My wife received an advanced review copy of Rich Wagner's new book, The Expeditionary Man: The Adventure a Man Wants, the Leader His Family Needs. There are some helpful insights in this book that is broader than the typical "new masculinity" resources available.
Yet still packaged and assuming too much about males--and this is partly to win an audience--is the overstated idea that men are made for adventure. Adventure is well and good. It's the exclusivity that only males are made for this that is irksome and reinforces the sexist idea that this is built only into a male soul.
Today's Zondervan inspiration draws from Wagner's book. See here.
A paragraph is not enough to develop a point, I'll grant that. But the title ("God designed the soul of a man for adventure") unnecessarily reinforces the already stagnant assumption in men's literature that a woman's soul was not.
Of the verses used in the inspiration to point out this adventure, only one refers to MALES and that pertains to how men are to love in marriage. This kind of loving, however, is also assigned to FEMALES in the Scripture as members of the body of Christ rendering others more important then oneself.
Adventure is not a gendered category. It is not a male category. It is a HUMAN category. Though other books, like Wild at Heart, signify that a man is made for adventure (and a woman, in Captivating, are designed to "join a man" in adventure) that is unjustifiable. Women like adventure too (google "women adventure," here's a sample site). Living in CO, it doesn't take any effort to see women as well as men climbing mountains, kayaking rivers (see picture at top...yes, a woman), running marathons, fishing (see picture at left), and offroading--not because they want to be men but because they want to enjoy the habitat God created for humans. If you take up traveling, you'll find women backpacking, staying in hostiles, and exploring the world. You'll also find them on relief missions, bringing life to the needy.
Adventuring of a wide sort is a well versed concept in the female mind (on Wagner's model, a woman adventures by being faithful to her husband and kids, making disciples of Jesus, etc) but among those who have been told it is not 'feminine' or have some unhealthy fears. Wagner is trying to make responsibility respectable again.
When you hear people say that men were made for adventure, as a man, I ask you to kindly mention that women were made for adventure too. All this adventure talk is actually less inspiring to men as it is harmful to women and many of our smuggled in false-perceptions of women.
All that said, I do think many men need a reminder that practicing virtue is a wholly human activity and that re-deconstructing our idea of "masculinity" needs to be done (as Wagner is partly attempting to do). Loving family, taking care of kids, standing for the oppressed are all adventurous and strenuous things, often more so than scaling a Colorado 14er.
I'd like to see the church lead the way in the culture to unite both men and women under the banner of 'adventurer,' rather robbing a healthy word and tainting it with exclusive maleness. Wasn't it a joint-call to adventure when God originally told both humans to "be fruiltful and multiply and have dominion over the earth"?