Have you noticed how many men seem allergic to something broken? Often a man acquires a new car and the first thing he does is lift the hood to see if anything needs doing. Perhaps he installs a police-radar detector or buys safety valve stem caps for his tires. Here’s the secret: for men, engagement means action and action means engagement. For men, connecting with someone or something usually involves action.
For a man to be happy at work, he needs to be recognized for solving problems. The uniformed services attract men partially because they are action oriented. Men meeting one another shake hands, fist bump, slap one another’s shoulders or hug boisterously. Women connect just as powerfully but a delicate kiss precedes the important, non-physical, animated conversation. For women engagement often means talking.
If you still remain in any doubt on this male female distinction, just watch how much more actively and physically little boys play with their peers than little girls with theirs. Or notice how women in marriage seek more conversation while men would like more physical interaction. Both want to engage with their spouses; each gender goes about it a little differently.
Young men who are perhaps insufficiently active in their business lives sometimes undergo dramatic change upon marriage. God created males in such a way that it is impossible to enjoy ultimate connection with a wife without action on the part of the male. This reality can spread benefit to every part of their lives, particularly financial.
Isaac, the first born Jew, appears in the opening verses of Genesis 21. Strangely, for the longest time, we don’t see him doing anything or even saying anything. Finally, when he is in his thirties, comes the seminal binding of Isaac upon the sacrificial altar. At the age of 37 for the very first time he speaks, asking, “Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” (Genesis 22:7) Immediately after this comes Sarah’s death and burial. There is a greater obligation upon a child to mourn and bury a parent than upon a man to bury his wife, yet Isaac is missing in action.
Next come selecting a wife for Isaac and, once again, the man of the moment is nowhere to be seen. Abraham arranges all with Eliezer who subsequently finds Rebecca and brings her back (Genesis 24:1-61).
Finally, Isaac returns from a journey and goes out to the field to pray (Genesis 24:62-63). He sees Rebecca and springs into action.
And Isaac took (Rebecca) into the tent of his mother, Sara, and he married her and she became his wife and he loved her…
(Genesis 24: 67)
Isaac then becomes active, burying his father, Abraham, just as we’d expect. He prays for his wife and they have two sons Jacob and Esau. He relocates his family to Gerar, digs wells, and initiates a special blessing to his sons fifty-seven years before his death. He sends Jacob away to Rebecca’s family and lives until 180, whereupon his two sons bury him.
What suddenly caused Isaac to become so active cementing his place as the second of the three forefathers of Israel? The process of becoming a husband and a father changed him. Indeed, Abraham sought out a wife for him but Isaac alone embraced Rebecca, brought her into the tent of his late mother, loved her and fathered her two sons.
I have often discussed how God built our bodies to reflect our spiritual realities. I have explained about eyes and ears, and taught on the internal asymmetry and external symmetry of our bodies. Now, I will point out how God made human males sexually distinct from virtually all other male mammals.
Reproduction is made possible in almost every mammal male— including gorillas and baboons— by means of a rigid bone, called a baculum, which facilitates the mating process. However, for human males no such material aid exists. Mating depends entirely upon the spiritual desire the man feels for his wife. God wanted human male/female connections to be so much more than biological. If reproduction is the only goal, a rigid bone coming into play is immensely useful. However, if God’s main goal is for authentic connection on every level to take place between a man and woman, then a baculum would detract from the relationship, making it merely physical.
God’s design of the human male without a baculum ensures that the man is fully invested in the connection. His mind can’t be elsewhere; if it is, there will be no connection. He cannot be distracted or uninterested; if he is, there will be no connection. Connection and engagement are linked to action. That action only become possible if authentic connection exists. (In the case of rape or a prostitute or hook-ups, the sinful connection may be one of anger, scorn or selfishness, but it still takes the man’s total and complete attention.)
This connection between action and marriage that helps pinpoint Isaac’s becoming active, also explains the remarkable correlation between men, their marital status, and the amount of money they make. In the United States, single men of every background are the poorest demographic in society. Married men tend to be active and engaged and few things are better indicators of wealth creation.
Many more astounding connections in our amazing world are found in ancient Jewish wisdom.