I recently had a conversation with a few friends about showing emotions in the context of a worship service or small group. I have been fortunate to have been involved in a variety of church settings where emotions were considered a natural expression of your love for God and mankind. My life over the last 30 years is more with a church context where emotions at times can be viewed as suspect or almost disrespectful to God. I so much see the need to understand having a healthy balance between having an intellectual slant in my pursuit of life and the truth but to also allow my heart to express my life and faith through tears at time or an emotional shout of JOY!
I have spent a good portion of my adult life working with men in leadership that are engineers who have a tendency not to show much or any expression of emotions. More recently I have been more around kids, teens and young adults where often because of circumstances are much more in touch with their feelings. This can translate into a self-expression that definitely challenges my male ‘genes’ to think especially for guys and young men that you’re being a ‘sissy’ STOP IT. Yet, I must be real and say that after my mom died from an 8-year battle with cancer I catch myself in tears often. My tears become a window into my heart that helps me see the bigger picture that life is filled with times of REJOICING but also times of MOURNING or allowing myself to be sad.
I have given myself permission to not allow the football image of maleness to dominate my mindset! Instead, I see crying and tears as an expression of my humanness where I don’t have to pretend to be strong when I’m not! Weakness is a normal part of everyone’s life! Yes, I can also have tears come as a sign of joy and excitement of what is happening in my life also! I will always remember seeing my grandson and having tears both of joy for this incredible gift but also feeling sad that my mom and dad weren’t part of this normal life experience.
I will always remember doing my first marathon as an expression of my love for my mom and her battle with cancer. I had prepared for this torturous experience for months with a couple of friends. I had actually done a couple of 20 mile runs so I was prepared for going 26.2. What I wasn’t prepared for was the rush of emotions as I was coming close to the finish line understanding that my mom’s battle with cancer was almost over. I will always remember the burst of tears that came across me when the gal put the medal on me as I walked and cooled off.
Please give yourself permission to cry at times! I plead for us guys, especially dads, to allow the tears of your wife or daughters to get to your heart! Remember the shortest verse in the Bible is, ‘Jesus wept.’.