And as a coach, I can testify with my hand firmly on a Bible that children aren’t that innocent either. They, too, are capable of great cruelty. Some do so with glee and pride, like some of the worst adults I know.

I think it’s a sense of wonder and spiritedness that Jesus was pointing out with his usual bluntness. Knowing facts about God only goes so far when it comes to following Him. And knowing facts about God, after a while, isn’t enough to grab our allegiance for the long haul. Some of the coldest-hearted people I know claim to possess the cleanest and most fastidious theology. They have their facts about God down cold; yet I cannot picture them dancing with their daughters. I don’t see them smile or laugh much either. They are not keepers of wonder. Many are purveyors of anti-wonder.

“The sense of wonder,” wrote D.H. Lawrence, “that is our sixth sense. And it is the natural religious sense.” Wonder brings us a sense of gratitude, and it protects us against spiritual claustrophobia, which over-domesticates, turning us into pleasant and innocuous men instead of warriors of light. Wonder provides spiritual eagerness, willingness and readiness. It gives us a dynamic spiritual edge.

As we walked to our car, Abby pulled my right arm back, stopping me so she could give me a spontaneous kiss. I’m not going to tell you what she said because that’s between us. But I can tell that what she said and what I saw this night was what working stiffs low on wonder needs to experience on a winter’s Friday night.

Paul Coughlin is the author of No More Christian Nice Guy, and the upcoming, No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps: Raising Secure, Assertive Kids in a Tough World (June 2007). He is the co-author along with his wife Sandy of Married But Not Engaged.  He's also a founding member of GodMen (www.godmen.com). To have Paul speak at your men's event, contact him at www.christianniceguy.com. Sandy can be reached at http://reluctantentertainer.blogspot.com/