Stay with me, men. You'll be glad you read this.
My husband recently went to Dude Fest - the Crossbridge men's retreat. He was gone Friday night, so I invited 3 other women (who were also husband-less) to stay the night at my house to help the time go by a little faster (and help me keep track of my own little dudes). We put all the kiddos to bed and then watched "The Village" - one of my favorite movies and a guaranteed good conversation starter.
Well, you know women - we talked till about 3:30 AM. It started with talk about the movie, how this "village" was supposedly set up to protect the children and families from heartache and violence, but how it follows us no matter where we are...and that led to parenting issues. Two of my friends that night were newly married with no children, but had lots of questions for my friend and I who do have children.
That led to questions about men and our individual marriages. I had come out of a blue funk a few days earlier where I had "shut down" - meaning, I pouted, clammed up. Aaron did his best to draw me out, but I couldn't even put my finger on what was making me blue. When he finally persisted enough, what came out of me was, "I feel unlovely, tired and sad." And he did his best to help, but I continued to pout and felt he didn't help enough somehow.
I told my 3 friends that looking back on that episode, I was really asking too much of Aaron.
Let me back up first: this past summer I read a book called Captivating. It was written by Mr. Wild-At-Heart, John Eldredge and his wife, Stasi. In Wild At Heart, Eldredge says how the man's question is, "Do I have what it takes?" and that the man MUST take this question to God, not a woman or any other person for that matter. In Captivating, it talks about the woman's question being, "Am I lovely?" and how we, too, must take that question to God and not a man.
This was such a huge lightbulb for me. I could see how many times in my life I had taken that question to my Dad, boys, audiences, just trying to fill that question with an affirmative answer. And even if the answer was "yes", it did not fill the hole. It had to be answered over and over again, "YES!" but only by God alone.
Men, I'm not saying to stop telling your girl she is beautiful and lovely. Say this at least once a day! But you can help your girl take her question to God by praying for her when she is in her own "blue funk" -- You can fight for her on your knees and say, "I want to pray for you right now - is that okay?" And then go to battle for her.
Aaron and I have to remind each other to go to the only One who can really answer our heart's deepest questions.
Getting back to Chick Fest, we also polished off some leftover Halloween candy, which goes well with chick talk. I wondered if when Aaron got home, there would be a pink haze in the air from all the women, but he didn't seem to notice since he was surrounded with a blue haze from his Dude Fest. Or was that just because he hadn't showered yet...