Last night I was able to spend some time alone time with my father. The hours we spent talking covered a few different topics on life. We both were fully candid about our thoughts and ideas. It was wonderful. Dad was able to speak some significant truth and understand into my life. I left feeling inspired, and quite emotional. I took out my journal and begin to jot down some questions. “Why do men have an inapt desire to want to please everyone that is in their lives?” Especially the women in their lives. I know most of you are probably thinking, “Well what is wrong with that?” Good men have a desire and unbelievable amount of pressure to meet the needs of everyone. Its drives them and gives them purpose. “It’s a man world”. Men are ruled by their life script of gender roles, masculinity, and the patriarchal model within our society. Consequently, because of this construct they have an unbelievable amount of pressure from those around them. From their mothers, wives, children, girlfriends. If they work in a prominent female profession, they are the leaders in the workplace. Even amongst their peers… Especially if you are a man who has obtained a significant amount of success, you feel obligated to take care of everyone that you are doing better than. But let’s focus on women. Women inherently need men. There is a collection of demands that we long for from our men. We want to be led, to be desired, protected, important, and provided for. A good woman sees the potential laying doormat inside of that man. Putting pressure on that demand is wonderful, but it also can cause a man to no longer follow his heart or dreams. It can cause him to miss Gods purpose for his life. These expectations on him can become a distraction and problematic. In certain situations, these expectations can cause a man to become miserable, unhappy, and live with regrets. He is no longer living a life of his own, but he is now living a life to please others. This kind of lifestyle can cheat him out of complete fulfillment and happiness. Some men will allow commitment to stretch them too thin, by pleasing others. No one wants to live with regrets and disappointments. But some regrets lead to un- fulfillment. Life presents us with opportunities and choices. When we make the wrongs choices, we live our lives with regrets that pierce our hearts.
My ex-boyfriend sent me an email recently. It read “Biggest mistake… ever losing Ambria” I didn’t respond for several days. My response to him, out of fully not understanding and to console him. “There are no mistakes. Just lessons and maturity” He then responded a few days later with these exact words…… “I disagree. As a man, I have matured and reflected. I have to be honest with myself… and there is definitely a difference between lessons and making a mistake. When there’s a choice and u make, that choice based on the wrong reasons… it’s a mistake”. These words begin to resonate with me. Because I know that he struggled greatly with the fear of disapproval and rejection throughout our relationship.I have heard countless examples from people who have made life decisions based on the wrong reasons. Rather it be out of comfort,money, fear, children, a false sense of obligation, pride, or miscommunication. The list goes on.
We have to be careful not to allow guilt and fear to grip the behaviors of our men. Women realize your power. Men inherently fear disapproval. Guilt and fear can cause someone to say yes, when they want to say no. And to say no when you really want to say yes. Men are validated by approval of those who they love. We say things to them like “do what is right”, “be a man”. And if they do anything outside of this framework, it is considered “wrong”. When a man makes sacrifices for the needs and wants of someone else, without considering his own wants and needs. These core beliefs are wrong. But we call it “being strong”. He walks around unknowingly wearing his “selflessness” as a badge of honor. But we never take into consideration the burden or internal struggle he made with that sacrifice. What is truly driving his decisions? Is it his heart, or wanting someone else to be happy?
When a man is not validated he associates those feelings with weakness, and it can even tap into feelings of rejection. Example; Think of a man who is unable to produce or provide for his family. It triggers feelings of “less than”, insignificance, and lack of manhood. This taps into his masculinity. All humans need approval, but there is a thin line between approval, and the ideas and thoughts of others dominating your decisions. The need of approval can be misused and abused. Which is unhealthy.
I had 6 pages of thoughts on this topic, but I will bring this entry to a close. Men, it is important to live a life that is free and directed by God. A life that allows you to make decisions that you desire and want without regrets. Proverbs 29:25. When you live up to the expectations of others you can miss Gods purpose. Ask yourself, where has God placed me? Who does he have for me? What does God want me to be doing in this season of my life? Whose opinion matters to me the most?
We have to make peace with the stakes of not meeting the expectations of others. You will disappoint those in whom you love. Think about all of the people who Jesus disappointed. Are you any better than him? If you try to please everyone but yourself, you will fail. Do not allow your life to be controlled by others. Do not allow fear to control your life and the disapproval of others to sabotage your relationships and your happiness. Be led by God and be confident in every decision that you make. Anything outside of this displeases God, it stunts your growth and opportunities. Trust your decisions. You deserve Gods best. God is waiting for you to walk into his purpose, and happiness. He has great plans for your future. Jeremiah 29:11
“I’d rather fail at doing what my hearts wants, than succeed at doing what others expect of me.” Ambria Willis