Men traditionally are taught, trained, and encouraged (if not threatened) to not show emotion… From “STOP CRYING NOW!” to “Only sissy’s cry, you a little girl?” and a slew of others how many times have I seen men do that to their children!
Extreme emotion which moves one to tears, laughter, crying, peeing (yes, I have seen folks laugh so hard they pee lol) but its a release! There is freedom, power, change and strength in it, why do we as humans, and not just talking “Men” here at the moment, really focus on trying to eliminate the emotion, or twist it, or change it – we burry it because I think we see weakness.
Emotion isn’t one of those things folks in business see as a strength, competitors see it, they attack and try to one up you, try to exploit your weakness in having a heart for someone, in Men generations of men were taught its not “manly” to do so I mean even in the Bible there is an example of it, of a man going against the Extreme Emotion you may recall the story, some may say “What?!” I’ll post it here in its entirety from Luke 15:
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
See the bold part? In Jewish culture a older man wouldn’t run, remember that from sermons, have read it slew of other places in a study of this parable, but Emotion overrode that cultural no-no, the man sooooo extremely wish his son’s return cared not for what he was taught, what he knew, what he “should” of done, but rather emotion empowers him to race to what was lost, what was torn down, the son he loves to embrace him and show his love for this wayward son.
So while we have been taught for hundreds of years things which are “the way things are” sometimes things override those things, some may see them as weakness, some may see them as a stumbling block to be taken advantage of, but thru emotion, no matter which it may be, powerful change can happen, powerful positives can come about.
One of the age old verses I learned in Sunday School, and have heard time and time again found in John Chapter 3:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Okay okay, sure you hear that and say “Duh” for those of you who are believers, but lets roll to what our SIN should cost us Romans Chapter 6:
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let’s focus on that first bolded part there, sure sure as a comfort we as Christians read the entire thing and don’t think a second about it, we go “phew! eternal life is a GIFT!” and don’t realize what powerful thing got us there, emotion pure and simple emotion of Love – but a step further even in that, who is love? 1 John Chapter 4:
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
God is Love – so let’s wrap this up, if God using a thing sooooo powerful as the emotion of LOVE which essentially is what He is, showed it so powerfully to give his own life on the cross probably the loudest show of emotion ever in the history of this world – and were to live life thru his example, and yet we tell our kids “Don’t cry, your embarrassing me!” or tell friends to not waste tears over another?
I am not saying all emotions are created equally some are easy to get trapped in, stuck, doomed to repeat again and again — but like my dad taught me in his sermons “In life you either get a lesson or a blessin, if you take the time to learn the lesson you get the blessin” – life is about choices, some we make, some are simply put upon us, sometimes we take this job, but skip that one, sometimes life is going SO PERFECT! Only to have a monkey wrench thrown in the perfect and tears come – were told not to “waste tears” on things, were told to bottle it and move on, I can’t believe that is how were created, going back to Christ as the example stated in Hebrews Chapter 5:
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
Jesus knew of His fate, of the plan His father had to save us from our Sins, to offer a sacrifice to end all sacrifices – Jesus did, He cried out he let out tears about his fate, He called to His father asking if but only the cup could pass from Him, but He knew the pain would be temporary but the effect would last for eternity, but beyond that he was obedient to His father and the plan that was in place.
Emotion, it’s not weakness, its not a waste, its not something that should even be embarrassing – folks who have watched a good movie and see me tear up, know I am not afraid to tear up, everyone else in the movie could be serious and watching and there is a large oaf blubbering like a baby or silent tears falling, even in public does not matter – but too in my quiet times, in my private prayer, reflection, and just trying to figure out sometimes where life is going, there may be tears, there may be anger, there is even sadness, but I choose where to dwell, no need to drop my self into a dark hole, the devil would love to rob me me of my Joy, but I’d rather fight to keep it.
My grandfather has been on my mind like crazy, in life I have I too have had 2 sets of grandparents – The Browns (Walt and Alice) and The Blankenships (Floyd and Frances) – I love both sets, Walt and Alice I have only in recent years really had the opportunity to meet again and hear stories, talk, hugs and long visits, but sadly I didn’t really know The Browns too much growing up, 2 states away, and even on their visits thru the area it was a quick visit at a McDonalds, I don’t hold a grudge persay, but more a sadness that we didn’t get more time in each others lives – but I still enjoy to visit them – now The Blankenship Grandparents – I had good relationships with, knew them my entire life, and while I learned a lot from both, my grandfather has time and time again been on my mind. It has been nearly 15 years since he passed, visited his burial site at the National Cemetery where he and Grandma are interred with other fallen soldiers but I just remember my grandfather singing “but I’m in the Lord’s Army! *YES SIR!*” and other fun moments of fishing, spending the night, of a man who had seen so much in his life, worked hard days, raised a family best he knew, and loved Grandkids with all of his heart, but to found time to share love with those in his community, his church, in his path.
My goal in life isn’t to win with the most toys, it isn’t to be cold calm and collected, it isn’t to try and win a popularity contest, its to be me, to let who I am effect those around me by how I live my life, how I show/share my emotions, now I don’t always wear them on my sleeve, I don’t always go out and announce “I AM HURTING” to the world when I am sad as I would when I am happy, but I goto those who know me in both Happy and Hurt, I talk to them, I share my pains, and my joys – I turn to those who no matter what will do one thing…. Let me cry. Who won’t laugh at my tears as being stupid, who won’t tell me they are wasted on another, they let me share all my emotions and when they don’t know what else to do, like Jesus did in the garden, they pray (Luke 22:44).
Don’t rob yourself, your friends, or your family of powerful emotions, they are not weakness, they are the things that drive us to change not just life, but WORLD changing things! From Love we were all offered a gift that was redeemed by a single life, let tears bring about the ability to grow and console others, let laughter lighten your load and share it with others that they may too be lifted by mirth and humor, let anger fuel you to rise above what you have tearing you town, to not let it be-little you and prevent you from finding Joy once again, use that anger to fight fervently till you can’t fight the darkness around you anymore then let God fight for you then thru tears as anger fades.
Emotion isn’t weakness, its a power for change, and a power for Good. Let it be, don’t hold it in, let loose change.