Four Fears Men Face But Rarely Talk About
Traditionally, it has not been cool for men to talk about what they are afraid of. Being a manly man is more often synonymous with toughness, bravery, and a can-do attitude. But the truth is the “fearless man” is a myth. Even the most rugged of the rugged can be compelled to turn their metaphorical night-light on. While there’s obviously nothing wrong or abnormal about that, men also tend to bottle those things up. Me? No, I’m not afraid. So, what are some of the thoughts that men are often too scared to share and why?
Am I going to be just like my dad?
For better or worse, there’s a lot of our dads kicking around inside of us. Some men are blessed to have what they would consider amazing fathers — others less so or not at all. But across that spectrum at least one thing is true: no one has the perfect dad. If the worst issues of our fathers can keep us up at night, we lose much more sleep after realizing these issues could be our own.
I don’t make enough money.
Many men feel an unhealthy burden to provide. Historically, due to many political and sociological reasons, men were the main financial providers for their families. For many, the ability to provide for one’s family is the number one metric used to determine if they are a successful husband, father, or son. The prospect of not making enough to provide is a very real fear. It often feels impossible for a man to separate his ability to provide from the concept of self worth itself.
What if I can’t change?
Ever had the feeling that others know something that you don’t and if you could just figure it out your life would be much better? According to a study by Nickelodeon UK, the average man doesn’t reach full emotional maturity until age 43. That’s a lot of years to live before “getting your life together.” Of course, men are capable of great emotional maturity in the first half of their lives, and it comes sooner for some than others. But sometimes with a slow, unfolding emotional maturity can come habits and patterns of behavior or thinking we wish we could change but feel unable to for whatever reason.
I’m running out of time.
On top of everything else, there’s a sense that one day it will all come to an end. It’s not just that I don’t make enough money, it’s that my years to do so are constantly passing me by. In 2019, the average life expectancy of a US male at birth was 76.3 years (Statista). It’s easy to feel behind when life feels like a race against the clock.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - Jesus (John 16:33)
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” - 1 Peter 5:7
God wants men to know it’s safe to share our fears with Him. The peace of Christ’s overcoming of the world is meant to comfort us. The ultimate redemption of Jesus reminds us that we are becoming more like our perfect Father, who has no lack of resource, is conforming us to the image of Christ, and whom we will ultimately spend eternity with.