Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'd Like a Piece of Humble Pie, Please

My post from yesterday netted me a marriage proposal!  Unfortunately, I had to turn him down.  I checked my schedule and there doesn't seem to be time for a courtship or wedding anytime soon.  But I was most definitely flattered, and I am still smiling.  It's good to have friends.  Add that to the friend who offered to shave his head when I commented on my attraction to bald men, and I'm very blessed as far as male friends go.  :-)

Seriously, yesterday was rough.  Today is better....I only cried twice, and one of those times was when our pastor's son proposed to his girlfriend of two years at the end of the church service today, so those tears probably don't count.

But I am now wrestling with my issue with asking men for help.

One friend said that it is because of pride.  Ouch!  That is what made me cry, so I suppose that must be one component.  But this issue has its roots in my past, I think.

My dad had a drinking problem when I was growing up, and when I was 10, he left our family.  Over the next few years, when I called him to ask for any kind of help, from homework to financial help, his response was unpredictable at best.  But if my memory is correct, more often than not, he was "too busy" or "too stretched" to help right then.

When I got married the first time, I married a man who loved the outdoors and craved adventure of any sort.  I tried to adapt to his lifestyle, but I often failed and ended up needing to ask him for help.  When this happened, his response was to laugh at me and make fun of me to his family and friends.

When I married the second time, my husband wasn't competent at home and vehicle maintenance or repair.  Unfortunately, I didn't understand how hard it was on his male ego to admit this, so I would occasionally ask him to help with those types of projects.  This only served to irritate him, and he would snap at me or ignore me. 

As a result of these experiences with the three men who have played the male lead role in my life over the years, I came to some conclusions.  First, I concluded that men don't like to help women.  Second, I concluded that to ask a man for help was to set myself up for ridicule.  And third, I concluded that men get annoyed when women ask for help.

I have been assured by several male friends that these are faulty conclusions.  But until I realized that these were my beliefs about men (which happened yesterday), I wasn't able to deal with them.  Now that I am aware of my faulty assumptions, I am going to pray and work hard at changing them.

However, my friend who suggested that this is a pride issue was also right, I think.  Somewhere along the line, I bought into our culture's lie that women can do anything men can do, only better.  So it became a matter of pride to prove that although I am female, I am capable of anything and everything.  And then there is the whole matter of pride in the fact that I am a single mom and doing just fine, thank you.  Nope, don't need anyone's help, I can do it all and do it well.

Ahh, the stupid lies we tell ourselves, and the sinful direction those lies take us! 

I have work to do, my friends.  Prayers would be appreciated.  Oh, and if anyone would like to help me work through all this, I will accept your help....even if you are male.  :-)


Dawna said...

Denise...I am not shy about asking for help but have been refused many times...but other times I have been surprised. My brother helps but also expects me to learn things. Most times I have to pay someone. The mix works. But if you don't ask .. you will never know. Hugs.

Michael said...

The myth of self sufficiency is a lie that plagues both genders and a weapon of mass distraction used against us by our worst enemy. If we buy into it, we distance ourselves from the only One that we can always rely on. Sometimes,humility is a struggle but when we realize that it was a defining quality of God's son as he walked here on the earth, that moves it to a totally different level(for me). The realization that we are all broken and need of a Savior should be the great equalizer. Personally, volunteering for the last year at Uncommon Grounds, has(among many other blessings)taught me a level of humility that I could have never achieved on my own. Holding my Cafe family and friends up in prayer daily has created a more submissive heart within me as well. I cherish every precious moment that I am able to serve my fellow sojourners and the lessons that God teaches me there every week. (On the lighter side, belonging to a weight-watchers group for 3 years, in which I was the only male, is a humbling experience as well, exercising humility while there(and being so out-numbered) is a really wise survival technique..LOL)Remember what God told Joshua. "..Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go". Joshua 1:9. Blessings & peace to you this week :)