Monday, June 16, 2014

Why I Was Afraid to be a Husband and Father


I pray this transparent post assists those who are struggling with the idea of committing and being a responsible spouse and parent. I hope my story helps you to realize that you are not alone and you can overcome through Christ. I am a long way from being perfect, and I freely admit it. I truly believe transparency is helpful to becoming free in life.


Simply put, I, too, was afraid to commit. Marriage seemed so foreign to me. My relationships before my marriage were not the best. In fact, they were some of the worst mistakes I have ever made in my life. I was able to learn a lot from them, but wisdom can be acquired by asking—as it is written in Scripture—instead of having to gain it by failing time and time again. Like most people, I feared commitment because I did not want to trust anyone with my heart, I was afraid of love—even though I really wanted it—, and I did not want to make the “wrong decision.” I believed with everything in me that I was supposed to marry my wife. I truly believe I heard from God about it. Even though I was convinced and convicted of the truth, I was still carrying a great deal of worry and concern about marriage. I was not properly trained to be a husband. I did not have the best examples around me. Like most men, I grew up seeing the image of strong, active women and passive, inactive men. I did not know the first thing about what it meant to provide for a family except to find a job, work hard, and make sure I am able to buy what was needed. I was not sure if I would be able to satisfy my wife and really love her the way I knew she should be loved. I was not sure she would accept my insecurities and look beyond my faults to love me. I was not taught how to be a father either. I knew I wanted to be a successful husband and father. I went with my wife to all of her birth classes. I was there in the breastfeeding course, the put-a-diaper on the baby course, the CPR course, and the daddy bootcamps. I read the books and listened to the lectures about parenthood; however, I was still afraid. Honestly, I was terrified. I had so many questions running in my head. The worry and concern in my heart began to grow. Honestly, I was afraid. I was just afraid.

Initially, the idea of trusting my wife with my heart was foreign to me. After we were married I would tell her often that I did not trust her. She did not do anything to cause me to distrust her. My distrust came from years and years of being hurt. I thought the ability to trust and let others see my heart was a sign of weakness. To me, it was a sign of strength to hide my true intentions and only put forth the image I wanted others to see. It took my mind to be renewed to see that true strength is trust. It takes a strong person to remove all the layers around his/her heart and fully trust someone else. My one issue was always this: What if I get hurt? Well, I had to realize my ability to get hurt was connected with my expectations. If I expected something from someone she or he was not able to give then I would eventually get hurt. I had to be honest with myself and have honest expectations of people; however, I had to learn to appreciate everything. I am appreciative for everything people do, but I no longer sit and expect people to be perfect—which includes my wife. I had to evaluate my expectations and realize I needed to learn to trust others—especially my wife. I believe cowards hide themselves from others because they are too afraid to be truthful and honest with themselves and others. Their insecurity keeps them bond. I am not afraid to judge myself, and I know I have been that  coward for most of my life. In fact, I am the chief of them. I am growing out of it, and I pray you are as well.

Secondly, I was also afraid of the idea of love. Do not get me wrong; I wanted and I definitely want to be loved. My wife would look at me and tell me how much she loved me, and I would push her away or tell her not to say it to me. I did not want her to demonstrate that she really cared for me. I did not want to hear her say nice things to me, and I really did not want to hear her say anything mean either. I also did not want her to tell me I was “attractive” or “handsome.” My insecurities from my past ran so deep that I truly hated myself. I hated to look at myself in the mirror. I hated taking pictures—and I still do. I hated anything I had to do that required my face to be plastered on it. I am slowly getting over it, but it was a big problem at the beginning of our marriage. My wife loves to take pictures to remember our moments together. Although I was smiling on the outside, I was fuming mad on the inside. I constantly compared myself to other men—yes, ladies, men do it as well. I tried to cover my insecurities with sarcasm and a very dry sense of humor. I also used the excuses: I do not have friends because I am different and I just like being by myself. Truth is: I had no friends because I was not friendly; I pushed everyone away who got too close to me. And I did not really like being alone. I wanted company; I was too insecure and prideful to admit it. I tried to pretend like I did not care. In reality, I wanted to crawl into a ball and weep. I wanted to talk about the pain and struggles in my heart, but I felt like everyone would condemn me to hell because of it. The first time I heard a sermon about the love of God I did not believe it. I could not fathom how God could love someone like me. Ultimately, I had to receive Him by faith. I finally received true love when I received Him because God is love. You will never understand and fully grasp the concept of love from and to others until you come into union with Christ. He will truly set you free.

Finally, I did not want to make the wrong decision concerning my marriage. Many of the marriages I saw growing up were dysfunctional. I did not want to continue what I saw demonstrated but that was all I knew. I told my wife many times that I made a “mistake” marrying her. I felt inadequate as a man even though she tried to affirm me as one. I was afraid of the future, felt like I could not measure up, and felt like I would eventually fail her. Honestly, I also felt like I should have taken more time to enjoy the “world” before I became committed. That sounds silly, huh? Many think it but only a few actually admit it. Nevertheless, I felt like I was too serious in my life. I felt like I needed to just go and be reckless and indulge in all kinds of sin just so I could “get it out of my system.” After an intense argument with my wife, I went to my quiet place to “yell” my frustrations to God. After my meltdown, I realized this truth: I wanted to go back to everything that would destroy and ruin me. I wanted to go and enjoy all the things in the world that would eventually lead me to destruction. I wanted to enjoy the things of the world that would cause me to feel empty and worthless. I wanted to leave the security of commitment and love to run back to uncertainty and lust. I was clearly double-minded and my instability was crippling my marriage. I had to settle in my heart that I did not make the wrong decision. I had to realize that I was going to have problems in my marriage no matter who I married. I could jump from marriage to marriage but nothing would change until I changed. I had to accept my responsibility as a man and mature. I had to be honest with myself and break the stones I built around my heart.

I believe this is enough for now. I pray you are encouraged by my testimony. You do not have to live with a fear of commitment. You do not have to live with a fear of trusting others because of what people did to you in the past. You do not have live with the insecurities that have held you in bondage. You do not have to worry about making the “wrong” decision in your life as it relates to your spouse. Trust God. Let go of the false security and lustful image of this world. I am learning that family time is much more enjoyable than being around my friends. I love my friends but there is nothing like being around my wife and son. My time teaching and training my son is more enjoyable than anything the world can give me. Having responsibility in my house is more enjoyable than being reckless in the world. Being a husband and father is more enjoyable than any other position this world can give me. It is honorable and enjoyable. Do not run away from that responsibility. Embrace and enjoy it. When you were a child, you thought as a child. As you mature, you should put away childish things. It is time to put away those childish things.




21 comments:

  1. First off, I enjoy all the post from you and your wife. This particular one from you, has spoken volumes to unspoken depths of my heart. As James instructs us to confess our faults one to another that we may be healed..... I thank God for speaking to my heart through your words and I seek to do better. I pray for your family as you move forward in the ministry

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  2. WOW. I'm have chills and slight tears. Thank you for being so open and transparent about your testimony. It's so easy to look at people online and automatically think they have it all together and deep down inside they go through some of the same struggles as you. This was an awesome post and I encourage you to write more. Very uplifting and inspiring to a young, single female like myself. I truly admire you and Mrs. Heather Lindsey!

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  3. That was sooo encouraging, thank you!

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  4. Thank you for your honesty!

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  5. This blessed me. I am currently letting go of a destructive relationship. This post inspires me to commit to God and to search the crevices of my own heart on this journey. God is so faithful, and we can always trust that He will make us confront the ugly parts of our own hearts to make them more like His own. God bless you and your growth, pastor. His love is unrelenting!

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  6. Thank you so much for writing this important blog. Many people would never admit that they (particularly in the church) often reject God’s true and unconditional love. Your brave and transparent testimony has truly touched my heart and I pray that those who are struggling with similar issues will be brave enough to allow God to heal and deliver them (myself included). God Bless.

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  7. I'm a lady but I enjoy reading your blogs and listening to your sermon. You're such a wise man of God and I pray that God will continue to fill you up like you pour into other people. I truly do pray that my one day husband will be like you (I mean that in the sense of your relationship with God and your family) The Lord bless you and continue to work in you. Thank you!

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  8. Although I am female, I identify with this blog so much. Thank you for your transparency!

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  9. Wow, this was awesome. May God continue to heal you, Pastor, and reveal His love to you through your wife and through deep and awesome personal encounters. I feel the same way. I feel ugly and unlovable sometimes and ask God to impart deep rooted inner healing in me while I am worshiping or when I sleep at night. The way I feel about myself and all my insecurities are a burden to me that I no longer want to carry. Reading John Loren and Paula Sanford's books have helped me tremendously. I appreciate you sharing your heart. Your third paragraph here, "secondly...." was like looking in a mirror. God bless!

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  10. I pray all men get to read this. Thanks Cornelius, your wife Heather is such a role model to me.
    Wendy - Nairobi, Kenya.

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  11. wow praise God for your testimony I really appreciate the transparency. I suffer with some of those issues at the present moment.

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  12. This was such a candid post! Thank you so much for sharing. As women, sometimes we expect men, especially Christian men to have it all together. But everyone is human and it was so nice to hear that you are working through issues. We all have challenges in life, but their is strength in deciding not be be limited by our fears.

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  13. Wow im literally in tears its amazing to hear the realness of a man may God bless you Cornelius lindsey...uve helped me I thank you I kno this blog was for the brothers but jus kno u are helping n encouraging us sisters also!

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  14. Thank you for sharing your testimony.
    As a young female I can relate to this. I long to be loved and married, however deep down I have fears of being a wife, the thought alone gives me anxiety.
    There are things that God is working on me with, which I believe will relieve me of these fears.
    I also believe that accepting Gods love for us is not enough, we also need to transfer that love to ourself and learn to fully love and accept ourselves just as Christ did.

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  15. wow this reminds me a lot of myself, it's weird and also encouraging to know that i'm not the only one who has had similar thoughts, thank you for your transparency!

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  16. Speechless...Awesome.. I am a female and I can identify myself. (exhale)

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  17. Very amazing read! Reading this gave me a better understanding of my struggles and some of the struggles men I've encountered maybe dealing with.

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  18. thank you for this post and God bless you, i have not gotten into any serous relationship yet but i am so sacred of being hurt because of the stories I hear, this post reminds me that God wants me to grow and he is watching over me.

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