“Men have an insatiable longing to explore.” Those are the words I read in Wild at Heart today and they left me wondering. How can I build more opportunity for adventure, more wild exploration, into my boys’ days? And then I had another thought. Is that really my job? I’m not really designed for guiding adventures of the wild. That’s a job for my husband. One that will help him and our boys find their hearts, their identity and strengthen their relationships.
My part in raising explorers is to let them go. Ugh! I hate that phrase. Let’ them go. That is something that’s really hard for me. I’m extremely protective. Mainly because I’m a kind of a fearful person and that makes me a control freak. I worry less when I’m in control. I realize it’s a false sense of security, but that’s still where I tend to sit.
As I continued reading it became clear that my fear and control can and will stifle the spirit of adventure in my boys. It will inhibit their ability to find themselves if I’m not willing to let go and let them become the men God created them to be. My fearful, protective tendencies will actually produce the exact opposite of what I want for my boys.
I know the answer. I know my role in raising explorers. I have to trust God and learn to let go. I have to lay my fear aside and trust my boys in God’s hands (and my husband’s) as they explore and grow together. They have to learn to become men without me. That seems strange to say about a six year old and a 4 year old, but it starts now. It starts small. Whether it’s an adventure in the true wild or just in our neighborhood; giving them permission to go on a weekend camping trip or giving them permission to walk to a friends house. I have to learn to trust and let them go if I wan’t them to learn to trust God and themselves.
That won’t be an easy task for me, but it’s my role in letting them become the wild explorers and adventures God created them to be.
John Eldredge writes, “Is it fear that keeps a man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control?” Maybe, or maybe it’s just his fearful mama.