4 Things Men Struggle to Admit

Manhood:  strength, fearlessness, bravery, protectors.
These words are what we as men think of when we consider what is expected of us.  We carry ourselves as figures who are always in control and never stymied by any situation or person. We persevere; we are the epidemy of strong and courageous at all times.  And that’s why we struggle so much with being real and genuine.  Because no one can be all of those things all the time.  But we can’t let anyone know, right?  That would give a perception of weakness and that is something men cannot tolerate.  But what if the perception of weakness was just that – a perception?  What if true strength was found in weakness?  In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul quotes Jesus who said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Being labeled as weak, I believe, is what often keeps men from saying things that need to be said.  Here are four common admissions men struggle with:

I’m Wrong

This comes down to a pride issue for us as men.  We are wired to be self-reliant and often feel that our ways, opinions, and attitudes are the best and in turn correct.  As a result, even when we find ourselves in the wrong, we will fight to the end to be right.  The need to be right all the time causes us to grow arrogant, closed-minded, and even more stubborn than we already are.   These characteristics take a damaging toll on our marriages and our families.  Our wives and our children need to know that we are capable of owning up to being wrong at times.  

It is not weakness to admit that we are wrong.  In fact, it takes an extremely strong and confident man to lay down his pride and take responsibility for being in the wrong.

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with.” – Proverbs 16:18

I’m Sorry

This second statement goes hand-in-hand with the first.  Even when we admit we are wrong, it can still be so difficult for us as men to utter these words.   There is a sense of uneasiness that overtakes us when we find ourselves at the mercy of another and in need of forgiveness.  Again, it is our prideful nature that takes over and causes us to fight against being in that position, especially when it comes to our families.   In order to lead our families in the way God has called us to do so, our wives and children need to hear us ask for forgiveness when we have done wrong.  This sets an example for the entire household to follow.  How can we expect our kids to apologize for their wrongs if we are never willing to show them that we are held to the same standard?

It is not weakness to say, “I’m sorry.”  When we willingly humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness, it shows our wives and our kids that we value their feelings above our own – that is what strong godly leadership looks like.

Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32

I’m Hurt

This is an all-too-common struggle for men because it involves being vulnerable.  Whether the hurts are in the past or the here and now, it is difficult for us to talk about.  The fact that others have the power to impact our feelings is a red flag that we often see as a chink in the armor.  As a result, we often bury our feelings and don’t talk about them at all… with anyone… ever.  Sadly, this causes walls to be built up between us and the ones we love the most.  Our families are often caught in the crossfire of the bitterness and emotional distress that unresolved hurts cultivate within our hearts.  It is vitally important for us as men to find a healthy way to unpack our hurts and our feeling.  Find a trusted friend or mentor to talk to.  And don’t shy away from seeking professional therapy if the hurts run too deep.  

It is not weakness to admit to being hurt – it is simply part of being human.  Everyone gets hurt.  Genuine manhood is admitting the hurt and dealing with it in a healthy manner so that we can be at our best for those who will need us most when they are hurting.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right. – Isaiah 41:10

I’m Afraid

Fear is most often felt by men when we feel like things are out of control.  This can manifest itself in many different areas of our lives – finances, addictions, relationships, and failures are just a few of these areas.  Much like hurt, fear is a topic that men are not comfortable talking about openly, especially with those closest to us.  However, being honest and open about our fears is the first step to dealing with them.  Why – because it brings them into the light where they can be seen and dealt with.  To be sure, some fears are extremely difficult to face and we are much more comfortable with them being left in the dark.  But, if they are not dealt with, those fears are only going to take deeper and deeper root inside us until they grow to the point when they can’t be hidden any longer and they, in turn, expose us.  This causes damage to not only ourselves but those we love.  Truth be told, our wives love us enough to stand beside us and help us face our fears, even if it scares them too.  Allow them to join you and support you in the battle against fear.  We must be willing to take that initial first step even when fear tells us to stand still.  

It is not weakness to be afraid.  It only becomes weakness when we cower in fear and refuse to act.  It takes an extremely brave man to face his fears and not allow them to stop him from becoming the man God has called him to be.  

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7

-Jason Taylor
Worship & Youth Pastor

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