ONE MAN'S BATTLE WITH EXTENDED ADOLESCENCE
by Daniel Mays
It was a typical evening. I got home from a full day of work and needed to unwind. I retreated into my office, fired up my World of Warcraft account, and got ready for another full night of video games. I had been thinking about it all day. At points throughout the evening I would hear my wife speak to me, and I would rattle off my auto-response: “Yes, dear. Okay … ” But, without missing a move, I would play on until I was exhausted, then I would stagger to bed where my wife was already asleep.
Disengaged and passive—an absent husband described me best. This would go on for days or weeks until we would have a fight. I would storm off and start playing games to avoid another long conversation about how my wife was unhappy and unfulfilled in our marriage.
The problem truly was that I did not know how to be a man, let alone a husband. The better part of our marriage was cluttered with fights and arguments that I would avoid. It got worse and worse to the point that my wife said she didn't love me anymore. She wouldn't divorce me, but she didn't love me. It cut deep to think "how am I so bad that my wife doesn't love me anymore?" I went to church and read my Bible and paid the bills—how am I so bad?
One of my friends invited me to his 33 group and told me about how God views manhood. I have always been skeptical of these types of "workshop groups" but I went anyway. The study was called A Man and His Traps (33 The Series, Volume 3). I still remember going over make-up videos on sessions I missed and clinging onto every word of advice these men had to give me.
I think the game-changer was the moment I came home and told my wife to turn off the TV so we could talk. I spent the next two hours apologizing to her about how I had failed as a husband. All the empty promises I did not keep. How I left her to make all the decisions, and how I failed to listen and give her proper respect. I showed her everything we were going through in 33 and pointed out areas I needed to work on and improve.
Each volume of 33 made me examine myself, and as each responsibility was revealed, I had to come up with a game plan for how I would meet the challenge. It was probably after a year or so of working on our marriage and working through 33 that I apologized for something small like not taking out the garbage. I’ll never forget how my wife responded. She gave me a kiss and said, “I see that you’re trying, and I am so proud of you.” She saw the growth in my life. She respected me. We became friends all over again and began spending time together. Through each volume of 33 I showed her what we were learning, and each time I realized the value of implementing it into my life I saw our marriage get stronger.
We have been married now for over 8 years. Having wasted 4 to 5 of those years on video games I realized I had my wife back. When she told me she loved me again it brought me to tears. To have my wife look at me and tell me I am a good man, showing the respect that I had worked so hard to earn back, is worth it all. Giving up video games and learning how to be a man saved my marriage.
I now have a son and another baby on the way. I feel like I have the tools, the resources, and most importantly the accountability to become a better husband and father. I am so thankful for the creators of 33 The Series. It truly is something that every man needs. I believe every man has some form of addiction. Understanding it and facing it head on has been hard, but it was the shock to my system that I needed to change the path I was on and begin my journey toward authentic manhood.
33 Volume 1: A Man and His Design exposes extended adolescence and helps men like Daniel recalibrate to God’s original design. It calls them out of a culture of childish consumers to walking in the light of the life-giving spirit of Jesus and becoming men who create and cultivate.
33 Volume 3: A Man and His Traps reveals the deep root idols of a man’s heart that are behind the battles like Daniel had to face. It provides a biblical battle plan to help men admit the struggle, identify the lies, and replace them with the truth of God’s Word.