I have just finished “The Marriage Covenant: The Biblical Secret for a Love That Lasts” and it’s a tremendous book. Very challenging and encouraging. I have real hope that I have somewhat of a grip on what God intended for marriage (translation: with a woman who can say the same thing about femininity, I won’t get hurt again).
Several years ago (after the divorce) I read a book of Derek Prince’s called “God Is a Matchmaker“. I really wasn’t interested – having just come out of a massively painful experience – but I felt to read a specific part of that book and when I had finished it, I heard God say “this will happen to you”. I angrily threw the book across the room and said “no it won’t” and pretended to myself that I wasn’t hearing God.
And… now… several years later, my story closely matches that story in that book. hehehehe. So now when I began to read Marriage Covenant, it brought back those old memories and added still more fuel to the fire! I sat with a pen and ticked off all the things that have happened. I rushed over to a friend’s house and showed him too!
Then today I went into Koorong and I felt to pick up a book “The Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for the Masculine Journey“. God had to prompt me to do it, because I didn’t like his other book “Wild at heart“. Perhaps I just wasn’t in the right space.
Not thinking I’d get anything from this book I pretty much randomly opened to what felt like a good page – and right there on the page it described EXACTLY where I am at in my life. I mean… exactly and precisely.
- A man MUST make space in his life for a woman – it’s NOT good for man to be alone
- You’ve been taken away from fighting so it’s not your identity
- You’re being drawn into a love relationship (intimacy) with God
- A woman will come along and open your heart (in due course)
Bam! Right there. The first sentence spoke directly to me and sorted the issue out for me, once and for all. I am to be married. Prepare for it. End of story.
He then went on to speak so clearly to me that I must not make “fighting” my focus (which God already told me) but it went further to say that when He calls a man away from the fighting, He calls that man into intimacy. And my eyes almost popped out of my head. I’ve had such intimacy with Him in my house! I just didn’t know what was going on. And then the author (John Eldredge) goes on to say that the next thing that happens is God brings a women to the man and she will open his heart, as only a woman can.
Well… well… well… I was stunned. In one page God had confirmed the massive changes taking place in my life. Needless to say I bought the book! hehehe.
John Eldredge goes on to describe HOW or WHAT a man sees as the beauty of a woman. To my amazement I knew exactly what he meant and I can count only (maybe) three times in my life that I have seen exactly that in a woman. I could have fallen off my chair.
He then went on to say that men become passive because they got hurt. Yup. But we have to fight back against that and move on. Uh-oh.
This book described EXACTLY what I needed to know, what to look for, how to know what I’m feeling, so I can distinguish it from attraction. Now I know what to look for and it’s what God intended. I know now the difference between liking someone attractive; and REALLY liking someone special.
Co-dependance really messed up my head so I didn’t know what was attraction and what was affection and so on. I think a lot of people (in general, not just men) are like this.
The proof of my understanding came later that day when I spent time with an attractive woman who was preening at me (licking her lips, straightening her hair etc.) and I knew that while I like her, she’s attractive and I enjoy her company, but I don’t feel and see those intimate and sensitive things about her. Basically: now I know that I don’t feel THAT way about her. So I can relax. (She can relax too. hehehe.)
The book is subtitled: a map for the masculine journey… and what a good map it is! He gives excellent tips for everything. He even describes with great honesty his own limitations with his wife, even on his wedding night. (Mental note to self…!!) This man is so candid… and it’s fabulous for me to see into his world and to see that my world is very similar to his.
I really have a much better sense of where I should be spending my time with God now, and where I should be heading as a man.
Praise God that writers like John Eldredge exist for men, just as women have Joyce Meyer.
Another excellent map-type book that helps people understand the transitions in life is this one: “Changes That Heal” by the superb Henry Cloud (of “Boundaries” fame). It’s so basic, but it’s very very good in helping a person increase their eq (emotional quotient) and learn to take care of themselves.
So… all in all… I’m pretty excited!