Ways to free yourself from destructive guilt and shame.
Guilt and shame are emotions that can be difficult to deal with, regardless of gender. However, it is often the case that men struggle with these feelings more than women. There are several reasons why men struggle with guilt and shame. However, understanding why can help men be victorious over these detrimental feelings. Here are three top reasons why men struggle with guilt and shame.
Reason why men struggle
- Men struggle with guilt and shame due to societal expectations of masculinity. Men often learn that we must be strong, independent, and unemotional. As a result, we may feel shame or guilt for expressing vulnerability, seeking help, or admitting when we are wrong. This pressure to conform to traditional masculine norms can make it difficult for men to deal with feelings of guilt and shame, as we may feel like we are failing to meet these expectations.
- Another reason men may struggle with guilt and shame is related to socialization around sexuality. From early on, many men are taught to be sexually aggressive and dominant, which can lead to feelings of shame or guilt if they do not live up to these expectations. This idea of aggressiveness is often confused with being assertive, which I believe is healthy. Unfortunately, many men cross the line from assertiveness to aggressiveness.However, this aggressiveness also leads to guilt and shame when men experience sexual trauma or engage in stigmatized or taboo behaviors. In those instances, men on the receiving end experience shame, guilt, and anger as a way to cope.
- Finally, men may struggle with guilt and shame due to cultural and societal messages around mental health. Men are often encouraged to be strong and unwavering. Therefore, when they experience mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, crippling stress, etc. they isolate themselves to “deal with it.” This situation is also detrimental because this stigma around mental health can make it difficult for men to seek help, which can compound feelings of isolation and shame.
In conclusion, men may struggle with guilt and shame for various reasons related to societal expectations of masculinity, sexuality, and stigma around mental health. However, it is essential to remember that everyone experiences these emotions at some point, and seeking help from someone else or a trusted brother can be a helpful way to manage these challenging feelings.
Let’s break down these destructive thoughts to stop the enemy from overtaking our life and rendering us ineffective in our mission to save others. Scripture reminds us that when we seek help and support, God will provide the plan and people to help you overcome! Most importantly, when we ask God for forgiveness, he is merciful and gracious, abounding in steadfast love.
Answer and Journal the Following
8The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
First pray for insight and understanding to be free from guilt and shame as God has already freed you.
Contemplate and meditate on this passage. How will you remind yourself that God removes our sins and forgets them?
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How will you study and apply this Biblical truth to your life? List some practical ways to remind yourself that you are forgiven past, present and future.
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