I grew up in a house full of almost all brothers, I played football and baseball, and worked for the family business in some way since I was 12. Needless to say, I knew how to be a guy. I was around other guys all of the time; I learned many important life lessons from other guys in my life. For example, I learned how to take a punch in the shoulder and always come back with a straight face saying, “that didn’t hurt, you hit like my sister!” In reality, my shoulder was killing me! I learned that society looks to men to be the strong, emotionless figures that can handle every situation put at them. I learned that it’s better to not cry because crying makes you look weak. The problem with these few learning tips that I have pointed out is that they are all lies. They are lies to cover things up. They are temporary solutions that only result in a bigger fallout in the future.
You might be wondering how I am going to tie this into 2 Corinthians 2. That’s a great question. If you read that chapter you start to realize something. Paul has these deep emotions that guys from our culture tend to not have. Paul says in verse 4, “For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you,” and verse 13, “my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.”
Notice the key words in those two verses: affliction, anguish, many tears, abundant love, and my spirit was not at rest. These are all feelings and emotion that Paul, a man, had.
So if you are a guy out there and you’re reading this, struggling with the same lies that the culture puts on our hearts every day. Remember this passage. Remember that being a man centered on Christ does not mean you are weak and emotional, it means that you have realized that you can’t do this on your own! God is our strength, and through our weakness, he is made strong.
Today, men, take some time to pray for God to make a change in your life. Pray for a softening of your heart. Pray that he will convict you to moments where you are acting more like society tells you to act than God tells you to act. I promise it will be a struggle but it will cause us to rely more on God. I’m up for this challenge. Are you?