Does it surprise you to know that women are more open to counseling than men?
I can’t tell you how many times in 27 years of ministry a couple has asked for counseling for marriage or parenting issues only because a wife finally convinced her husband that they could benefit from counsel. Don’t misunderstand. We’re glad that they come for help but the male ego is one of the most common obstacles for a marriage or family in need of counsel. This is especially true for men who feel a strong need to be seen as knowledgeable and wise. Men who hold positions of leadership are sometimes guilty of wrongly thinking that it’s a sign of failure or weakness to appear in need of help. They feel that they are supposed to have the answers not need them. This is sad and violates the gospel itself.
Men who are insecure and “have to be right” too often deprive their marriages and families from the blessing of wise counsel.
I’ve seen many cases where a wife repeatedly felt a need for counsel and tried to gently convey this to her husband only to face his unwillingness time and time again. Out of deep conviction and concern, these women finally informed their husbands that they planned to seek counsel even if their husbands are unwilling. These women struggle to know if following their husband’s leadership means complying with their sensitive egos. Don’t let anything or anyone deceive you. It is a sign of weak character not strong character when we’re unwilling to seek counsel. It could also be an indication that appearance is more important to us than truth.
Our Church leadership has often said that we have no interest in micromanaging marriages and families. We also like it when people work through their struggles with maturity and wisdom. But we can all find ourselves in need of outside counsel. Need for counsel from others doesn’t have to be viewed a sign of weakness or an admission to failure. In fact, wise and humble people often seek counsel as a preventative measure not because there is a crisis. But for one to think and act as if he doesn’t need wise counsel is a sign of self-deception and pride. Godly husbands lead with humble wisdom and recognize the benefit of wise counsel.
• A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5)
• Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. (Proverbs 9:9)
• The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
• He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. (Proverbs 10:17 NIV)
• Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 11:14)
• Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)
• The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)