For the gender known as heroes, men are deceptively good at hiding. What do I mean by that? Hiding emotions. Hiding how we really are feeling. Containing things. Guess what’s not meant to be contained? Tears. Tears heal. Don’t ask me how, they just do. Why hide what heals? “Guys aren’t supposed to cry.” We hear the hidden, often unspoken mantra cursed with false machismo and barren bravado coursing through the veins of a young boy. But ever wonder how he learned this toxic lie? From the devil. Just how does the devil say it? Through the media, movies and music. Do you think that the devil, who’s been around much longer than you and I, would tell such a powerful lie like a blazing idiot? No, of course not. He would never come right out and say it because that’s a dead giveaway. Yet he’d influence others, who influence the masses to go ahead and say it. If a young boy grows up never confronting that lie, then I’m here to tell you that boy will grow into the man who thinks he’s a hero yet goes into hiding. And a hero who hides, is indeed no hero. What an interesting concept.
Girls, after finding a guy who loves God from the HEART, My single best piece of advice would be to find a man who’s strong enough to be vulnerable. Make sure he has character. To cry around you. Find a man who’s comfortable with you enough to show his soft side. I don’t mean when you get into a fight he whines and balls. But I do mean that when you and he experience God together he can in fact show you his heart.
As a Shower is to the body, Tears are to the Soul
I was in the shower last night when this idea hit me.:
Tears cleanse something in the soul.
I’m not talking about sin; only Jesus could do that. But I do mean the dirt of our soul that we harbor and hold on to. I’m not a doctor nor do I know what the actual purpose of crying is, but I can only guess. What if your tears are an “inner cleanser” and alert system that lets you know when it’s all too much? When life is too much. When your spirit is too heavy. But NOT JUST THAT, what if they also let you know when emotions are too much, even in the best way. Joy brings tears. How you feel after you get out of the shower? Likewise how do you feel after you’ve let out a good cry.
A Personal Story
I was on my way home after work. I’d noticed within myself that something on my heart had been heavy in the past couple weeks. It wasn’t anything specific, so maybe it was something in my subconscious. Whatever it was I realized the effect it had on me. I describe it like this: I felt as if I was just going through the motions of life. Which I never want to do. I was aching to experience God like I so often had. But not much in my devotionals or music was hitting my heart. Until I put on this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdIOaAvvOp8
It was as if the Holy Spirit used it to absolutely shatter me. I wept as I drove home. I mean, I wept. It was a powerfully anointed song.
Guys, Allow Yourselves to Cry
With that I say guys, allow yourselves to cry once in awhile. If there’s one thing we’ve mastered as men it’s holding things in. We don’t cry easily. It’s hard to in fact. We make good containers. But guess what, tears aren’t meant to be contained. When I say cry I don’t mean you stub your toe and can’t handle the pain so you ball. If you need to do that, okay. Whatever. I don’t mean your boss asked you to stay late cus you procrastinated out of laziness and now you just…wanna cry. You should probably grow up some. What I do mean is when something hits your heart, you respond. There’s an unspoken, hidden message spread through Hollywood movies, mainstream music and false bravado perpetuating lies that a man should never cry; “it might show him to be less than.”Do you see, in men fearing to be “less than” they actually end up doing “the most,” thinking that by putting on a show they’re covering all their bases so as to not be called out. The reality is I’ve talked to a lot of guys with guts. Courageous guys. Guys willing to stand for what’s right, to stand up for themselves and to speak up on behalf of those in need…they use strength in the way we’re created to….to serve. The reality is the strongest men I’ve ever met have also been strong enough to cry. They’re the men who’ve been through some crap and have come out on the other side stronger. So yes, it’s all right to cry. When a certain level of beauty and depth hit your heart, something happens. Yes that’s called emotion guys. We guys could allow ourselves to wrestle with it more. It’s healthy. It’s called tears. They should not be contained. I’d go so far as to say it’d be disingenuous for you to hold in what you actually feel. Who are you lying to when you cover that up? Only yourself. I can’t speak for everyone but for me I know there’s only a couple of things that can truly make me cry. But when the tears come I mean they flow. God and my wife. The common denominator behind them is beauty. God didn’t make a mistake when He marked creation with unthinkable beauty. As John Eldredge said:
“Nature is not primarily functional, it is primarily beautiful.”
I know what I believe about God and who exactly He is in my HEAD. Yet when the reality of God’s presence in my life reveals itself and I see just how real He is, that hits my HEART. I mean the fact that He’d speak to me, use me, actually come through for me in the details, and that “He made the ocean through a spoken word and it’s still rockin’ at the same beat” -(Sarah Jakes Roberts), that’s just wild. Its more than I could ask. It’s beautiful. It’s personal. He’s a personable God. And then He went and made my wife. She’s a beautiful creation. Her loves reflects God’s love. It’s a wild love. God’s love is the ocean, hers a fountain drawing on the endless supply of God’s love. It’s okay to cry. The question is, are you strong enough to finally be vulnerable?