But you need a plan
A Christian man has a torrid affair with his secretary, divorces his wife, crushes his kids, marries the secretary, and they drive away from the wedding in his new red convertible Ferrari.
Is the man having a midlife crisis?
Logic says yes, but what if I told you the man is 28 years old?
In that case, he’s just a jerk, not a jerk suffering a midlife crisis.
But why do we consider these events a crisis for a 43-year-old Christian man with a wife and 2.3 children?
Simply put, a 28-year-old man is still young and dumb, motivated by his sex drive and ego. We write it off as wild oats-sowing.
He’s a cretin.
But we expect a 43-year-old man old to grow, be wiser, and be more self-controlled. He’s had years to exercise his faith, strengthen his relationship with God, and count the costs of selfish pursuits.
So, when the middle-aged Christian man runs away with his millennial secretary in a new red convertible, we’re shocked and dismayed. He should know better.
It’s a crisis.
But it never had to be.
Midlife can be our best life, our most joyful and productive years, a time of using our experience-driven wisdom and maturity to mentor and help younger generations. Ironically, Elliott Jaques, the Canadian psychoanalyst who coined the term “midlife crisis” in 1965, wrote 12 books, consulted to the U.S. Army, the Church of England, and a wide variety of companies; from his mid-40s until his death at age 86 in 2003.
The man didn’t suffer a midlife crisis.
How can you avoid a midlife crisis and experience your best years?
You’ve driven hard and fast to this point – raised a family, built a career, and coached Little League. In blinding speed, your kids are grown, your waistline has expanded, and your hairline has receded. Chances are, you’ve had little time for self-reflection, but you will soon. In fact, this introspection is the catalyst for a midlife crisis.
You can’t enter this self-evaluation phase unprepared. The costs are too high.
You need a plan. For Christian men, it begins with reestablishing your relationship with God and seeking Him first. It’s easy to drift from God as you’re caught in the throes of diapers and deadlines, and God isn’t pushy. But,
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.“James 4:8
The next step is to ask God what He wants for you. He may ask you, like He did me, “What is your slightest inkling, the faintest hint of what you want to do?”
These are the initial steps to avoiding a midlife crisis and enjoying your best life. I’ve written a book that details a strategic plan to help you. It’s called Stronger Down the Stretch: Surviving Midlife Without a Crisis.
Count the costs. You’re not 28 anymore.
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