Some of you might remember me telling you that I was reading through and leading a small Bible study group on the book “So Long, Insecurity: you’ve been a bad friend” by Beth Moore. I wrote about insecurity as a woman before, which you can read here.
The chapter that we read this week was about men and their insecurities. Why would a book about women’s insecurities have an entire chapter devoted to men and their insecurites? Because they have them too. And it’s important for us women to remember that.
During my Bible study, the girls agreed that they didn’t really think guys struggled with insecurity, because as a female, we often relate insecurity with looks and they didn’t think most men cared much about how they look. Some men deal with insecurity in that regard, but it often looks differently too: money, status, leadership, providing.
As I read through the chapter, seeing the men account over and over again about their insecurity about failing to provide for their family, I had a huge wave of guilt rush over me and my mind immediately went to the argument that Skyler and I had gotten into the week before about the paintball business.
He knows and I know that I’m certainly extra hormonal and emotional right now and shouldn’t be having any serious discussions for the entire pregnancy (seriously.) but obviously that’s not likely to happen. And as it would be, I was all hormonal the other week. Whiny. And complain-y. Our argument started off with me whining about how much time he spent on the computer and on the phone doing business related correspondence and research. Which led to a discussion. And then a full on crying, upset (me) argument. I complained and whined and told him I hated running the paintball business. That I hated how much of our lives it took up. That I hated how summers don’t really exist for us any more. That I wondered how awesome our lives would be without this stupid time-consuming business.
It got ugly (me). I was having a full out 26-year-old temper tantrum. I told him he needed to quit the paintball business and get a normal job. And I’m terribly ashamed to say this wasn’t the first discussion that we’ve had that went like this. Even before I was pregnant.
When I read this chapter of the book, I felt even more ashamed of myself. The number one thing that the men said over and over again was that they were insecure about failing. Failing to provide. Failing to take care of. Failing to be good leaders. They said they needed the affirmation from their wives that they were providing well and were appreciated for their work.
And what did I do? I whined. I complained. I didn’t appreciate. I didn’t say “thank you for spending hours working for us”. I didn’t affirm him. I tore him down. I fed the insecurity of not making the right decision in providing. I, in more words than necessary, told him that his way of providing was stupid and he should just find a “normal” job instead.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this book has opened my eyes in so many ways. Even just to understand men in my life a little better: my husband, my father, my brother, my friends, and some day, my son.
I guess I write this for a couple reasons… 1.) As a confession and to share my real life struggles. 2.) To hopefully encourage you to be more aware that men struggle with insecurity too, and our words can tear them down or build them up.
I am thankful to have read this chapter in “So Long, Insecurity” and to be made more aware of what insecurity looks like for a man (my husband, especially). I pray that next time I’m tempted to complain about the business, about his way of providing for our family, that I think twice about my words and do my best to encourage and support his way of providing, rather than tear him down and fuel the insecurity.
Maybe go find your husband, give him a hug, and tell him you appreciate his hard work in providing for your family…. He just might need to hear it. 🙂