When you can’t do what you know…

Consider King David, before he was king. He killed a lion and a bear single handed, and defeated the giant Goliath with a sling (1 Samuel 17). Surely, this man was afraid of nothing! Why then do we later see him repeatedly fleeing from King Saul, lying to protect himself (1 Sam 20), and then acting crazy out of fear of King Achish (1 Sam 21)?

My guess is that David had a warrior’s heart, and had no problem dealing with things as a warrior would. However, when he could not act as a warrior (fight/kill), he was at a loss. David refused to rise up against Saul, and that left him unable to do what came naturally. Maybe fighting his first instinct left him unable to think clearly?

I think most men are this way – we are very competent at dealing with things in a ways we are comfortable with, but we tend to have great difficulty when we can’t act on our first, natural impulse. When we are can’t do what comes naturally, we are likely to procrastinate, side step, become angry, or do something crazy.

If you see yourself in this, spend some time thinking and praying about it. How can you behave differently? How can you communicate your frustration and difficulty to your bride, who probably wonders why you are acting as you are?

3 Comments on “When you can’t do what you know…

  1. Well, in general I always considered myself a big fan of the Generous Husband’s tips, as I am still such. But I would slightly disagree this time about the comparison with David. Not that the topic is wrong, it is totally wright. I mean the example with David. I think it was not about not knowing how to deal with Saul. I think it was all about respect towards autority. Most likely David was dealing with how in the world Saul would see him dead when he is so faithful to him. My opinion.

  2. @Mark Marinov – I agree that David choose to not attack or kill Saul out of respect for authority. But that does not justify his lying – or asking Jonathan to lie.

    The natural warrior response to a death threat to fight- but David’s integrity did not allow him to do that. Seems his next response was less than perfect.

    BTW, this has certainly been true in my life – when I can’t do what comes naturally, I find I want to just withdraw from the situation.

  3. Yep! “Cut & run!” That’s always been my philosophy! Trouble is, it has NEVER been the right thing to do. Hence, my marital difficulties.

    Here is my reply to the last two lines of this entry.

    “If you see yourself in this, spend some time thinking and praying about it.”
    I have, & the only thing I can hear in response is “draw closer to Me”. So far, that hasn’t helped me KNOW what I should do to make things better.

    “How can you behave differently?” This is the $64,000 question. The examples I had growing up were far from good. Dad was an addict/alcoholic who checked out LONG before I was old enough to realize he had, & Mom was as self-absorbed as one can become (you can imagine how I turned out before I let Jesus into my heart). I had a “fantasy-affair” (email “relationship” with a girl from eastern Europe) three years ago while on deployment that I’m still paying dearly for (and likely will be for the rest of my life). I’ve been trying to “be a nice guy” to my stepdaughters, yet they seem to hate the very air I breathe (one of them goes the long way around just to avoid walking past me). So, in a sense, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. My parents were screwed up, and so am I. (No wonder my brother is paranoid-schizophrenic.)

    “How can you communicate your frustration and difficulty to your bride, who probably wonders why you are acting as you are?” This is the $64000.01 question! My answer: I HAVE TRIED AND FAILED AT THIS SO MANY TIMES I COULD JUST PUKE! If I knew the answer to this, I would be the administrator of this website.

    Please pardon my directness. I’m angry, but not only at myself for being such a ___________ (fill in the blank. There are plenty of choices.).

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