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Married men have gargantuan responsibility to provide, protect, lead, love, be available for the kids, shepherd the family faith and most importantly wear the pressure that accompanies these responsibilities and burdens. In the midst of the battle, we also have the daunting assignment of cultivating and protecting that most mysterious marital commodity called – I-N-T-I-M-A-C-Y. You know – that unspoken, life-giving connection with your wife that feels like Christmas morning.
When it comes to the issue of connection between husbands and wives I am reminded of the cell phone commercial that asked: How many bars do you have?” Everyone gets it. The more bars you see displayed on your screen the better your connection. Now ask the same question measuring your connection level with your wife. Full bars? Two bars? No service?
Driven by love for his family and faced with seemingly insurmountable financial burdens, the lead character and mild-mannered father “Walt,”in the Emmy-Award winning television show “Breaking Bad,”decides to use his chemistry knowledge to make “fat stacks”of quick cash by “cooking”meth —an addictive, destructive and dangerous street drug.
Walt breaks bad, and despite attempts to keep his new business under wraps, the inevitable lies, deception and lawlessness catches up with him, ironically damaging the one thing he valued the most —his family relationships. The show’s popularity has captured tons of viewers, both Christians and non-Christians alike, helping make “binge watching”a new term for watching several episodes at a time.
At Every Man Ministries, we’ve caught the show’s bug too, and we think there’s more to learn about this show than just how to get caught up in the drug trade.
Here’s the key point: God’s in the breaking bad business.
In the “dating” universe predictable is synonymous with forgettable. But research shows that unpredictable and risky brings great rewards for the relationship – mainly memory muscles! Any man who wants a serious win with his woman (the bragging to friends kind) must understand this one thing: she loves thoughtfulness and imagination. They are the two main ingredients of unforgettable memories. New girlfriend? Wife of many years? This reality with you never goes bad, spoils, or fails to elevate her relational adrenaline and connection with you. Now – add God.
After unconditional acceptance and emotional intimacy, women rank spiritual intimacy at the top of what they want and desire from a man. That’s right, they like to see and sense a man of faith for sharing what’s most valuable with them interpersonally. So for your next date do the math before that nice(ish) dinner and movie.
Thoughtfulness + imagination + God’s purposes = unforgettable
The “anything-but-typical date” might look something like this:
Children are notoriously impatient – antsy is more like it. Mine were forced to hold my hand, stand in line at the hardware store, and forced to go “shopping” with mom. The waiting game inevitably broke them down emotionally – it’s called a meltdown. We had the “sit, flop, and fume” to the “Slap-the-toy out of your hand you are dangling in my face” to the “pouting Pearl Harbor” complete with explosions of anger and tears. On long drives to my parents every Christmas they all asked “Are we there yet?” Kids, right?
Men are just bigger versions of our “mini-me’s” with bigger needs and bigger destinations, but the same impatience – especially with God who, like our parents, does not wear our watch. We are trained by an “easy button” culture to believe that both private and public delays are the enemy. We are trained to lust after the product not endure the process. We work hard to ensure faster, smoother, and easier exactly to avoid slower, more difficult, and harder. Then life happens. Delays happen that we didn’t plan. Denials happen that we never expected.
- Tue Aug 19, 2014
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Unplanned events like a major loss, trauma or injury occur, often force a shift from Plan A to our trusty backup Plan B in life. In the last few days and weeks, we’ve witnessed a horrific compound fracture sustained by NBA great Paul George, an apparent suicide of comic legend Robin Williams, death of actress Lauren Bacall, reported crucifixions of Christians in Syria, and on-again, off-again truce between Israel and Gaza.
Remember playing the game Battleship? The opponent would call out a target such as, “B-10”and we reply with a “Hit”or “Miss.”Well, life has a way of dropping bombs in plans that may challenge our identity, our family, our marriage, professional status and even our faith. Like the game, the bombs hit where it hurts and we begin to sink.
These are only the newsworthy examples and a board game illustration, but I’m sure in all our lives, something has forced our Plan A to be sidelined so that Plan B could be called in.
We’re not alone. Even Jesus tried to call an audible before going to the cross, asking God for another way, a Plan B (Matthew 26-36-46). But ultimately, like Jesus, we need to resort to the fact there is a much better Plan G.