Tag Archives: relationships

Letter to a Young Man in Jail – Part 2

Dear Micah: 

I talk with your mom regularly, and she’s doing pretty well. She’s worried about you as we all are. But if you choose, this whole thing will just be a small blip in the large continuum of your life. When you consider that you’ll probably live a good, happy, healthy eighty years, a month or two devoted to reflecting on your past and designing your future is probably good use of your time while you’re in there.

But, Micah, I want to talk to you about women. You’ve been attractive to girls since you were very young, and though we’ve talked about this a little bit, I have some information to pass along to you that you likely don’t know.

Women are wired up differently from men. Generally speaking, men are designed to have sex and move along. Monogamous marriage is a decision that people make that is foreign to many a man’s nature. Being faithful is a spiritual decision – one of those things that separates us from animals.

Women, on the other hand, are designed to bear and raise children. While a guy might be interested just in getting laid, the moment a woman engages in sex with a man, she is emotionally involved. She is interested in keeping that man around because she might get pregnant any moment (there are no 100% effective birth control methods), and then she’ll need someone to support the family. And a young woman who is emotionally involved just might forget to take her birth control pill (consciously or unconsciously), because in her emotionally-charged mind, a baby would surely keep her man around. You know how well that works out.

Unplanned pregnancies assure that the species will go on. Planned pregnancies assure that our future society is well fed, well educated, wanted, loved, and emotionally healthy.

So what I’m saying to you is that the minute you have sex with a woman, she’s going to have an emotional attachment that is stronger than you will ever understand. If you start sleeping with a woman out of convenience, and she gets pregnant, you’ll be a father, and will be for the rest of your life. Committed to paying child support for the next eighteen years—when you don’t even have a job to support yourself—is not the best course of action for your life. It would likely mean poverty for your children and a life of drudgery for their mother. Don’t you want more for your woman and your children than that?

It’s much better for everybody to wait until you have your education, job and bank account, then find the right woman, get married and have kids. There’s a reason that the progression goes in that order. When you try to hurry it along, or take those events out of order because of impatience, things have a high likelihood of going poorly indeed.

Dating is a good thing because you get to experience lots of different women and figure out not only what you like, but what you don’t like. And trust me on this: when you hook up with a woman and get married or have children, you will have a relationship with that woman and her entire family for the rest of your life, regardless of how the relationship works out.

Men who think they can have “casual” sex with women are doing damage to those women. The women get emotionally involved, whether they want to or not. It’s in our biology. Then when you break up, or don’t call her again, she gets hurt. Not having sex is a spiritual choice. Not only do you minimize damage to the girl you’re dating, but there is no chance of an unwanted pregnancy.

If you do have sex, make certain that the strongest possible birth control methods are employed. This means you. Don’t leave it up to her, because when women are emotionally involved, things happen, and suddenly someone else is making all your life decisions for you.

I hope you’ll be making all your own decisions from here on out, Micah. I hope you’re making a plan of what you will do the minute you get out of there, and then work at that plan, every day, 8 hours a day, until it happens. If you want to get into the service, call that recruiter the second you get out, go see him, tell him what happened, and find out what he needs you to do in order to get you in, and then get busy achieving that: Get a job, enroll in school…  Regardless, do something.

Make a plan. And then carry it through. Don’t just hang out. That’s what you were doing when you got arrested.

I didn’t mean for this letter to turn into a lecture. I just want the best life has to offer for you. I hope you want the same.

Take care of yourself in there, and don’t forget how much we all love you.

No matter what.

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The Sublime Tension

Men and Women. Will we ever understand each other?

I say: No.

I believe this tension of difference is the attraction, and also the frustration. 

This male/female tension has been the stuff of literature, movies, sitcoms and countless cups of coffee and tear-stained napkins throughout the centuries.

But what’s the purpose?

Why couldn’t we just have a meeting of the minds, understand each other and be done with it? We could save so much time, just get on with living our lives conflict-free and easy.

Alas. The self/selfless tension is like the animal/spiritual tension. We’re drawn to one, yet grounded in the other. It takes work to move beyond the one and gain the rewards of the other.

But doing so does have its rewards. One is that we’re forced to hone our creativity in communications to minimize misunderstandings. Stimulating creativity is a good thing.

Another is the benefit of a well-rounded banquet of experiences, because without that yin/yang tension, we would fall into complacency. Complacency is a good treat now and then, but not as a steady diet.

Perhaps the most important is because when we commit to someone of the opposite sex, we’re really committing to better ourselves, to learn to rise above the pettiness, to sincerely endeavor to understand rather than to be understood. Relationships are rife with pettiness and misunderstandings. And yet, that tension of attraction endures.

It’s a mystery.

It is, perhaps, THE mystery.

I love a good mystery.

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Filed under connections, family, Marriage, relationships, Spirituality