I was up before the sun this morning with a friend. We were enjoying some early morning coffee together. I had my French Vanilla brew, he was sipping the strong black blend. The coffee shop was laced with Christmas decor and the music in the background was softly playing 80's music...the best music by the by.

We found ourselves talking about the desires of a woman's heart and how terrible we are at being husbands to our wives at times. It's true, we do need a kick in the pants sometimes when it comes to speaking things into our wives and drawing things out of them. We are deer caught in the headlights of oncoming traffic most days...we know we should move but somehow feel paralyzed in the moment.

But we talked a little about the desires of the man's heart today. Something, strangely enough, that I don't talk about with many men. I know my shortcomings. I'm intimately acquainted with my inadaquacies as a husband. I think upon and about those things all the time. I can spell out my top five behavioral foibles. But to discuss my desires as a man and a husband...I'm not so versed and certainly not so polished in my articulation of those matters.

But as we talked about our needs and our values and our longings, one word surfaced that made alot of sense to me. Surprise. I so much need the element of surprise in my life. In my marriage. In my job. In my relationships. In my bedroom. In my preaching. In my vacation. In my Bible study. In my fathering. In my sonship. In my heart.

At the core, I love adventure. I love suspence. I love not knowing what's coming next. I love the thrill of the hunt. I love discovery. I love getting my socks knocked off. I loved being caught of gaurd. I love feeling scared about the unknown. I love feeling excited.

Let's just camp out on the word excitement for a second. I think a man needs to feel excitement, something to excite his heart in the midst of monotony. I know that men get tarred and feathered for this insatiable desire, and I would admit there is an abuse of it in the male economy. But to miss this inate desire, is to miss the man in my humble opinion. When you try to get man to submit to things like security and stability asking him to set aside his "need for speed" and his "tornado chasing nature", you slowly boil his soul. Men want to test their capacity to think under pressure. They want to be taken to places that require something of them that they are wondering about themselves. They want something to happen during the day that rocks the boat of commonplace and defies the odds of conventional thinking. They are drawn to the unorthodox. They are looking for peculiarities and rarities to surface and knock them over. They want their jobs to invite them to step up and excite them to no end. They want their homes to be anything but routine and rote responsibilities dutifully carried out and completed. They want their wives to surprise them with a rarely heard word, an infrequently felt touch or an out-or-the-ordinary glance. I would even go so far as to say that men don't primarily want sex like everyone accuses them, they want surprise. I remember hearing that man have affairs less for sex and more for adventure. The element of surprise is the first thing to go in most marriage relationships and I feel it is the death blow to the male heart.

I love this about my wife. There are sometimes I am just caught off guard with something she says or does. I will be expecting one thing and she will offer something different. Something different. That's what men want...not a different partner in marriage, but a different kind of marriage. And when the marriage gets bland and banal, men confuse this "desire for different" with bailing out and starting over with someone else or something else. What really needs to happen is that men need to change their mode of operation in their present reality. And their wives(if they have wives) need to acknowledge this inborn desire a man has for things like surprise, adventure, newness and "changing things up a bit". I love it when my wife initiates change. I love it when she steps off the beaten path and moves to the mystery. I love it when she shocks me with an idea. I love it when she wants me to push off the shore to explore unchartered territory. I love it when she applauds my wanderlust. I love it when she takes pride in my inability to settle for less than something "exciting". I love it when she surprises me with a whisper in my ear or a touch that tells me something is asir in her bloodstream. I find myself thinking, "You mean, boy...this is exciting!" I love smelling a different fragrance in the house of a new food she's cooking. I love it when she greets me in the morning with zestful joy and snaps me out of my robotic tendencies and calls me to action on that particular day.

I know that I'm carrying on some, but I feel this today. If a women desires to be "Captivating" then a man desires to be "Surprised". I've always thought a man wants to feel Strong...but if there is no surprise...then there is no need for strength. I wonder how different marriages would be if women would work harder at creating surprise and men would work harder at creating security. But the woman, because she longs for security, wants to give that to the man and that in many ways kills him and she has no idea why. And the man, because he longs for surprise, wants to give that to the woman and that in many ways kills her and he has no idea why. I'm not saying men don't want security and women don't want surprise, but I do see a difference in the desire for each of these in the sexes.

I guess today I wanted to try to think about my desire for surprise rather than my depravity as a man to do anything good. I spend so much time rehearsing my disabilities that sometimes I forget about what I'm actually looking for, aching for, striving for. I love surprise and I'm wondering out loud if this isn't the ache of a good many men out there. Don't hate me because I'm looking for missing pieces to this puzzle of life. Please.


Adam said…
Thanks for bringing refreshment to my day. I love what you wrote. It is so true that men long for surprise and women long for security. May the Lord help both men and women to set one another free to experience this surprise and security.
Love ya bro,
2 Strand
The Listros said…
Wll said, Jason. Well said.
This post and the last really provoke us to consider who we are and who God made us to be.
Thanks for writing and thanks for being "surpisingly refreshing!"

-Amy Listro

Popular Posts