One of the biggest problems faced by modern men (and their wives) is the numbing and inoculation against feeling true emotions. For some, even when they do feel clearly, it’s equally as challenging to articulating those feeling in a healthy way.
In this episode, we talked about the hearts and feelings of men (based on this blog post), how wives can help their husbands process them. We ended the episode calling men to feel deeply about things that truly matter.
Note: The above podcast episode is based on a previously written blog post. So, feel free to listen above or read on below. Either way, we hope it blesses you!
Cultural ManOur culture tends to polarize the roles of husbands and wives – like they’re supposed to be equal-but-opposite, diametrically opposed forces in a marriage relationship. It’s a nice tidy fit:
- Women just want romance and connection, men just want sex.
- Wives want to talk, husbands want solitude.
- Gals over communicate their emotions, guys are emotionally sparse.
- Ladies like the Hallmark channel, gentlemen like ESPN.
Great men feel greatly.Coldness and apathy are the most cowardly stances a man can take. For a man to resign his emotion—the part of him which feels intensely—is for him to resign part of God’s very likeness in him. God himself was moved by his great love for us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” (John 3:16). So loved. He loved the world in such a way, and felt so intensely that He was compelled to send his only Son. Having children of my own, I can’t imagine loving anyone so intensely that I’d give up my kids for them. Look at the mightiest men in the Bible; even the most hardened warriors cried bitterly with emotion. Quick character studies of a few would illustrate my point (read about David, Samson, Saul, Joshua, Daniel, and most of all, Jesus). Great men do indeed feel greatly.
Wives Refuel UsDuring my Mount Rainier summit a few years ago, I realized just how much Selena’s encouragement and approval means to me. I realized that when she’s behind me, I feel virtually invincible. There’s little I wouldn’t do or attempt for her, because I love her intensely. Our 15+ years married has shown me that I do, in fact, need her on many levels. No, she doesn’t complete me, and she’s not my source of significance or identity, but I do need her, and that’s okay. Man wasn’t meant to be alone; God created this amazing being called “Woman”; and she is incredible. John Eldridge sums up the wonder of woman very well:
“She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish with Eve. She is the Master’s finishing touch.”In Genesis 2, God said himself, “it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:18). I couldn’t agree more (not that my agreement make God’s words any more true). Selena makes me better; she humanizes me in ways not possible without her. She keeps me from working too much or being too intense about life. She fills my emotional bucket and reminds me how to feel. Even more importantly, she loves me and fills me with confidence (and I do my best to reciprocate). In my experience, my wife often plays the role of being an emotional refueling point where I can reset, recalibrate, and re-engage with things that really matter. I need her and want her.
Men should feel outwardlyWe must engage our passion and emotion to change the social issues of our age. Just a few generations ago slavery was acceptable. Now our nation looks back with shame at what we allowed; slavery has forever tarnished American history. What did my parents and grandparents do in the face of something so atrocious? I heard Matt Chandler (a pastor in Texas) discuss this in a sermon as a means of drawing our attention and action to the social issues of our age. He asked, 50 years from now, what issues will we look back at and say “how could we have allowed such injustices?” This is primarily a marriage blog so I’ll spare the details; but I do believe there are (at least) three huge human issues men should be passionate about:
- Abortion – kicking, feeling, reactive children are killed for convenience. (Video)
- The sex trade – pornography, prostitution, and surrounding issues (Video).
- Human trafficking – modern day exploitation of kids and adults (More info)
Men should feel intenselyIf we are to become great men, we must feel with great intensity. One person put it like this, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” Granted, I have no idea what issues that person was outraged about but the sentiment is strong—we must feel. Keep in mind, your passion should have godly direction; I’m certainly not proposing a carte blanche to make mountains out of mole hills. If anything moves us, may it be the incredible grace of God and a desire to share His goodness, justice, and love with those who need it. May we be men who feel with great love toward our wives and families. May we be passionate about God and His concerns before our own. May we be anything but docile and quiet. May we feel the same intense love for others that God so intensely feels toward us.
Featured photo provided by Jeff Marsh and is of Ryan summiting Mt. Rainier.
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