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.
The Problem is WHAT We are Committing To
In general, we make our commitments based on what we want to do! If we want to invest everything in our career, we go for it. If we want to make money, we start piling it up! If we want to go on an adventure, we may climb a mountain or hike the Himalayas. Men like to call their own shots and make their own life choices. We enjoy feeling like the “big dog” in the house! From our earliest age, male children want what they want and they don’t want to wait for it. That’s the way we are put together in our emotional architecture as men.
If you have been following the lessons up to this point, you will already know that the Bibles clearly states that man’s greatest fear is that we will be humiliated, made a fool of or thought of as a worthless loser. Men are more worried about what other people think of us than even death. Think about it, why is it so hard for NASCAR drivers to retire? They realize they are not being competitive but they don’t want to give up the thousands of screaming fans! The same is true of other sports figures and Hollywood celebrities. We need those people applauding and shouting. Okay, most of us only have employers, clients or customers to deal with, but we like them telling us that we are the best they have ever had working for them! We love that feeling of accomplishment…of winning.
But Those “Fans” Don’t Really Satisfy Us
If we have to go home and face what I call “Hagar the Horrible syndrome”, we still feel like miserable losers, even if we have just left the stadium with ten thousand screaming fans! How can one upset, miserable, angry woman make us feel so bad? It is very simple: she is the most important person in our lives and what she thinks about us is the very core of who we are! Ten thousand will not overcome the contempt of the one.
The real question is this: Why would anyone commit to a relationship that can cause so much sorrow? If we have felt that scorn….that rage….that ridicule we know that there is nothing in this world that is any more painful. When we (as men) accept that person into our lives, we open ourselves to the potential of that pain. Why do it?
Because We NEED Them So Desperately
Again, we were created by God to need that woman, to need her approval, to need her acceptance and admiration. That is what God created inside of us as men! If we become frustrated because we feel our needs aren’t being met by our partner, we can’t point our finger at her and say, “You are my biggest problem!” The problem is inside our own selves – we have refused to accept God’s plan, we’ve refused to do the job of winning her heart the way God intended.
This is so important that you might skip over the impact of it. Listen to this: if you lose that relationship with your girlfriend, wife or partner, you die at the highest rate of any part of the population. In a word, without her, you are likely to die from any of several stress-related conditions.
Here is the Solution
The solution to our puzzle is simple. Surrender your life goals and let HER welfare become the most important goal of your life. Yes, I know that we have listened to each other ridicule and torment other men who “were …..whipped” by listening to their wife’s feelings. We have laughed and joked about how anti-masculine it seems to surrender to such an impossible thing as “a woman’s needs”. But, that is what the Bible says a wise man will do to earn the respect and admiration he requires to have a fulfilled life. A man, who has worked his entire life to make his wife happy and free of her own Greatest Fear, will find he has invested himself well. (See the earlier lesson on the Woman’s Greatest Fear of being “second in importance” to anything else in her husband’s life.)
Think about it; if your wife respects you, then your children will probably admire you as well (once they are old enough to understand the challenge of earning that respect) and then those around you will respect the fact that you are admired by your most intimate family members and they will join them in holding you in respect. Read the book of Proverbs (especially Proverbs 31) and see what lies at the core of the wisdom he teaches everyman should aspire too.