The Crying of Men!

Please know that ScarredJoy posts are not all about having people agreeing with me. At times you may think I missed the mark on something. I do, however, want to have us journey together through things in life that may be uncomfortable, have us think and be real.

Such characteristics as being real with ourselves and others take time. Being real with our emotions, especially our expressions of sadness, is something we may have to learn as life confronts us with pain, brutality and life changing grief. This post encourages especially men to be real with their emotions.

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting online with a Facebook “friend.”  As a woman, my friend thought a consideration of how men process or express grief would be interesting to post. I got to thinking about my emotions as a man. A result of the chat led to this post. Specifically I am writing about men and crying.

I will never forget the sound. It has left an indelible picture in my mind. The wailing, the deep crying of a man standing by the headstone of someone he loved. He was on his own. Perhaps grieving the death of this loved one he felt even more alone. Grief can do that to a person. Grief can take the strongest of men and crush his spirit, at least for a while. Crying, unashamedly may help express the depth of emotional pain inside.

When I was a boy the culture of the time frowned upon crying in the case of boys and men. For a boy to cry, at least in front of people, was to act like a “lassie.” If a man cried he was supposed to calm it down as soon as possible.

As a Christian I admit, at least until recent years, much of the church community has contributed to minimizing the need to openly express our emotions and especially sad emotions. Perhaps in expressing the emotion Jesus expressed (John 11: 11:35–“Jesus wept.”) the church would have avoided the “suck it up” attitude of our culture. Weeping is raw emotion. Weeping is honest.

I’m thankful things are changing. Somewhere along the journey of life men began to know it’s okay to cry. We can now shake off the shackles of cultural or religious dictates that hampered emotions and feel free to be real, to cry.

I’m not saying, of course, that if men don’t cry they arent’s manly. I don’t mean that men must cry. I’m simply saying it’s okay to weep, to feel deep sadness, to cry, even in front of other people if need be. We don’t have to hide our tears in a corner!

If I cry I don’t like people drawing attention to me. It makes me feel I’m doing something wrong. The emotional ghosts of my cultural and church past can still haunt me. Perhaps other guys feel the same way.

To my female readers, if we guys cry please allow us to express ourselves in this way. Please don’t see our tears as a sign of weakness. We are feeling something deep that has caused us deep sorrow.

To cry is human.

I’m thinking a lot of this stuff through myself. This post even after I have rewritten it and reviewed it myself is giving me cause to ponder my own reality. There is still more to say on this.

What are your thoughts about men crying?

 

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4 thoughts on “The Crying of Men!

  1. I totally relate with the Author, As I get older I see the need to cry more often but usually in private or in my quiet times. Like Alan I was brought up in a world where men didn’t cry. But let me tell you something my son and his wife and my grandson live 3500 km away. When I visited them last Christmas and spent some quality time with the family especially my Grandson, after I said goodbye and drove away with my son watching behind me as my Grandson had a look on his face as to “Where is my Grandad going? I looked back and the tears just built up and I wept for several miles. My son didn’t know what to say. Men it’s ok to cry we have feelings just like anyone.

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  2. My husband told me that a couple of weekends ago when I was the guest musician during the worship time at a church in another city with the opportunity to play my original song, he started to weep. It wasn’t “because” of the music–although the honest, heartfelt worship to our Lord certainly set the stage–He was praying for two young men he knows with disabilities who have amazing gifts but are shuttled aside by most people because they are “different.” I am proud that my husband feels so deeply and is not afraid to tell me how the Lord was touching him in that moment.

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    1. Hi Sally! That sensitivity to others and to God’s moving is such a gift. It sounds to me like a sense of sadness and perhaps joy that your hubby would be so eager to tell you about this. It is so great he did not try to stifle God moving one his heart.

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