Christian Men Need Counseling
Warriors exposed to the trauma of combat need counseling. This is almost an undisputed fact. The effects of being in such difficult situations shapes the heart and soul of the person involved and impacts their loved ones. Spiritual warfare produces battle fatigue and PTSD like symptoms analogous to any other type of trauma. Spiritual warriors need counseling. This article addresses why Christian Men Need Counseling.
I was sitting in “The Commons” at Union University watching the news when Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf led US Troops into Desert Shield and eventually Desert Storm. Wolf Blitzer made his career as skud missiles rocketed through the backdrop of his rooftop broadcast position. Riveted by the scene I wondered how long the war would last. It was 1991.
The United States of America has been fighting the war on terror ever since. This is disturbing when one holds this for a moment in their mind. Twenty three years of battle, destruction, struggle, and death. It makes the heart tough and callous. Battle fatigue, violence, and trauma have increased rates of depression, anger, substance abuse, sleep disturbances, and interpersonal difficulties. We are aware of these issues on a daily basis. The public awareness machine is pumping out information to help people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many veterans need counseling.
The signs of PTSD include:
- experienced a traumatic event
- hyper-arousal and hyper-vigilance
- exaggerated startle response
- anger and frustration
- persistent avoidance, numbing of memories, conspicuous emotional detachment
- apathy, emotional numbing, difficulty concentrating and sleep disturbances
The battles that have been waged over the past twenty three years have taken a toll on our society. We live in fear of everything and we seek emotional numbing in a thousand ways. As a Christian it should not be a surprise. Christians have been at war since Jesus trained the disciples. Every person who chooses to join the Lord’s Army is signing up for battle. In 2000 years we have probably learned a great deal about the effects of warfare. Unfortunately, we don’t use what we know. The punch line goes “It’s the only army that shoots its wounded” and that seems to summarize the rules of war for Christians. Get fired up about Jesus, go to battle, get hurt, and when you seek help someone you trust will shoot you (probably in the back).
The enemy has been attacking the hearts of men for more than a generation. Children, women, families, and society are suffering while men are drummed out of the fight altogether. Look at how little men are engaged in church. The enemy wants the hearts of men, their wives, and children to kill, steal, and destroy. The enemy, a very effective terrorist, has used our strength for his own purpose. Why do you think depression, anxiety, self indulgence, narcissism, and anger are so pervasive today? The manliness code requires men to be strong, brave, and enduring. The manliness code prevents men from getting help. They need counseling.
I think we have Christian men suffering from spiritual battle fatigue unaware of the problem and living as if we are not at war. Christian men have experienced traumatic events and when these scenes are replayed they are hurt all over again. To protect themselves they put up a strong defense and develop a hard heart. They may show signs of low grade and ongoing frustration that quickly escalates to outbursts of anger. This may lead to destruction of property, saying mean things (pushing people away), followed by a series of behaviors to avoid, numb, and seek relief. Apathy and emotional numbing prevent a heart from feeling too much, caring excessively, loving deeply, and making sacrifices. These issues disrupt healthy functioning leading to sleep disturbances, and difficulties concentrating. Christian men need counseling.
In many cases we don’t see the forest for the trees. We see a single issue like anger, excessive drinking, drug use, porn, inappropriate dedication to work, neglecting family, or isolating from others. A change in perspective helps us see the issue is larger than a single behavior. The issue involves the heart of a man.
The code of manliness “convinces men to do things that have the potential to hurt, exhaust or kill them. Christian men have signed up to do battle with an enemy that wants to kill, steal, and destroy. The true code of manliness is found in Jesus. At Leadershop Ministries we provide Christian Counseling and Life Coaching to help men connect with Jesus, deal with spiritual battle fatigue, save their families and community. The future will pose great challenges to the next generation of men. We have an army to rebuild. Christian men need counseling and coaching to help them fight for what is meaningful and significant.