Greatest Fears Archives

Keep the Game In Bounds

One of the great truths of life is that no one in the world can harm you as badly as the person who loves you most. That sounds really strange because the assumption going into marriage is that no one in the world is more unlikely to harm you than the one who loves you the most! Something very special happens in marriage. We get to know the other person. That other person allows us access to the deepest thoughts and most closely guarded secrets. We see each other in ways that no one outside of the marriage will ever know them. We become open and vulnerable to that other person.

Then We Have Conflict

In an argument we start into a cycle of exchanges where things are said in anger and frustration. In almost an instant of time the emotions flare and we start thinking of things we could say that would lash out at our adversary. Almost without hesitation, we say the most hurtful thing we can think of. And away we go! What got things started so quickly? It can be anything that we know will hit at the most tender spots. Most wives know that words like “idiot”, “moron”, “klutz”, “dumb as a post” and (the list can get very colorful) “stupid”, will almost always hit with the power of a baseball bat to the head. Why do those words (or ideas that carry the same message) hurt so badly? Go back to the lesson on the Greatest Fear of Men and you will find that every man carries that basic fear of being considered a fool and unworthy of respect.

Wives know that words like “fat” (or “skinny”), “ugly”, “witch”, “the old lady”, and many more that I don’t need to detail in this message,  cut deeper than any knife. When a husband threatens to leave and never come back, he has “dropped the nuclear bomb”.  Those words carry the message, “I could never love someone like you,” to the person who is already afraid that she will be left alone and unloved. Go back to the lesson on the Greatest Fear of Women to see why those words do so much damage.

There Are So Many Hurtful Things We Can Say

When someone brings up a past failure and says, “You blew it again, just like last time,” (or they list the failures), things will not go well from that point on. When someone finally lashes out and says, “I will never understand what I saw in you that I ever loved”, we don’t need a map to see where things are headed. We feel guilty about things. We feel sad about lost opportunities and broken dreams. We feel regrets and remorse. We feel grief and loss. We feel hurt and wounded. These things are unguarded, unprotected areas of vulnerability and the only person who knows where those special feelings lie buried is the person who is now in conflict with us.

This is a Very Dangerous Situation

To keep from causing the worst damage we can inflict on each other, we must sit down during quiet times and make a list of words and ideas that we are going to put off limits… out of bounds… foul ball territory, and make penalties that require “loss of yardage”! Anytime these words are used, the other person has the right to call “Time Out” and recognize the inappropriate words or ideas. The other person may not realize that their words carried that message so powerfully. But, that is the whole reason for making the list. We are trying to learn what happens inside the other person even in times of conflict!

If that person is willing to call a halt and explain what just happened to them when we used that word or idea, we have learned something important.

Husbands and Wives are to meet each other’s needs from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Fear of Commitment?

There is a myth in our culture that men have a fear of making a commitment. I have made it clear that none of our wives or girlfriends are to be reading this post, so we can have this conversation in private….man to man.

All of us who are built on a “man chassis” know that none of us have difficulty making a total commitment! We have no problem making a commitment to a job or career. We make major commitments to sports teams and hobbies and become “fan-atics”.  Many of us are totally committed to protecting our freedom by being in the military forces, law enforcement or other vital services. We work ourselves into exhaustion and never let anyone question our dedication. All you have to do is watch a fireman run into a blazing building and you can see that total commitment is not a problem.

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The Fear of Failure

The greatest fear in the heart of a man is the fear of failure; the fear of being unworthy of respect or approval.

This video describes how a man’s Greatest Fear can be calmed by the love and respect of his wife.

Men-What are you afraid of? from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

The Greatest Fear of Women

The Bible says in the fifth chapter of Ephesians that the Greatest Fear of women is that they will be left alone and unloved….rejected.  This can take several forms. This fear can be that the woman remains married but will be ignored or isolated.  In its worst form of her fear, she will be used, abused and abandoned.  They believe that their partner, whom they have chosen to love and depend upon, will eventually tire of the relationship and find excitement or satisfaction elsewhere.  They are fearful that they will have wasted their affection and commitment.  In fact, they will be left without resources, without options, and finally without hope.

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The Deepest Fear of Men

Frightened BabyThe Bible (Ephesians 5:33) points out the greatest need in the heart of a man is the fear of being unworthy of respect or approval.  In common terms, we would say that man’s deepest fear would be a fear of failure, fear of accomplishing nothing, fear of not measuring up, or a fear that no one will find worth and value in him.  The woman that loves her husband will realize the delicate nature of the ego and self-esteem that a man possesses.

There are untold millions of examples of men who have tried to prove themselves in all sorts of amazingly creative ways (as well as many foolish ways) in order to overcome the deepest fears within. The driving force behind many of this nation’s most successful men has been the sense of embarrassment that would fall on them if they failed.  I recall a Russian weight-lifter who had been declared the strongest man in the world for seven years. Upon winning the Olympic gold medal, he returned to his friends and said, “Maybe now my wife will respect me.” He had at that point broken the world record 158 times, but he didn’t have his wife’s respect. Read the rest of this entry

Introduction to Our Greatest Fears

The Greatest Fear of Women and the Greatest Fear of Men

The Bible tells us that there are deep, abiding fears with each person.  They were created inside of each of us to help us become loving partners.  These are not weaknesses or character flaws that must be ignored, denied or covered up. They are part of that great divine creation called marriage.  You can read about it in Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”  Why do they want to become one flesh?  GOD created them to need each other.

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