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7 WAYS TO BE HER HERO
THE ONE YOUR WIFE HAS BEEN WAITING FOR
By DOUG FIELDS
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Doug Fields
All rights reserved.
Stop Chasing the Wind and Start Chasing Your Wife
When I was little, like most boys, I wanted to be a superhero. Specifically, I wanted to be Batman. He had cool gadgets and was a great fighter. When I became a hormone-filled preteen, I switched to wanting to be the Invisible Man ... for obvious reasons.
As I grew out of my superhero phase, my dream evolved to becoming a professional athlete. Week after week I devoured Sports Illustrated with anticipation of what I wanted my life to look like. I was inspired by men breaking tackles, sinking three-pointers at the buzzer, hitting walk-off home runs with the crowds going wild, and I imagined myself achieving similar greatness one day.
As I hit late adolescence, my athletic dream began to fade. I discovered that to become a professional athlete required that I actually had to be good at something. Even if I had been blessed with above-average athletic ability, I heard there was something involved in sports called practice. Just thinking about having to practice made me uncomfortable, triggering a love for Twinkies—which I became very proficient at consuming. So needless to say, I let go of that dream of being SI's Athlete of the Year.
But the dream of greatness never left. I still wanted it though I was not sure what path to greatness I wanted to chase. When I got married, I thought I might pursue greatness in the bedroom, but after thirty-plus years of marriage, my wife, Cathy, still has not given me a trophy. But I haven't given up.
Men inherently possess a desire for greatness. I am guessing when you were a boy, you never said, "I'm going to strive for mediocrity with the hope of never achieving anything." Yet somewhere along the way your dreams for greatness crossed the intersection of reality, and life hit you broadside. It's not that you gave up the hope for greatness; it's just that life got in the way: responsibilities, pain, disappointment, careers, relationships that required work—or didn't work at all—unreasonable and unmet expectations, marriage, children, you name it.
Here's the sad truth: when our dreams fizzle, we simply learn to settle for lesser dreams. In fact, many of us settle for the crap that the culture has sold to us about what men are supposed to be like: we are supposed to chase things, and we took the bait, hook, line, and sinker.
For men it turns out that the object of the chase is not the important thing. In fact, it is secondary. We can chase prestigious careers, piles of money, positions with esteem, accolades from corporate headquarters, power to control others, women to conquer ... whatever. It is the act of chasing that is important. But every man who has ever done the chase thing knows that even if we catch whatever it is we are chasing, the chase is never over. There is always something else to chase!
The sadder truth is it is never enough for men to chase after something. We want people (especially other men) to know that we have chased, captured, and won something along the way. This is why guys love trophies. It is interesting that an often-heard phrase is, "That's his trophy wife." You never hear, "That's her trophy husband." Why? Everyone knows women did not invent trophies. Guys did. Women invented other things—scrapbooking, Tupperware, and yeast infections—not trophies.
We are surrounded by this stereotypical, culturally correct man. He loves the chase, he works hard, he is strong, he has his pride, he conquers, he advances, he gets his way, he does what he wants, and when he drinks beer, he drinks Dos Equis.
Our culture paints the picture of a man's man who is driven by thoughts of, I've got to close another deal. I've got to sign another contract. I've got to buy more property. I've got to re-fi another loan. I've got to land another bid. I've got to get ahead of him. I've got to get that promotion. I want what he has. I've got to say yes to more. I've got to say yes to the chase.
It appears that a man's drive for the chase goes back thousands of years. The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes was written by one of the most successful and prosperous men to ever live, the wisest of them all, King Solomon. Solomon appeared to have it all. In his forty-year reign over Israel, he spearheaded massive building projects, including the first temple in Jerusalem. He collected thousands of horses and chariots. He amassed great wealth and treasure. He was very much into the ladies, having seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.
Seriously? He needed a thousand different women? I would hate to see his Visa bill after Hanukkah.
Solomon was a master of the chase. Yet, reflecting upon all he had accomplished, he wrote: "But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind" (Eccl. 2:11 NLT).
Sadly, we have bought into the cultural construct of manhood. We are addicted to the chase. We are busy, and our busyness validates our sense of importance. Yet we, like Solomon before us, are chasing the wind. We are too busy to notice that the chase is killing our souls, wounding our wives, and destroying our marriages.
Some of you reading these pages are having an affair. Maybe not with a woman, but with the chase. Your work is the object of your affection. Your phone is your mistress, and your laptop is your lover. The wind is getting your best efforts. When your wife carefully raises a caution flag about your busyness and lack of margin in life, you become defensive and blame her with a clever sentence like, "I've got to do all this so you can live the life that you want to live."
Really? Your wife may appreciate the lifestyle your chase can provide. But she likely would give it up in a heartbeat to have more of you in her life. She does not want your presents; she wants your presence.
Whenever I speak to women's groups, I hear them loud and clear that our chase is not their chase:
"I'd rather have him make less money and be around more."
"He's so engaged with work that he's not engaged at home."
"I used to think he did this for the family, but in the end, it's more about his ego."
Guys, you are driven to provide for the needs of your family. This is the grain-of-truth, the God-given wiring, and the sacred cog of the chase. But many of us have managed to bury the truth under layers of self-interest and self-fulfillment until the truth has been lost. The point of the chase has become the chase itself.
I am not suggesting you shouldn't work hard, but I am suggesting that if you are defining your value by the chase—by your ambition, your work, and your achievement—then you are simply chasing after the wind, and ultimately, it is meaningless.
Busyness has become today's new status symbol. We treat it as a badge of honor. Conversations like this happen every day:
"Hey, how are you doing? Stayin' busy?"
"Oh, I'm slammed! You?"
"Yep, totally in over my head!"
"Yeah, me too. Can't believe the season we're in right now at work."
"I hear you. Who needs sleep?"
"Glad to hear you're doing well!"
"Yeah, you too. Congratulations!"
I'm sorry, but that type of interaction borders on insane! Now, I don't want to give the impression that I am never busy. In fact, struggling with busyness is an ongoing challenge for me. But I am no longer impressed with my own busyness or that of others.
What I have learned (in my own life and in my observation of others) is that busyness is usually a sign of brokenness.
So when a guy tells me about how busy he is, it is usually a sign that something is broken within—either relationally, emotionally, spiritually, or a combination of the three. Here is the point: there is a price to pay for busyness, and it is usually very expensive.
The busyness you experience in pursuit of the chase is an archenemy of being your woman's hero. The chase robs you of depth in your relationships, particularly your relationship with the most important human being in your life: your wife. When you are addicted to the chase, you have no time for building or maintaining depth in your marriage. You lose focus on what really matters, and the people you love become all too familiar. As Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors, wrote:
He's an expert in robbing the sparkle and replacing it with the drab.... And his strategy is deceptive....
Nor will he steal your home from you; he'll do something far worse. He'll paint it with a familiar coat of drabness.
He'll replace evening gowns with bathrobes, nights on the town with evenings in the recliner, and romance with routine. He'll scatter the dust of yesterday over the wedding pictures in the hallway until they become a memory of another couple in another time....
Hence, books will go unread, games will go unplayed, hearts will go unnurtured, and opportunities will go ignored. All because the poison of the ordinary has deadened your senses to the magic of the moment.
The chase causes you to be overcommitted and underconnected. Something has to change, or your marriage will suffer the consequences.
Some years ago I performed a memorial service for a very wealthy man who died in his early fifties from the poison of busyness. It was a sad funeral. Everyone who spoke of the man talked about his work ethic, his vocational achievements (trophies), and his fortune. Clearly, he had been very successful in business. He owned multiple homes and had a lot of stuff that most people would consider the fruit of his labor. What I found tremendously sad was that he was a lousy husband and father. He was rarely home to enjoy his most valued possessions—his family.
Fast-forward a few years. I performed the wedding for this guy's widow when she remarried. Guess what? Her new husband is now enjoying the fruit of the dead guy's labor, which likely led to his fatal heart attack. I would like to ask the dead man, "How did all that chasing the wind work out for you?"
Here is the epilogue to this sad story: The man did not really want the toys. He wanted the chase. He died chasing the wind. The wife did not want all the toys. She wanted her husband. They both lost.
When we are addicted to the chase, we leave nothing to our wives but possessions and regrets. I will say it one more time, hoping that dawn will break over those with marble heads: Your wife doesn't want the presents your chase buys or the status your busyness conveys. She wants a vital and intimate relationship with you, and this requires your presence in her life. It requires you to make a proactive choice to invest your time and energy in your (one) life together.
And here is a bit of biblical truth to drive the nail home: There is only one thing on this earth the Bible talks about being one with. It's not your job, your kids, your ministry, your hobbies, your golf game, or your fantasy football team(s). It is your wife. And if you are chasing anything else at the expense of oneness with your wife, you are chasing the wind.
A hero is not created when a man chases the wind. A hero is created when a man recognizes he has been chasing the wrong things and realizes that his wife should be the object of his chase.
Husbands, remember the early days of romance with your wife? Remember when you chased after her, flirted with her, tried to win her attention, her thoughts, and her affection? Return to those days. Start chasing your wife again! Your relationship with her is far more meaningful than any money you will ever earn and far more important to your happiness than any work achievement you will ever attain.
Be her hero! Chase her. Don't stop chasing her. Ever. This is a chase worthy of addiction. It is one that will pay off with a healthy, vibrant, and growing marriage.
In many ways this book is a "Chase Your Wife" manual. After the next chapter (which is about sex), I lay out proven principles for keeping your marriage constantly exciting. Yes, that means finding secrets to more and better sex. Without the glue of physical and emotional intimacy on a regular basis (yes, I said "emotional intimacy," and you'll soon discover why), no marriage has a chance. For sure, prayer, Bible reading, and serving together are fantastic and needed, but if they are not combined with the glue of intimacy, you may end up an intact couple, not an intimate one.
I know you ... you don't want to settle for intact.
These seven secrets—that start in chapter 3—to becoming one with your wife, to not sucking as a husband, to being her hero in every way imaginable—are nearly everything I know about never settling for intact (and not letting her settle). While few men will be able to do all of them at once, over the course of several months or years, with God's help, a willing wife, and a little effort (okay, it will be one of the hardest challenges you have ever taken in your life), you will have what you signed up for when you said "I do."
Why? You finally will be doing what you said you would do when you said "I do" even though you had no idea you would actually need to do what needed doing. Got it?
Never mind. Let's get to chapter 2 and talk about sex.CHAPTER 2
How It Got Laid
Catchy chapter title, don't you think? Pardon my literary device, but I was hoping to grab your attention. It worked, right? You are such a guy.
But now that you have started this chapter, keep reading, as what follows is important. (And if you skipped the introduction and chapter 1, hoping to jump right into the good stuff, go back and read them now!)
The actions and skills I am challenging you to incorporate into your life come from a foundation that was laid long before you and I were gleams in our parents' eyes.
The Marriage Invention
Marriage did not evolve; it was God's invention. Sex was His idea! That's right; go ahead and say it with feeling. "Thank You, God!"
Perhaps you don't know a lot about God or the Bible. That's okay. But if you haven't heard this before, let me be the first to inform you that the Bible is not silent on sex, sexuality, or all-things-that-may-be-considered-sexy.
Want proof? Check out this Bible verse: "She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love" (Prov. 5:19 NLT).
How awesome is that? I know some of you are thinking, Dang, I never saw that verse in my Sunday school class. I know! I can relate. My parents sheltered me from the best parts of the Bible too. Because of that deprivation I have collected a whole journal full of Bible verses like this one. I figured these verses were a great starting place to memorize Scripture for me and my buddies. Let her breasts satisfy you always. Golden. I bet you already have that verse memorized. I know most of my friends will read that sentence aloud to their wives. But sadly, Scripture wasn't given to us to use like a club to prove a point, so you really can't tape that one to your wife's pocket mirror and ask her to obey. Sorry.
Did you know that the Bible has an entire book filled with sexual imagery, called the Song of Songs? It is a book in which King Solomon vividly describes what he wants to do with his love—it appears she had a great personality. And from what I've read, she was pretty hot and wild.
The Sex Is ... Well, Awesome!
I believe sex is one of the many proofs that there is a God. Sex was God's intelligent design.
If your mind hasn't already gone there, think about the female clitoris for a moment. Okay. That's long enough. If you don't know what it is (or know it by another name), it is part of the female genitalia. What is the purpose of the clitoris? This is not a trick question, and unfortunately there is not another Bible verse to memorize here. I want you to stop and consider the why of that little location on your wife's body. Its purpose is simply for pleasure. That's it! The clitoris plays no other biological function:
1. It doesn't help with urination.
2. It doesn't contribute to digestion.
3. And you can't use it to get better cable reception on your TV.
It is simply a female biological trigger for pleasure. Again, we pause to say, "Thank You, God. How wonderful is Your creation!"
It drives me crazy to think that evolution would get any credit for sex. Do you really think there could have been a caveman who accidentally discovered sex one day? Can you imagine Grog's hieroglyphic journal entry?
Grog run into tree. Ouch! Make face hurt. Then Grog run into Grogette. She soft. I like better. We fall down. I cheer her up. I call it sex.
In the first book of the Bible, we find the creation story, where God created this incredible playground we call Earth, and then He created man and woman. When He created man, "God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone'" (Gen. 2:18 NLT).
At least on a superficial level, it seems as though Adam has it all. And if he does have it all, isn't it all good? There was no smog, no traffic, no crowds, no tension, no politics, no mother-in What else could he possibly need—besides, of course, ESPN, UFC, and buffalo wings?
Excerpted from 7 WAYS TO BE HER HERO by DOUG FIELDS. Copyright © 2014 Doug Fields. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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