David liked women.
Sometimes that didn’t work out so well.
“One evening David rose from his bed and strolled about on the roof of the king’s house. From the roof he saw a woman bathing; she was very beautiful.”
–2 Samuel 11:2, New American Standard Version
Yeah, that was Bathsheba. David saw it. David wanted it. David went and got it.
That pretty much sounds like every powerful man I’ve ever known.
Your strength is your weakness. Can you relate?
David went and got something that wasn’t his.
He stole someone’s wife.
That’s called adultery. It could have been called a lot of things.
But to me, I think, more than anything, it was mid-life pride.
You see, the verse before the one above is very revealing:
At the turn of the year, the time when kings go to war, David sent out Joab along with his officers and all Israel, and they laid waste the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David himself remained in Jerusalem.
–2 Samuel 11:1, New American Standard Version
David was aging. He couldn’t go out to war anymore. He couldn’t go into the office. He couldn’t kill.
He was losing his youth.
And I believe he thought he could regain some of that with this beautiful woman.
HOWTO: How do we avoid making the same mistake David made? That’s a good question. I’m not sure I’m equipped to answer that, but I’ll take a stab: Know thyself. Stay out of situations like that. Keep your eyes on “the bride of your youth.” Don’t be seduced by your own “importance.” And for as long as you can, continue to “go out to war.”
AVOIDING TOXIC MASCULINITY: I was having a discussion with The Owl the other day about masculinity and what he brought to the table was humility. I think humility is a really important aspect of avoiding the toxic as a male. We’re not so important. We need to keep that in mind.
INTHESHIT RESPONSE: This one is tough for me. You’re in a powerful position. You see something/someone you want. You have the ways and means to obtain. The first reminder is that you can’t retain a human being. I really hope the days of saying, “You are mine,” in a relationship are over. I’m not yours. You’re not mine. Let’s learn to respect each other a little more.
BACKHOME RESPONSE: Keep the home fires burning, folks. If you have a significant other, don’t forget what drew you two together. EVER. Eye candy is one thing, but as Paul Newman once said, “I have steak at home. Why should I go out for hamburger?” At one point, you thought of your spouse as steak. Always keep those thoughts kindled.