Is it possible that in our prideful quest to prove our we-can-doanything-men-can-do point, we are trying to redesign what the Designer made our husband’s heart to be?

The Joy of the Journey

Imagine planning a canoe trip on a river’s rapids recognized the world over for their wonder and magnificence. But you’re a pioneer at heart, always looking to forge ahead in new frontiers.

Men are great responders to positive encouragement. Show your husband that you are grateful for his chivalrous ways and wait to see how quickly he responds to your loving approval! (For the record, this "key" was submitted by one of the husbands who faithfully contributed to this book.)

You attempt to travel upstream—an inherent struggle against nature. You understand that when you set your course, and even though the current has always traveled in the same direction, you are determined to conquer the river! After all, you have what it takes. You’re educated, clever, and well-prepared, and you know the river . . . or so you thought. Instead, your journey upriver is marked by frustration, untold challenges, and a stinging sense of failure. The joy of the journey, as it was intended, is lost on you. The wonder, thrill, and exquisite beauty are never to be discovered.

If you’ve been trying to travel upstream, won’t you turn your "canoe" around? Doing so is not the mark of failure. Rather, it is the mark of intelligence and expresses your desire to experience the joy of the journey the way it was intended.

Postscript: David Dickey, the wonderful young man whose quote opens this chapter, has just asked for our daughter’s hand in marriage! (Bob knew in advance, as David first asked for his permission and blessing.) Preparing his proposal in the form of a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the blessings of biblical marriage, David knelt near Aubrey as she read it on his laptop. At the end of the presentation, red hearts popped up, followed by his marriage proposal. Taking just a few minutes to giggle, grin, jump on the couch, and twirl around the room, a normally reserved Aubrey finally responded with a resounding "Yes!" We look forward to adding David to the Carden clan in January 2006, when he and Aubrey begin their own covenant marriage.


Chivalry is to romance as a star-studded sky is to the night: both are God’s majestic handiwork—mysterious, miraculous, and magical.

Originially published July 2006.

Judy Carden lives in Winter Haven, Florida, with her husband, Bob. They have three children who are in various stages of undergraduate and graduate studies. Judy is delighted to be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. As the president and founder of Inspiration Etc., her mission is to encourage lives of purpose, passion, and excellence. "Crash" (as she is known on the slopes) and her husband are avid snow skiers, and also share a love for many other activities. As a writer and speaker, Judy continues to share her secrets for transforming the mundane marriage into a magical, vibrant image of God's plan for the contemporary covenant marriage.

Taken from What Husbands Need: Reaching His Heart and Reclaiming His Passion © 2006 by Judy Carden. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.