I hate asking for help.
Yes I am the typical man who doesn’t like to read instructions, ask for directions, or admit when I can’t do something. It’s gotten me in more trouble than I should have gone through. I will admit, and so will Anne, I’ve gotten much better at that.
One of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had, was at a Mr. Muffler. My job: oil changes, general maintenance, and custodial. On my first day of the job, my boss said to me, “Have you heard of the saying, ‘there’s no such thing as a stupid question’?” My reply was, “yes.” Then he spoke a startling TRUTH to me.
“The only stupid questions are the one’s not asked.”
His view, especially to someone so new, so green at the job, was that we as auto mechanics were taking people’s lives in our hands when we were fixing their cars. To not ask…to assume…was risking the lives of our customers.
I grew up battling with self-esteem. I didn’t like asking for questions for numbers of reasons. Perhaps the reason I used most was I didn’t want look like a sissy, a wimp, or a wuss. That’s where the term “Wussification” comes from.
Wussification: the systematic sissyfying of men. (according to Urban Dictionary)
The idea behind it: building/raising someone to be weak in their demeanor so that as they grow, they will not mature but remain in a state of weakness. For me, to ask for help was a sign of weakness. Little did I know, it was the opposite. To not ask was what made me weak.
Something that I say so often in pre-marital counseling is “Asking for help isn’t weakness. Not asking for help is what makes you weak.” The mentality of toughing it out and not getting help does more damage than sucking it up and seeking advice from someone beyond your marriage. Scripture says in Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” The actions of pride will always be the precursor of destruction. It’s like the dummy lights in a car. When the oil light comes on, it’s not time to think about changing the oil. It’s time to do something immediately before the engine seizes up. If you need help and pride pops up, that needs to be the warning light to tell you that something must take place to fix what is wrong or else devastating results could follow.
“What will the pastor think of me?”
“I don’t want to change.”
“My spouse is the one with the issue.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with things.”
“We’ll get through it. A little time will help.”
Can you hear in those statements the pride and arrogance? Perhaps you can see a glimmer of fear in those remarks (I know I can). But the refusal to be teachable and humble, can leave the marriage with catastrophic damage. The damage: The wussification of your marriage. Stubbornness and even the ideology in your marriage can blind you to see that, by not getting the help you need is creating a wimpy marriage. I want your marriage to keep its mojo. I want to see growth. I want to see you position for marital success. But success in marriage isn’t done in isolation. It’s done in community. It’s how God designed us.
Check out this scripture:
Matthew 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
You were not created to live life without asking for help. We have a natural part of us that wants to reach out for answers beyond ourself. But that’s where pride kicks in and wants to dampen that part of our natural makeup and seek to do it on our own.
TRUTH: By allowing pride to keep you from seeking help, you are fostering the wussification of your marriage.
Here’s some tips to help you from Matthew 7:7:
1 – “Keep on asking” Take it to the Lord. Have the two of you prayed about it together? Have you fasted? Have you sought the Word for direction? Stop praying for your spouse to change. Start asking the Lord to reveal to you what needs to be changed in you.
2 – “Keep on seeking” Position your marriage to grow. Seek ways that your marriage can become stronger. Something that playing football taught me: when I kept working out, I got stronger; when I stopped, I got weaker. Pursue avenue that will grow your marriage. Get in a small group with your spouse. Find a Christian marriage mentor. Seek their advice. Find a marriage book to read together. Once you feel you have a strong marriage, that isn’t the time to stop. It’s the time to keep seeking to grow it.
3 – “Keep on knocking” Go after “doors of assistance” that will help you. Talk to your pastor. Get a marriage counselor.SPECIAL NOTE: No one goes alone. You don’t go alone. Don’t send your spouse alone. It’s never a he/she problem. It’s always a we problem. Remember: the two become one. Foster oneness by working through issues as one.
– When it comes to counseling, seek an adviser that is a Christ-follower. Psalms 1:1 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked…”
Don’t grow a wimpy marriage. Ask for help. Seek advice. Quit trying to accomplish this stuff on your own. Let the body of Christ BE the body of Christ.
Thanks for letting me ramble…