"The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. "
But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. "
proverbs-twenty nine -twenty five
Growing up in church, especially in the latter years when I discovered the Charismatic church, I heard the term "fear of man" thrown around quite a bit. I was never really sure what it meant but I guess I always assumed it meant to fear the opinions of others more than God's.
( "...for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." john 12:43) But as the years have gone by, it became something entirely literal in my life: I was afraid of men.
This has been the driving force feeding my "fear of man" mentality for years. I have always struggled with needed the approval of others. We can chalk that up to the scared little fat twelve year old who was picked on mercilessly as I child....I got that part figured out for the most part. But there was also this part in me that was frantic to be approved of by men...it didn't matter who they were. And it was really becoming a source of distraction. I cannot tell you how many church services I have been late to trying to get my hair and makeup perfect....how many sermons I have ignored because I was to busy picking out cute boys...how many times worship was lost on me because I kept looking around to see if any guys were watching me. There are other things... but those are between me in Jesus.
And here is wear the fear kicks in: had any of those guys I was ogling actually came up and talked to me...well...I probably would've passed out. I couldn't even look a guy in the eye if I thought he was cute. If a young man smiles and says hello to me at a store just out of politeness, I smile and say hello back but I can't look at him. At first I thought it was just a low self-esteem thing. But upon closer inspection, I began to realize there was fear there.
And I could probably tell you where most of it comes from...you know...other than the pits of hell. We can probably safely assume its due to my past relationships with men, be it with my own father or guys I was interested in. But that's not the point....where it came from is the Lord's business. But the point was that it was affecting my opinions of every guy I met, affecting my ideas of self worth and terrifying me to no end about the concept of my future husband being let into to my secret catacombs of insecurity, flaws and failures.
I was actually becoming afraid of men. I was beginning to make some sweeping judgements about them in general. I was beginning to assume that good men were either only dwelling in Disney movies or married to other people and the rest of them were all jerks and liars. But yet I felt I was only of value as a woman if I was found attractive and desired by them. My life's happiness was only to be found in getting married. Wow....what a mixed up web of contradictory madness. I was just so very wrong.
Over the past month or so, the Holy Spirit has really been speaking to me and healing my heart. I realized that this was a big issue and a source of bitterness and distraction. So before I continue to blather on and on about my new revelation, I rather just pray:
I ask for forgiveness right now of my judgements and anger, towards anyone in my life, but especially men. Father, I forgive the men who have been in my life that have hurt me. I ask that you would heal the areas of brokenness in their hearts with an overflow of your love. I thank you that I am blessed to face trials because they make me stronger and love you all the more. I ask for forgiveness from all them men who I have hurt by my fearfulness of them. I ask for their forgiveness for the things I have spoken against them. I break every curse or ill thing I have spoken over men in my life or men in general in Jesus' name. I thank you for men and the wonderful gift they are.
I ask that you would bring healing to the men who fear their own masculinity. I ask that you would show them how wonderful it is to be a man, and that's its okay to let go of boyish things. But let them rise up as leaders, fathers, teachers and protectors. Teach them how to follow the example you have on how a man is meant to be. Let the only childlike thing they hold on to be their faith and their purity of heart. I thank you God that going forward from this day, my heart will be pure towards men. That you will restore Godly relationships with men in my life and through the healing that you have brought to my heart, it will only strengthen the relationship I will have with my husband. That I will be able to trust him fully with my heart and know with complete confidence that its safe with him. Let me love the men in my life with your heart and see them with your eyes.
I ask for healing for any ladies who are reading this who are realizing they are struggling with the same thing. Set us free in your love so we may run this race well. Restore Godly knowledge of men to them, not fleeting opinions. Show them who men were really designed to be and how to spot the truly Godly men from mere boys posing as them. Help them to be in prayer for the men in their life..help them to rise up and not be a victim of past hurt but to take on the healing of Christ and break free from this oppression. Give them your eyes and your heart that they would see men as a blessing. That they would reject the trappings of this world that entice them to speak unkindly of men..to operate under the assumptions of ungodly belief systems about men being these foolish, womanizing, lazy creatures...but show them the value of men and believe them to be the strong, protective and loyal beings God meant them to be.
In Jesus' Name I Pray,