In the movie Shadowlands, about the true love story of beloved author and Oxford professor C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman, Lewis says to one of his pupils, “We read to know we’re not alone.” I hope this provides that same sense of connectedness because the problems men face aren’t unique.
We’re all facing the same challenges, some obvious and some fought secretly on the inside. When we as men persevere through our struggles, especially together, we build character and find hope. In that spirit, let’s share how we’re not alone by exposing 5 struggles every man faces.
Many of us never expect to be lonely in marriage, hoping a spouse will be the lifelong companion who saves us from loneliness. Over time, however, couples can gradually disconnect from one another and find themselves feeling isolated and withdrawn, even for a season. Loneliness is not just about physical proximity; it’s about emotional connection. Sometimes, men feel lonely in the pressures they carry to meet the needs of their family and career, too. If you’re feeling lonely in your marriage, here are some ways to reconnect with your spouse.
Every man I’ve ever had deep, honest conversations with has expressed this same nagging struggle that I have felt from time to time. We ask ourselves if we have what it takes, if we’re making the right decisions, and if there are any other guys feeling the same way. In the everyday adventures of marriage, of being a dad to five children, and of leading a nonprofit organization, I have questioned and second-guessed many decisions. I continue to learn how to trust that God will give me the wisdom I need to make the best decisions I can.
Lack of Direction
No, this is not about stubbornly refusing to ask for directions (a deserved stereotype rendered moot by map apps today). I’m talking about another of the problems men face, those occasions in life when a man assesses where he is and where he thought he would be and realizes he’s not sure where he wants to go. When I’ve had seasons like that, I’ve learned to first go to God in prayer and also to share with my wife, Susan, to get her counsel. I’ve also found that wise, godly men who will listen to me and give me good counsel often help me understand myself better and choose a direction to move toward.A lack of respect can crumble a man’s spirit.
Lack of Respect
A lack of respect can crumble a man’s spirit. When a wife or child constantly questions a man’s judgment, decisions, and actions, it surely takes the wind out of his sails. So, it’s important to help our wives and children understand how much we value their respect, without demanding it. It’s even more important that we treat them in a way that earns and deserves their respect.
Yes, this temptation is one of the problems men face. Every man. With the proliferation of pornography online, the destruction that it brings is just one click away. Since men often battle this in total silence and isolation, it can be a dangerous secret that damages them physically, emotionally, and relationally. Families are wrecked every day by men who fail in sexual temptation online, in person, and in marriages and don’t know how to handle those breaches of trust. It’s important that we build safeguards, like not driving or traveling alone with females other than our wives and sharing our passwords with our wives. We also need to share our struggles with our wives and with other men who will support us. Here are some more ways to tackle this struggle.
Sound off: The problems men face aren’t unique. What other struggles do you see as common among men?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your biggest struggle lately?”