I have not done scientific research or reviewed a great number of cases, but from my limited observation many men revert back to juvenile behavior when they start getting up there in age. I will present some examples from the men I have known who have behaved this way.
My father changed after my mother died. He went around the house, nailed all the windows shut, and put secure locks on the doors. Maybe it came from habitually loosing my keys, but I pride myself in being able to get in a house with a little ingenuity. I was visiting my father and was afraid I would be locked out if he wasn’t home to let me in after my being away in town visiting friends, so I pulled one of the nails out, loosened the hole and put the nail back in for appearances sake. Sure enough, when I got home, he wasn’t there, but there was no budging that window. He had checked all the windows and re-nailed the window! All that subterfuge would not have been necessary if he just would have loaned me a door key, but he felt more secure having the only door key.
My brother-in-law is presently in the hospital very ill after undergoing surgery. He has been a very strong and independent man in his younger years, and he doesn’t make a good patient when the bed rails go up. Medication is clouding his judgement and he is behaving badly to instructions, shall we say. It’s taking the whole family to keep him in bed.
My husband likes to hide things from me. He will pull my grandson aside and have a talk with him. “Now don’t tell your grandmother…,” he will say. I usually know whatever is happening in this house, and he gets away with “murder” as it is, so why would I care? I remember the sports utility vehicle he bought and hid at the neighbor’s house for two months. One day he drove up in it, and I asked him where he got it. “It’s mine,” he replied. Now, why did two months make a difference when he presented his new toy? I guess his savoring the fact he was hiding it for me gave him pleasure. My thoughts: it’s his money, why do I care? I think I remember tales of him hiding food in his room when he was a child…
I think it must have something to do with the way men are created.
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:3).
Matt Slick, Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, writes, “In the Jewish and Christian culture when the Bible was written, there was a concept called “Federal Headship.” This means that the male is the one who represents his descendants… the headship issue is an issue of order–not of who is better or more important. The husband is the head of the wife in the family, and he has the responsibility of guiding his family to a closer relationship with the Lord. God will require it of him on the day when all our deeds are judged by God.”
Some women will take issue with that statement, but decide for yourself. I think men are wired to care for their families and to have a certain control. A smart woman will respect that, and realize that she was made to co-rule with the man also. A key ingredient is that we, man and woman, are under the Lordship of Christ, and as such need to submit to Him. I think that gets confusing to men especially when they get older. Their sense of security and dominance go haywire, and their surroundings (limited abilities) are no longer familiar with their inner self.
I know some of this will be controversial, but please love me anyway. Perhaps I should write the next blog about Old Women Behaving Badly…