I always thought that that statement was true – that “real men” don’t cry. So I didn’t, at least not in front of anyone, if I could help it. I always felt it was a sign of weakness. That crying was for women and children, not for men.
The problem I have found with that, at least for myself, is its very unhealthy and also not true. It’s unhealthy because it forces us to suppress our emotions and feelings. It’s a lie because the shortest verse in the King James and New King James Bible is John 11:35 “Jesus wept”.
It became even worse when I was in prison. People in there have a tendency to prey on the “weak” and feeble so I became really good at masking my feelings and emotions. In there the only really acceptable emotions are anger and rage. It was tough to push it all down but I felt it necessary.
As time went on, even after I was released, I didn’t know how to turn it off. Still to this day I struggle with my true feelings and emotions. I struggle because I have a hard time letting them out. I struggle with the thought of being weak.
Although I do feel I am getting better at it, it is still a tough task for me. I have learned to hide my emotions behind anger, rage and sarcasm. Instead of releasing my emotions a bottle them up and cover them so no one can see them.
Sure crying like a five year old that can’t have a piece of candy isn’t acceptable for a grown man. But crying out of joy, the joy of marriage or the birth of a child is a good thing. Crying because you got a small paper cut isn’t a good thing, but crying from severe physical pain or maybe the loss of a loved one is.
Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus. The funny thing is He knew he was going to die and he knew He would bring him back to life, but He still cried. He still felt the heartache of loosing someone so close to Him. Jesus, being God in the flesh released His emotions instead of suppressing them.
Real men do cry. I think the world has trouble dealing with that because they can’t envision crying in the same category as strength. Real men, real men that are secure with themselves cry. I myself am still working on that. God is still working on that part of me.
The world has such a distorted and twisted view of the truth. I’ve lived so long feeding off of the world that is a long process to change perspective. But a process that must happen. As Christians, as true Christ followers, we can’t be content with little change. We must strive for a complete and radical change. God wants all or nothing. He wants to invade our lives and change our perspective. One of those for me is that it’s ok, as a man, to cry.
I pray this helps someone see, I pray this helps someone understand. Men have been struggling with emotions and complete submission to Christ for a long time. The world wants us to think it makes us weak. Jesus cried and He’s the strongest person I know. He cried and still managed to defeat hell and the grave, and rise on the third day.
My question is, do you want to be a “Godly man” or a “worldly man”?
Remember if you ever need help or guidance we are always here and available.
In Christ alone.