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Behind every man...

Published: Thursday, July 10, 2014 11:05 a.m. CDT

This week, I can’t help but to think about an old summer camp that is going on this week at Grinnell College called Summer Games University. Besides the lessons I learned about faith, it was a time I learned how to truly listen to a woman.

This week, my goal has been to keep camp off my mind, but I failed on Monday during a conversation with a reader. He gave me a compliment for being a great self-made man, and I thanked him and went along with my day.

Later on, I got into my car, and as my radio came on, an old classic song from my favorite music group Sawyer Brown called “Thank God for You” was playing. After the countrified jam session in my car, I started to think back to the compliment the reader gave me about being a great self-made man. It was nice. But don’t get me wrong — it’s far from the truth.

The song starts with the lyrics “Well, I been called a self-made man, girl don’t you believe it’s true.” It goes without saying that I don’t really talk about myself to many people, so it would seem to be true on the surface, but my Newton family runs deep and wide.

My thoughts drifted for a bit until during the day I found myself in a discussion with a friend about men, women and relationships. The cliché comment came up: “Behind every man is a strong woman.” Immediately after she made her comment, choosing my words wisely, I said, “Not every man.”

After saying those words, I had a feeling my mother opened up the clouds from heaven and gave me a smack upside my head. I thought about it, and of course she was right. I found myself thinking about the guys I encounter on a normal day and came to the conclusion that 99 percent of the strong men I knoew have a a strong woman involved in their day-to-day lives.

After picking myself up after the beating of that conversation, I thought I was good for the rest of the day until sitting down to watch my favorite show “24: Live Another Day.” I heard one of my best female friends obtain her own quote and words of wisdom with “Never mess with a woman on a mission.”

I found myself thinking about the women who have made me the man I am today. I am certain I am responsible for some gray hair and deserving of many smacks upside the head, as I am at times a pain in the butt. I can admit these women and more have changed me, but in the end I am still my own man.

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