Trying to do everything by ourselves is a foolish way to live as well as a poor example for our kids. Today is a follow up to my blog post yesterday entitled Teaching Kids about Getting Help. In that article, one point was to encourage our kids to be problem solvers. Now, I want to look at the extreme opposite of this approach.
Do you have any men in your family, now or in the past, that refused to go to the doctor? I say men because we are usually the most guilty of this particular mindset. I call this the “rub some dirt on it crowd”. It is composed of 3 kinds of men. 1. Stubborn 2. Scarred 3. Combo of 1 and 2. Everyone has fear. Unfortunately, old school thinking says that men are not supposed to feel or show it. The outright stubborn man usually dies earlier than he should. Whether it is stubbornness or fear, it is the wrong message to portray to our kids.
There are many issues that we should not try to face by ourselves. Health (physical and mental) issues obviously would rank #1 to this author. Other situations could be those that we lack the proper knowledge or expertise. An example of that for me is mechanics. If I work on a car, there is a big chance that I will cause more damage than good. I need to defer to the professionals. My kids will shout amen at this one. Lastly, there are situations in life that are much better to handle with the support of others. These could be issues of weight loss, addiction, or spiritual growth.
There are issues that we will face that are beyond our abilities to conquer or cope with. We need to understand that getting help is essential. For men especially, this can be embarrassing. We don’t like to admit weakness. For many of us, we only turn to others for help when we have hit rock bottom. This is especially true when it comes to unhealthy lifestyles.
The other night I was researching addiction by observing online forums and chat rooms for alcoholics. It is designed for a 24/7 resource for those that are trying to stay sober. While I must agree that we spend too much time plugged into technology, I believe that a resource such as this is amazing. However, as I was reading, I ran across several participants who were complaining about the “God” references in AA’s 12 step programming. One individual posted, “I think AA is great, but I wish it did not have religious overtones”.
According to an interview that I watch on the Jackass star Stevo’s struggle with drugs and alcohol (see the interview…viewer discretion advised), he said that only 5% of alcoholics will be victorious in their struggle and recovery. That being said, why would someone NOT want to invoke God for help? If you knew that most people will fail in their attempts to get healthy. Would you want to place your success rate in the hands of those that will most likely fail? I say this for 2 reasons. 1. I know that I am sober only by the grace of God. 2. If I REALLY want help, I want it from those that have the highest probability of success, not those that I may be the most comfortable with.
I feel strange combining the scripture with a Stevo quote, but I believe that there is a great visual in these examples. Bare with me and see if these make sense to you. John 15:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Stevo said that we are like refrigerators. We must remain plugged in, or everything goes bad.
We need others. That does not mean that we should rely on other people for everything. As the last post stated, kids need to struggle and try to fix their issues. This, however, does not negate the idea of God and the community. Our kids need to know that both approaches to problem-solving are important. As a Christian, I believe that invoking the help of God is important whether you are alone or in a community. I pray that God will empower me, or that he will give me the wisdom to conquer a particular task or struggle. The answer may be revealed to me to fix the issue with or without others. However, I need to utilize the resources provided.
Pride can a real killer. We and our children need to understand humility and the grace that can come from having such a spirit. Others will have a much easier time coming to our aide when we are humble. This is also scriptural for those who follow biblical teachings. Show your kids how and when to invoke the assistance of others. Be the best dad possible.