"Adventure is not outside man; it is within." —George Eliot
Boys are wild.
More creature than child, boys are untamed.
Every man was once a boy. To carry this adventurous spirit into manhood is of paramount significance in the maturation of our boys. Sadly, today, that insatiable longing to explore is largely but a relic of childhood for many men. The adventurer is the child who survived. He is unapologetically wild at heart. He runs toward danger. Takes risks. Embraces spontaneity. In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge shrewdly notes, “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”
How a man seeks his adventure is how he embraces his purpose.
How he embraces his purpose is how he pursues his woman.
How he pursues his woman is how he loves his children.
How he loves his children is how he loves his neighbor.
How he loves his neighbor is how he loves his God.
There are two types of men in this world: those who love what they do and those who don't. Those who have found something to fight for and those who haven't. The former are men who go on to great achievements, lead extraordinary lives, and love deeply. They have explored the depths of their hearts, discovered their (present) purpose in this world, and pursue it with reckless abandon.
The latter are confused, timid, drifters. They are lost boys—succumbing to a culture that would prefer we be docile, domesticated, well-behaved children. How do we, as men, reconnect with that indelible wildness? How do we recover the masculinity our emasculated society so desperately needs? We must look within. What did you love to do as a child? What would you do even if you weren't getting paid to do it? What turns you on inside? Fight tooth and nail for that.
When was the last time you climbed a frozen waterfall? Slept under the stars? Or crossed an ocean? The refined man not only needs adventure, he seeks it. The passion for this is at the core of a man's spirit. The thrill of closing a big deal at the office, cheering your team on from the comfort of your couch, or emerging a war hero in Call of Duty are nothing more than metaphors and cheap substitutes for what your spirit truly wants—danger, risk...adventure. Get out there.
There is no place in our society more desperate for the wild heart in man than in the pursuit of a woman. Women are designed to be pursued, wooed, to be caught up. No woman wakes up saying, "God, I hope I don't get swept off my feet today.” They long to be swept up into an adventure. Gentlemen, you get one chance to make a first impression—and I've witnessed it squandered so often over a cup of coffee...or a drink.
Plan something outrageous and memorable. Anything but a meeting that resembles a job interview. I like to know right out of the gate if I can laugh with a woman, so I'll plan an experience conducive to that. A little imagination goes a long way gentlemen. Have fun with it—but most importantly, have a plan. Remember, if this girl is as amazing as you hope she is, she's been on more first dates than Drew Barrymore—make this unforgettable for her (hint: women love surprises). Be intentional in writing a gripping opening to your story together!
The refined woman creates the space for the wild at heart...spontaneity...and the unknown to invade. It is incredible what transpires within relationships when a man is given the freedom to be a man. To be unapologetically wild. What results is a beautiful encounter between the masculine and feminine.
Every man is an adventurer inside. But the choice to live one is his own.
* Originally written for The Refined Woman.