Sometimes, as men, we find ourselves in positions where we are struggling to make things happen for us or our families. We also find ourselves working to be successful at whatever we find ourselves doing on a daily basis only to hit roadblocks and dead ends. In those moments, when we have exhausted all of the options within our own capabilities, what do we do? If we are honest, most men (correct me if I am wrong) go inward or isolate.
We enter into mild to severe states of anxiety and/or depression because we feel defeated, depleted and deflated. This lull in our life is increased when we know that there are others looking to us to make things happen. However, there is always a choice to get out (I Corinthians 10:13). The issue is that we have to use what our masculinity views as a cuss word. The “H” word. Not the one you are thinking about. No…the other one: HELP!
What is it that makes us as men so apprehensive about asking for help? After all the very fabric of the relational aspect of humanity is founded on the concept of help (Genesis 2:18). Even Jesus, in the process of performing His greatest miracle, needed help (Matthew 7:32). So if both the first and last Adam in the perfection of placement and power needed help, why is it that men almost become ill at the thought of asking for help from others?
One reason could be because of conditioning. We may have been raised with an ideology that teaches that we have to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Another reason could be shame. We may have done some things intentionally or in error that put us in the position to need help. There may also be a fear of disappoinment or rejection. Hearing no can sometimes cut into our psyche to such a deep extent that we take it personal and harbor that pain for years, and it can sometimes point back to shame. What about the dreaded “j” word? Being judged and belittled for actually needing help can be worse than being rejected, especially when the help is extended with a side serving of anger, resentment or degradation. This also produces shame. The final suggestion is that we may have too much pride to even give the appearance that we need any kind of assistance, because we say to ourselves, whether inherently or through our training, that a man doesn’t show any sign of weakness. It’s that attitude that says, “Even if it kills me, I will die before I let anyone know that I am in need.”
Whether it is our conditioning, training, shame or pride, none of it leads to the demonstration of responsible manhood. Each of these demonstrations are attitudes of isolation. Proverbs 18:1-2 teaches that it is foolish to separate ourselves, because the end of that mode of operation leads to nothing but the discovery of our own frailty (PKJ Translation). In other words isolating ourselves in times of need is STUPID!
So refusing to ask for help from our spouses, our relatives, our friends, the family of God and even God himself, may not necessarily be prideful, but it is definitely STUPID! I can’t speak for anyone else, but I personally need to learn to stop acting STUPID…SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!!