In his book on biblical manhood The Silence of Adam, author Larry Crabb opens the first chapter with a statement that I find provocative, thoughtful, and a bit unsettling:
Men are easily threatened. And whenever a man is threatened, when he becomes uncomfortable in places within himself that he does not understand, he naturally retreats into an arena of comfort or competence, or he dominates someone or something in order to feel powerful. Men refuse to feel the paralyzing and humbling horror of uncertainty, a horror that could drive them to trust, a horror that could release in them the power to deeply give themselves in relationship. As a result most men feel close to no one, especially not to God, and no one feels close to them.
Something good in men is stopped and needs to get moving. When good movement stops, bad movement (retreat or domination) reliably develops.
The book’s namesake, Adam, certainly retreated when Eve took of the fruit of the tree (probably in the very presence of her husband, who did and said nothing to stop her), and later God promised Eve that despite the pain and suffering she would experience in childbirth she would nonetheless desire her husband–and the response she could expect from her husband? He would “rule over” her! (The domination part of Crabb’s statement, I venture.)
Do you find Crabb’s dual responses reasonable, perhaps overly simplified, even spot on?