How To Respond to Failure

I love my wife!

On our wedding day I made a lifelong commitment to love her… no matter what. Add to that as a Christian husband I’m to love my wife like Jesus loves His church. Ah, who can do that! Any husbands out there feel like a failure compared to Jesus??!!

My Failure …

As much as I strive to be an unconditionally loving husband I fail a lot! I love myself naturally. Loving others, even my wife like Jesus… not so much!

Thankfully I haven’t completely failed! That’s my biggest fear. I’ve learned some things from my failure (correction: I’m LEARNING) that may help you too.

Five years ago I had a choice to make. Rather than making the harder choice I took the path of least resistance. Little did I know that choice would make it MUCH harder down the road.

The core of my failure had to do with pride. It manifested itself through money. We were barely making it financially and started homeschooling our oldest son, who was starting kindergarten.

Four years went by and my income did not increase. Expenses sure did! One son turned into three. Education, recreation, and FOOD expenses went up and up and up. Anyone tracking with me???

I wanted to be a strong provider for my wife. I didn’t want to look weak. So I did what any weak cowardly husband would do, I hid the whole truth from my wife! BAD DECISION! I thought things would change, my income would increase, and I could work it out. WRONG!

Responding to Failure …

It’s inevitable, we will all fail! I don’t mean to the point of despair or disqualification as leaders. I’m not being fatalistic. But let’s face it, with Jesus as the standard we’re all at least in process with plenty of bumps in the road.

It’s the bumps in the road, the trials and challenges, and yes, even failures that make us strong and more mature. Becoming stronger and more mature depends on how we respond.

Here are three ways
to respond to failure that have helped me …

1. Vulnerability.

Being vulnerable is usually seen as a negative. However, in our weaknesses and failures, especially as Christians, vulnerability is essential! Consider these biblical principles:

Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6)

Confess your mistake. Accept responsibility and whatever consequences may come. And receive the grace of God that you need to move forward.

2. Accountability.

My failure was caused because I didn’t make myself accountable to my wife or others. BIG mistake! All too many of us do this. We think these are personal issues so we don’t share them and make ourselves accountable. Doing so minimizes and even stifles our growth.

Consider these biblical principles:

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)

3. Coaching.

Discipleship. Mentoring. Coaching. Call it want you want, we all need it! I needed someone wiser and more mature to coach me through my failure. I’m now in that relationship and excited to grow through this season.

Whatever the failure, find someone strong and mature in that area to coach you. If possible make it personal. But don’t discount books, blogs, or podcasts as coaching tools too. Just don’t depend solely on them. It’s too easy to hide and isolate ourselves apart from committing ourselves to someone who can help us.

The entire chapter of Titus 2 teaches that older men are to teach younger men, and older women teach those who are younger. Check it out HERE.

Your Turn …

Are you dealing with a failure? Maybe it’s God given! God might be bringing you to a place ofVULNERABILITY in order to hold you ACCOUNTABLE so that you can be COACHED. All to make you stronger and more mature!

QUESTION: how are you responding to a failure in your life? How have you responded in the past?

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About the author : Ed Choy

I am a follower of Jesus, husband, father, and pastor. I’m an avid reader, learner, Redskins fan and fitness junkie (especially when it includes my wife Laura and/or one, two, or three of my sons). As a family we love doing almost anything together, especially if it’s outside, involves running, laughing, a beach or mountain.

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