Challenges and Hurdles

In a world where we are expected to be strong and self-sufficient, men are often placed in situations where strength and self-sufficiency can’t happen. Expectations from parents, teachers, spouses, siblings, and friends can take a toll on a man who can’t “make the grade.” Self-esteem goes down the tubes. Too often, the result is destructive behavior, emotional instability, and addictive tendencies.

Men have issues

Anger and pride are often the only “safe” responses a man can have that don’t threaten his self-esteem. Instead of showing emotional pain, embarrassment or shame (which might reveal weakness), anger seems to exhibit strength. Instead of asking for help or expressing love (which might reveal neediness or vulnerability), stoic pride exhibits self-sufficiency.

Destructive behaviors and addictive tendencies can result from these issues in the form of sexual dysfunctions and addictions, shutting down the ability to communicate, and the propensity to turn to alcohol and/or drugs.

What does the Bible say?

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ‘Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (1 Corinthians 12:9-11).

According to the Apostle Paul, there is no shame in weakness. And look at Genesis 3, where the serpent convinces Adam and Eve it is better to be “like God.” Isn’t that the same as self-sufficiency? And still, we have the need to be able to do everything and not expose our weaknesses. Yet Jesus said:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

It sounds like gentleness, humbleness, and rest are characteristics of Jesus Christ. It sounds like we could take a lesson from Him. Healing is a process.

The Bible is not a bunch of magic words that will automatically change us, but 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Written by Sandy French