aggravated with the seniors in our church. He was confused and wanted to know why. So I told him. "You guys have seen so much more than I have. You have figured out things I don't even know need figuring out. You have life experiences that have been resolved, things I am struggling with right now. But you keep it to yourself. Even when someone like me is right here in front of you, totally open to whatever advice or criticism you may have, you don't give it. I see you as someone who has already worked their way through a mine field and won't share the map." He took that well. We ended up spending a lot of time together. I learned a lot from him over the next few years. He died a few years ago. Huge loss to everyone who never knew him, or let him speak into their lives.
We all have friends, mentors and protégées. People we just hang out with because like each other. People who are helping us grow. People we are helping grow. Don't we? If not, make it happen. I sat under Bishop Sam Drye and his amazing wife Rheba Drye for a lot of years. They poured so much into me. They taught me that "success without a successor is ultimately failure." Someone needs your wisdom, might be me.
As for friends, we need them. People we just like to be with. Maybe they make us better, maybe we make them better. Maybe we just make each other laugh. The goal should be for your wife to be your best friend. You are going to have to work for that one. Women take that BFF thing REALLY serious. They don't just decide to be best friends, you earn that.
So. Get off your butt. Grow up. Participate. Make yourself someone who your wife wants to be with. Humble yourself, let someone teach you things. Shut up once in a while and just listen. Seriously, especially when your wife is trying to give you the answer. Even if she is yelling the answer while throwing dishes at you. Listen to her. Even if the answers are buried in her anger. It may be the only way she will express herself to you, after you have pissed her off. Listen, hear, ponder, etc.
And while you are doing all this impressive self improvement, don't be afraid to ask questions and/or share some of what you are learning. They may need to hear it. I might. Heck, your wife might like to hear what you are figuring out. Trust me, she will let you know if you are right. She will probably pass out first or think she is dreaming. You... Asking for advice.... Or taking time to learn about relationships? Let me know what you figure out.

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