As I continue my thoughts about this topic, I have to say that most of my life I have felt embarrassed when I cry. In fact, I have been putting off writing this post for days partly because of that embarrassment. Yet, as I think about what makes me cry I should feel honored, not embarrassed.
I cried when I was baptized.
I cried at my wedding.
I cried at the birth of all three of my boys.
I cried at my ordination service.
I have always said “the only 2 things that make me cry is my family and when God works.” As I think back to all the times I have cried (like the times listed above) and the times I have not cried (like when I felt the most intense physical pain of my life after my bike wreck) that statement really is true. My struggle and embarrassment about being a crier comes with how our world defines “a man.” The traditional world view is that men don’t cry, or feel emotions, or ever say I love you. A friend and speaker recently said “if your wife knows you will die for her submission is not a problem.” This statement really made me think, and truthfully challenged me. I tell my wife I love her every day, but does she know I will fight for her, even die for her and our boys? I hope she does because I would.
I disagree with the traditional world view of manhood.
I think real men cry about the right things. I think real men love their wives and kids so much they will die for them and actually tell them that. I think real men lead by example. I think real men invite accountability. I think real men find a balance between discipline and love. I think real men are strong enough to be the Spiritual leaders of their households. I think real men work hard, play hard, and love even harder.
I love it when I see other guys striving to be real men. This past week I had a former student from our youth ministry, who is now married, call and ask to use me as an accountability partner in the X3 program he was putting on his computer. He was nervous and embarrassed, but I am proud of him for stepping up. I was also proud to tell him I have the same accountability software on my computer, and have my report emailed to my wife so she never questions my online activity.
If you need help with online accountability go here and get the free program from XXX Church.
Are you a real man? Are you striving to be one like I am? I hope so because our world seems to be short on them. From my own boys, to the guys in my youth ministry and church, they need to see a lot of good examples of real men. So do the guys in your world. Whether you are a crier or not, you can be a real man with God’s help and grace.