Think a minute…A four-year-old boy had an elderly neighbor who had recently lost his wife of many years. One day the little boy saw his neighbor crying, so he walked into the old man’s backyard, sat down next to him and just quietly stayed with him for awhile. When the boy’s mother later asked him what he had said to his neighbor, the little boy answered: “Nothing. I just helped him cry.”
Many of us were taught as children that “Big boys don’t cry.” We think any show of emotion is being weak. So we admire and respect men who are strong and silent. Men who are always “calm, cool, and collected.” But then when our feelings finally do reach the surface, we do not know how to handle them. We feel weak and ashamed. So we pretend and act like we don’t have these feelings, thinking that will make us appear strong, mature, and manly to other people.
But it can actually take more strength to show your true feelings and not be afraid of other people’s opinions. We just need to learn to show our feelings the healthy way: “telling it like it is” with kindness. That way it helps both you and the person you are talking to. In some cases it’s okay to “let it all hang out,” as long as we do it in a controlled, constructive way that brings a better understanding and closer relationship with others.
Even Jesus Himself sometimes cried in front of people, because of His deep sadness or disappointment. Jesus did not have an immature macho image to protect or prove. A real man is strong enough not to be afraid of what others think.
Remember, it is only the honest truth that can make you free. So expressing your true feelings is usually the first step to fixing the problem and changing your life for the better. Until you face reality, you cannot begin to change it. So won’t you express your need for Jesus right now, and ask Him to forgive you for not being more honest and kind to others? Then ask Him to help you lovingly show your real feelings to your wife, children, and others who deeply need that from you. Just think a minute…