As you may have noticed, I will often quote from “The Message” version of the Bible.  While I agree that The Message should not be our primary study bible, I find that it speaks truth into my life in new and fresh ways.  Today I want to refer to Luke 19:26  from The Message.  “Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.  Play it safe and end up holding the bag.”  The NIV reads as follows. “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

This Message passage got me to thinking again about how easy it is to slip into “the passivity mode” in my primary relationships, especially with my wife.   Larry Crabb in discussing relational masculinity, observes that a man reflects God, “by remembering what is important and moving into a disordered situation with the strength to make an important difference.”  So failure in relational masculinity would imply neglecting what is important, not wanting to enter into the chaos of intertwining emotions with the strength that is unique to me as a man.  Wow!  Does that relate to any man reading this blog.  Going back to the passage from The Message, I have a choice.  I can risk or play it safe and get left “holding the bag.”

So what is a man to do?  It looks pretty obvious.  Remembering what is important, that is, my wife and her emotional needs, I need to risk my life and jump into what I call “the soup of emotional relationships.”   Men let me say it as gently, yet as firmly as I can, you need to risk entering into what Crabb calls the “disordered situation.”  Your wife and those close to you, need your strength.  You are unique as the man, reflecting to glory of God in a manner different from your wife.  She needs your strength; not your passive sideline indifference

You need to know that you will not find your strength, by being passive, by fleeing from the disorder.  NO, you have to enter into disorder.  That’s how you grow and find your strength.  As you enter the chaos your weakness and vulnerability will be exposed.  It it then that  we  cry out for mercy, asking for help in our weakness.  “God, help me navigate this disorder I feel with my wife.” God will give you what you need.  You will begin to find your strength in Him.  You will not grow in your relationship, on the sidelines.  You will find yourself, “holding your own bag,”  alone, not connecting with others.