Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.~ Joshua 1:9
You were born to be a hero.
You were created in God’s image and imbued with divine purpose to be a confident, compassionate, and wise leader. Confident in who God created you to become. Compassionate toward your wife. Wise to grow and recognize the choices you have, then take action. Protect, provide, problem-solve, please.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you measure up. Maybe you remember a time when you were overly confident. That usually happens at the beginning of your Adventure.
Remember Luke Skywalker? As a young man at home on Tatooine, he was sure he had what it took to become a Jedi. He was desperate to leave his uncle’s moisture farm to pursue his destiny.
But a hero’s confidence is frequently mixed with self-doubt.
No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.~ Master Yoda
After Luke’s not-yet-completed training with Master Yoda, he remained confident he was doing the right thing. Despite Yoda’s advice, he left prematurely to rescue Princess Leia and Han Solo. But he still lacked the wisdom and maturity of a disciplined Jedi. Although grace got him through a dicey situation in Cloud City with Lando Calrissian, he had so much more to learn. So he returned to Degobah.
Every hero is on a journey, including you.
Alejandro de la Vega was an angry young man who wanted revenge. But he lacked the necessary discipline and self-control. As apprentice to the aging Zorro, he learned to bring greater good to his people, rather than to merely settle for killing the man who killed his brother. And he won the heart and hand of a beautiful woman in the process.
What does the Bible say about becoming a hero?
The Old Testament, in particular, is filled with stories of everyday men who became heroes.
- Joseph, who started out with a vision and a bucket load of arrogance. He learned what he needed to learn the hard way. And he saved his people from famine.
- Joshua who eagerly sought the presence of God alongside Moses. He followed behind the great leader for decades. Then he was the man who led his people into the Promised Land.
- Gideon who was so afraid that he hid in a wine press, grinding grain. Through divine visions and wisdom, this noteworthy doubter was able to defeat his much more powerful enemy.
The list of heroes goes on and on.
Each man experienced an alternating mix of confidence and self-doubt. Each man in each story had a guide. Some were guided by the Spirit. Many had a fellow human who knew something they didn’t and was willing to impart their wisdom.
- Joshua followed Moses.
- David listened to Jonathan.
- Timothy was mentored by Paul.
When it comes to understanding your wife, who is guiding you?
Many who are your willing guides are making the same mistakes you are.
- They avoid conversations with their wives. I remember one couple I interviewed as a mentoring candidates in a local church marriage ministry. The wife continually talked over her husband. He told me that whenever he has something important to say to his wife, he writes her a letter. Yikes!
- They put down their wives. A well-known Christian author, the one who likes to talk about the importance of love and respect, routinely makes fun of his wife during his public presentations. I can only imagine how disrespectful his is to her at home.
- They bully their wives. Others propose that you need to be tougher than she is. After all, you’re the man, so you’re “the boss.” Another not-so-pleasant experience for your wife.
Others believe you should be more like a woman if you want a happy marriage. I wholeheartedly disagree with that idea!
The field of psychology is replete with feminist theories of human development and behavior. Some are in-your-face radical. Most are covert in their assumptions about what makes behavior healthy or dysfunctional. Men and women are different. Always have been. Always will be. I’m not sure why proponents of mental health think one gender is better than the other. It’s always seemed really weird to me.
Almost every couple’s counselor insists than men need to be more emotionally vulnerable with their wives. They don’t seem to realize how sensitive men are to their mates. I’ve watched training videos where the woman verbally attacks her husband, and the therapist gets on the man’s case when he defends himself. That’s never been a technique I used. There are so many more productive ways to handle couple conflict. Neither partner should feel like the therapist has just thrown them under the bus!
That said, there is a very reason you should pay attention to your own feelings.
I’ll share what I mean by “The Power of Emotion” with you next. Hang in there with me. I’m confident you will be more confident when the purpose of your feelings makes more sense to you.