He has a desire to please everyone….

blackman

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

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Are you okay with being single?

This is a article I wrote that was published in Love & Life Magazine a few years back I hope you enjoy!

If God reveled to you that you would never be married, would that change your outlook on life? Would you put so much energy into your appearance? Would you use as much time building relationships with the opposite sex? I had to ask myself this question and I asked the young ladies in our Tuesday night devotions group. The responses were shocking! My friend E said “I would help people more”, I said “I probably wouldn’t’ get my hair done as much”. Some of the other responses ranged from “I would use more of my free time with God”. “I would begin to join church activities, you know volunteer more. Dee said “I would adopt some children, because I would definitely get lonely”. I asked the ladies these questions because I wanted them to realize even though they always say they don’t care if they don’t have a man, subliminally they really do. I brought out the point that there shouldn’t be anything different in their lives then (if they weren’t to get married)…. that shouldn’t be bringing them fulfillment in their lives right now. After our session they all agreed they needed to do some serious self examination. I had to ask myself these questions to see if I was in God’s perfect will while I’m single and to see if I am doing things in my life to bring fulfillment, because marriage and companionship alone does not bring us fulfillment.
Most women feel to love a man, get married, have children and a successful career is the only script that will satisfy that longing of fulfillment. This sounds great, but we can have all of this and still be alone and unhappy. There are many circumstances worse than not having a companion. One of them is having a companion who doesn’t share your love and desire for God, someone whose lack of commitment divides your relationships commitment. And that’s what I’ve experienced in my past relationship and friendships.

What I do with my singleness

God has so much more for our life than companionship and earthly relationships. If we examine the lifestyle of Christ we all know that Jesus was a single man. His only purpose here on earth was to fulfill the work of God, and this is the only reason we single or married are here on earth to fulfill this same purpose, its says this in Ephesians 2:10. Even Jesus knowing and having all knowledge of things to come, practiced being present and maximizing everyday. He completely engaged himself with things that happened in the given moment. He didn’t worry about his future. He performed miracles as they came along. So how much more should we worry? We do not know what will happen to us today or tomorrow. We do not know what man or woman God has for us, or how we will meet our companion. But it is our responsibility to follow his example and live in the fullness of life right now. Jesus knew that he would die. But that didn’t stop him from living his life to its full potential or doing what God had purposed for his life. By asking those fulfillment questions, I was getting this concept across to the ladies in the group. If you let yourself live in the “what ifs” of the future you’ll find yourself missing God’s purpose in the here and now. Matt 6:32 says….For your heavenly father knows that you need all these things.”But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” I have learned that when God is the center of your attention, he will direct you and lead you to everything you need. Regardless if it is money, fulfillment, career choices or even a husband. By me focusing my life on God, I found myself not only filled with God but also drawn to others who are filled with god. The irony here is that we actually become more appealing to the very type of person we desire to marry when we use our season of singleness to serve God and others. He promises in his word to fill that void. Stop wasting time and begin to do the things that God wants you to do. In 1 Cor. 7:32 the bibles says “But I want you to be with care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord.”And it goes on and says that the unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in body and spirit. As soon as I began to direct my singleness towards God’s instructions (the bible) and seek his agenda for my life. I began to get peace about my future, and true fulfillment. I now commit my singleness “free time” to helping others (Gal 5:13), to gaining a closer relationship with the Lord, to use this time alone to grow in wisdom (Ps 90:12), praying for direction with my friendships, sharing my experiences with others, equipping and preparing myself for marriage…. if God chooses to bless me with a husband. This time is not only productive but it also teaches me things about myself, while bringing pleasure to God. He is very pleased with this kind of commitment from us. Through this search I have found true fulfillment, I have received an abundance of joy (John 16:24), true contentment (Phil 4:11-13), and direction. Learning through the word of God that singleness is a gift from God, I’ve learned to appreciate, cherish, and LOVE my singleness.

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