A Real Man is Expressive!

Oh come on, talking about feelings is a girl thing, right?

Well, not if you’re like one of countless men of God in Scripture who talked expressed their feelings a very great deal. Or countless male writers and poets (in all likelihood, their audiences were like-minded in that regard).

. . . okay, seriously, where did the idea really come from that men are innately disadvantaged at talking about their feelings? I think it has a lot to do with the “man up” machismo culture, a condition created by those who care nothing about men’s feelings: “results, not excuses!”

Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and despite a modern propensity to apply every undesired behavior of husbands as a violation of this command (a can of worms I intend to discuss later), I believe the crux of it, given the fact that virtually the whole rest of the Bible tells both genders to love all others with Christ-like love, is this: the reason for this passage existing comes from the fact that many, many authority figures will not care so much about the people underneath them, and hence, as leaders of their homes, it can be easy for husbands to imitate and pass on that example to their homes–therefore, rather than those examples, imitate Christ’s example who is a loving ruler (a term that can indeed be reconciled, which is the whole point of the context) of his church.

The point being, many leaders aren’t interested in their subordinates’ feelings to say the least–what matters is results. A cowardly wife is the same way, because the thought of a man wavering in his abilities to provide and be strong due to his very human vulnerabilities is too terrifying to face (another effect that may be occurring on a large-scale). If men get completely surrounded by people who see them in terms of results more than human in this regard, what do you expect? Do babies keep crying after repeatedly not receiving attention in response?

The “man up” culture is a cruel move inflicted by society, and of course, it can be inflicted on oneself–and it does not actually help a man’s output.

I know that at all times I can turn to the Lord. As a macho man? Hardly.

Mark 10:15
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

I approach God as a little child. I intend to be just as expressive as tons of manly men of the Bible such as the Psalmists. I am commanded to pray:

Philipians 4:6
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Ever thought to wonder why? I mean, why does God call us to pray our needs if He already knows what we need without us asking? (Matthew 6:8, James 5:13)

My answer is simple: it’s because God wants us conscious of our need for Him in everything. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

How can I go as far, though, to say it’s actually “manly” to be expressive? Well for one thing, we’re commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves, and loving ourselves is part of that command–when you love someone, don’t you care about his or her needs and feelings? And furthermore, when we’re commanded to serve the Lord by our external works and action (including love for others), isn’t minding our own needs the first part of getting a job done? If the worker suffers, then the work suffers, no? To be sure, this is where feminine nurturing abilities show their glory, too, in lubricating an atmosphere of “get the job done” and restore the human element involved and all the details therein–so let’s not put ladies (who, in love, are willing to use their abilities) out of work by clamming up!

If you are afflicted with a physical ailment, for example, is it strength not to express it to a doctor? Or is it rather weakness, because instead your untreated wounds will fester and weaken the worker for his own precious life and work for others?

Beyond that, if we have any gumption to consider Scripture’s portrayal of men as an act to follow, let’s be sure to talk to God about everything our hearts feel the need to talk about with Him. 😉

The squeaky wheel gets the oil! 😀

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