I’ve fought him.
I’ve cussed him out.
I’ve walked away from him.
I’ve criticized him.
I’ve ridiculed him.
I even gave up on him.
It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit dealt with my heart that I finally began to understand him.
Who is he?
He’s the immature man.
I can’t tell you how many women I’ve spoken to, prayed for and cried with, all because of the immature man in their lives. Frustrated, hurt, confused, angry and sometimes bitter. So many of us women have thrown our hands up in frustration, not knowing what to do.
The first thing I want to share with you from the Throne of Grace is that women were not created as a problem but as a solution.
In the garden of Eden, God HIMSELF observed Adam’s problem and moved to custom design his solution.
That custom design, is WOMAN.
When you approach any problem in your relationships with men, whether they be fathers, brothers, boyfriends, husbands or sons, remember that within you lies the answer.
I want to share with you some of the main points that the Holy Spirit shared with me that helped me overcome the immaturity of the men in my life:
Maturity is a process. Ecclesiastes tells us that “to everything there is a season and a time and a purpose to everything under the heaven”. It takes time to grow up and everyone has a different rate of maturity, even women.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11 that when he was a child, he thought and spoke as a child but when he “became a man”, he put away childish things. Again, to “become” something takes a process and a man becoming a mature man is no exception.
While we cannot change the time it takes for any man to mature, we can facilitate an environment conducive to that maturity.
Remember that even an immature man is STILL A MAN! He’s not a boy. If he was a boy, you wouldn’t be sharing his bed or his bills. Real talk. His behavior may appear childish at times but the first step in overcoming an immature man is realizing that he is a man and not a boy. No matter how green a banana may be, it’s still a banana. The fact that it isn’t yet ripe doesn’t change its species. An immature man is still a man. He may have lacked opportunity to move in a more mature way and that’s where you come in. We as women must present the immature men in our lives with opportunities to be more mature. Bananas ripen in warm, dry places. The process takes time but the environment is key.
Women, we’re the environment.
It is easy for all parties to do what comes easy and to fall into unhealthy habits. It’s unhealthy for a woman to assume the role of a grown man’s mama simply because that’s all the two of them are used to. In most cases, the man ends up resenting this dynamic and kicking against it. After all, he has or had a mama and deep down is curious to know what it’s like to be with a WOMAN, not a mama.
There is a way to change this dynamic of immaturity and it’s done by a combination of time, patience, challenge, and consistency.
If you’re looking for instant change, then you’re looking for a relationship with a man that is built on a foundation of manipulation and control, which is what many of us, male and female are accustomed to. We’re used to being told what to do instead of doing what’s right at the right time. We’re used to men leaving the hard stuff up to us and we shoulder the load, as well as several chips on our shoulders as a result.
If you want a relationship with a grown man, you must be prepared to only engage a man as a man.
Not a boy.
Not a monkey.
If you know him better than he knows you, why is he always getting the best of you? Let’s face it ladies. We KNOW our men, whether he be our sons or our lovers. We know what pushes their buttons, what makes them tick. We know that he’s forgetful or that he never remembers important dates. We know that he leaves his clothes on the floor when he’s tired and falls asleep in front of the tv after work. However, many of us often fail to harness the power of what we know when it comes to engaging the men in our lives. We fail to counteract. We fail to strategize. If you’re not using what you know, the shame isn’t on the man, it’s on YOU. If you know he’s habitually late, why do you always wait til 15 minutes before needing to be somewhere to remind him? Setting up the same scenarios and getting the same disappointing results is not the solution. Setting up WINNING scenarios will help you and the man in your life move past the painful past and into a new day that includes mutual respect. Setting a man up to fail does not make you look good. Instead, it makes you look cruel. Look past the immaturity that drives you up the wall and see what he does get right. For me, it was seeing past his inability to be nailed down to a schedule and realizing that when he did spend time with his children, he was very loving, engaging and affectionate towards them. With this now at the forefront of my mind, I was able to let go of my anger towards him for not fulfilling my expectations of timeliness and consistency and in turn, he became more considerate of my feelings.
You want him to win!. Babies learn to walk with guidance, praise and a little bit of challenge. When I held my son’s tiny hands as he wobbled on his chubby legs, I encouraged him to walk and praised each tiny step. Eventually, I increased the distance between myself and him and encouraged him to totter towards me. Many times, he didn’t make the distance, but pretty soon, he did, until the the space began to increase more and more. The same goes for dealing with an immature man. At the forefront of anything that you say and do should be your love for the immature man in your life. Your success is NOT in his failure. Truth be told, it’s a poor point to score in your favor as a woman if it only causes him to lose as a man. Every step of the way, his success should be your goal and your prayer. What single mom doesn’t need an engaged and mature father to her children? What wife doesn’t need a mature husband? What mother doesn’t want to see her son mature and become a contributor to society? His success makes YOU look good and because of that, make sure he knows from your attitude and actions that you want him to succeed.
Respond positively to any step in the right direction, no matter how small. I don’t care how badly you may want to criticize his efforts. I don’t care how far short he fell of the intended goal. If an immature man makes even a flinch in the right direction, acknowledge it. I guarantee you, if you make this small change, you will see big rewards.
There’s a difference between an immature man and a fool though.
I’ll admit, some women are dealing with some fools.
I’m not talking about him. lol!
The difference is that fools are not ignorant or immature. They know what to do, when to do it and often have a lot to show for themselves as a result of this knowledge. The problem is that fools often know right but simply won’t DO right. For example, a fool is the man who neglects one set of children but cares for those within his new relationship or marriage.
That’s a fool.
Aint much you can do with a fool ladies besides pray for a “David” to come along and whisk you away to his kingdom. lol! I’m teasin… kinda. lol!
Pray for your immature man! Not enough is said about the importance of prayer in our lives. Prayer invites the supernatural power of God into our natural affairs. Prayer can go where words stop short. Pray can change what years of arguing never settled. Pray for your immature man and decree the blessings of the Lord over him. I know you want to see him doused with kerosene and a Newport flicked in his direction, but instead, PRAY. lol! Prayer will change your attitude. Prayer will bring you strategies and insights for how to deal with the men in your life.
We don’t have to be sneaky, controlling, mean and hateful in order for a man to treat us right.
We can be the answers that God created us to be to their lives.
Words have power. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to speak words of life over the immature man in your life.
Show him respect, even if you don’t feel like it.
Stop rolling your eyes and calling him names.
He has a first name. Use it among your friends also, and not his secret nickname. Time to say good-bye to “Silverback”. lol!
Remember that our relationship with God is not built on manipulation and control. If anyone had the power and right to control us, that would be God Himself. However, we all know that He doesn’t do that. Instead, with loving kindness he draws us and keeps us close. You can’t make a man grow up but you can certainly create an environment around him with love, consistency and challenges that make maturity conducive.
Change your attitude, your language and your strategy. If one thing isn’t working, try another. If cussing him out doesn’t work, why do you continue to do it? If pouting is only a temporary fix, wouldn’t it be a good idea to stop the pouting?
The good news is that immaturity is not a permanent state. Things and people do grow and mature. With the right environment and support, the chances of maturity become even greater.
You don’t have to be his mama to love him.
The woman in you can bring out the mature man in him.