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Women, please release your men

Outside our kitchen window just now, my neighbor Joseph walked by with a wild turkey he shot in our back yard. Back in the real world, he hasn’t worked for over a month and struggles to make ends meet. But when he’s out stalking game, the world is primal and basic and works like it’s supposed to….
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Outside our kitchen window just now, my neighbor Joseph walked by with a wild turkey he shot in our back yard. Back in the real world, he hasn’t worked for over a month and struggles to make ends meet. But when he’s out stalking game, the world is primal and basic and works like it’s supposed to.
 
Today I’m headed out on another 3-day hike (on the AT) with a group of men. We’re businessmen, engineers, ministry guys, and programmers. We live behind desks, telephones and computers. We change diapers, do our taxes, and struggle with our identities. And if our women are smart, they’ll encourage us to get the heck out of the house and tromp around at least once a year like this.
 
Granted, this may run contrary to instincts. The TV show Modern Family is funny because it captures the ambiguity of our roles. A lot of the time we’re confused and diminished, wondering where the boundaries are, yearning for a little simplicity.
 

It’s too easy to lose yourself in our society. Life gives you all kinds of reasons why you don’t measure up and need to change. Whatever your dreams are, they may feel impossible. You may have the urge to hunt and live adventures, but life squeezes you into a one-size-fits-all mold. And before you know it, you feel like a stranger in your own house.

 
Only the company of other similarly challenged men is an antidote to the ambiguity we men face. And if it can be out in nature, then that’s even better.
 
Smart women get all this – they may even budget to make it happen. And they know that the investment will produce a nice return. Their man will return from his little getaway having been restored to his right mind, having processed his midlife crises and vain imaginations. Most of us will come through the door with a renewed appreciation for just how special and beautiful our woman is. If we’ve been jerks, our buddies probably sniffed it out and called us on it.
I’m no expert on this phenomenon, but I know it’s real. Perhaps some of you readers can better explain the issue here and help us understand why it’s so.

Comments (5)

  • St. mark of the Cross

    Hey Seth,
    Too bad THE PROMISE team hunting/filming ministry was not there to film the guy. We heard a word from the Lord to start a ministry filming men who hunt & take the gospel to the tree-stand, ground-blind, and outdoors. Most of these men do not attend church & don’t want to be bashed with 10’X10′ KJV…they just need another man, who also loves hunting. We film, edit & produce a Outdoors Channel DVD to make their hunt the memory of a lifetime…then as the Holy Spirit leads…present Jesus to them. It is a great start and we are different than so many other Christian hunting teams. So we want these “released” husbands…we have our eye on the target of their souls. Good word…

  • I don’t have a man… but this is why I like praying for my brothers so much! I get excited when they are free to be wild men of God, love seeing them grow and be challenged as they fight alongside their brothers.
    Good stuff, Seth!

  • What’s interesting is that in your annual getaway you have created a group where you can be both vulnerable and accountable.

    It’s not a gender issue. “Release time” is a heart issue…and many are not willing to take that risk. Enjoy your trail time!

  • Love this. The idea of climbing the AT, skiing flatout down the lift line, or running the Flint Hills with my best friend brings joy. I’m all-girl and like a massage and pedicure like most women, but time to play in good company and to sort out stuff of life with others overflows the cup. I’ve finally learned that good company is the best way God illustrates what he whispers to me through his word. It’s easy to “be righteous” in isolation; authentic companionship illuminates the messes of our lives and the celebration-worthy moments of character. And we sure do need one another in doing life.

    Have fun, Seth! If you haven’t already read Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods,” i encourage you to pick it up. It is about the AT & is a scream!

  • thank you for this. Some wives look at me as being flat out crazy as I regularly release my darling husband of 31 years to hike in Yosemite for a month, or on the AT, or bike on the Natchez Trace. Being IN the world God created helps restore our sense of authority and hierarchy. Our marriage has thrived because of his times alone with God in nature. Way to go!
    I have a World Racer on Team Shefa…Charlotte. We love her!!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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