The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Husband Faces
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September 21, 2014
The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Husband Faces
Today’s post is directly inspired by another post that has nothing – and everything – to do with being a good husband.
As a matter of fact, I shamelessly ripped off the title and substituted “husband” for “blogger”.
It was just too perfect.
The post in question is written by Michael Hyatt, a top blogger in the field of leadership. His latest post hit my inbox just one day after a conversation with a counselee who was having a tough time.
As I was reading his article, I kept substituting the mental battles we face as men for Michael’s blogging experience. In my head, I was agreeing, “Yes, yes…and YES again!”
And this article was born.
The Right Mindset
My counselee is in the midst of a war that all husbands wage. It’s the battle with the three-headed monster of negativity.
Negativity will do nothing but sabotage your efforts. Do we all get frustrated? Sure. We all want to learn faster and we all want the learning curve to go ever upward. But it doesn’t work that way.
Instead we ride a plateau for a while and then get a little bump up. Then we do it again. It’s called being human.
But because we’re human, we have those little voices in our heads telling us all the things we can’t do or shouldn’t do and why it’ll never work. In his brilliant book, The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield calls this negative chatter “resistance”.
So with the help of Pressfield and Michael Hyatt, I’m going to detail the three-headed monster of negativity and give some tips on how to do “Christ like man”. An awesome Christ like man.
“I Don’t Have Time for This”
Time is at a serious premium for all of us. But to be Christ like, you obviously have to carve out some time to work on your craft. It is imperative you spend time in your Bible. It is called the Sword of the Spirit for a reason.
So when a counselee tells me that he just can’t seem to find time to read and study their Bible, I help him determine the minimum commitment that they can make on a regular basis.
Nobody will claim that they can’t find at least 10-15 minutes per day for Bible study.. But most counselees are unaware that that can often be enough, at least to get started. It doesn’t have to require loads of time. It just takes a small concentrated effort consistently applied.
Now that you’ve carved out the time, it’s important that you know how to use it wisely. Ask yourself, “How efficient is my study time?”
Efficiency is all about getting the most done with the least time or effort. This requires that you understand your priorities and make sure to hit those things first. Michael Hyatt calls this “clarity about the essentials”. The essential element of your becoming a Christ like man, is to understand the heart of Christ. We know that to be a Christ like man, we have to emulate Christ. That may involve examining the purpose Christ would do something. He is living out the will of our Father. There is a reason. Normally, these reasons will go against your flesh, but as we continue to study His life, they become more and more clear. Sometimes, the reason will be intellectually pretty easy to discern however it may just go against your flesh. That is why after salvation, we go through sanctification. The cleansing process. This is an ongoing work in progress.
The bottom line: If you’re like most people, you are not going to do this perfect all of the time, especially at the beginning. Therefore you should that while sometimes you might blunder, you need to just get “back on the horse”. There is no need to give up and bail out just because you hit a bump.
“I Don’t Know How To Do This”
Never lose sight of the fact that none of us know what to do in the beginning stages of our journey. But the discovery is the most powerful part of the learning process.
It amazes me that counselees will still say “I don’t know how” when:
- We have been over the material more than once.
- They have a folder of paperwork from previous sessions.
- They have the Internet at their fingertips.
With all of this at their disposal, they will still say, “I don’t know how.”
I realize that many of you will say this screams “laziness”, and to a large extent, it does. If you really want something – and you have resources to aid you – then just get after it already.
But it also screams “I don’t pay attention.”
And if you know anything about being awesome , you know that the greatest thing you can bring to the party is your ability to pay strict attention. It is critical for solving problems.
Finally, “I don’t know how” may be symptomatic of paralysis by analysis. When the options seem overwhelming or when the counselee is afraid to make the wrong choice, he will make no choice at all.
It’s true that there is to contend with if we want to be a good husband. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming; just tackle your obstacles one at a time.
“I Don’t Have What It Takes”
This is a tough one, because it speaks to our perceptions of our own ability, intelligence, and ability to learn. Understanding that you are not uniquely challenged in this – that every husband, no matter how wonderful he may appear to be, has questioned their ability – should help a bit. Unfortunately, it’s quite normal.
Practicing being a real man is such a solitary endeavor that it can often feel like we’re the only ones who fail. But quitting before the whistle blows, as Michael Hyatt puts it, is a sure-fire way to cheat yourself.
You’ll never know how well you could have done if you bail out when the going gets tough. And we all know what happens when the going gets tough, right?***
Allow me to share one of my favorite quotes, by Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
You heard the man – dig in and dare to be awesome.
Even though Michael Hyatt’s blog is about leadership, the theory applies to the same challenges you face becoming a good husband. So be sure to check out his blog. It’s unfailingly positive and offers some great insights on leadership and life.
In His service…. TimothyPaul
QUESTION: Are you battling one of these negative thoughts? How have you learned to manage it? Leave me a comment below!