During these perverse times, it’s truly vital that we, the men and fathers of this generation, do not allow our boys to grow up with a false sense of masculinity like we did. Unfortunately our fathers never displayed what masculine sensitivity looked like. So as a result, we have a generation of emotionally unstable men walking in unresolved anger, confusion and depression.
We must teach both the next generation and ourselves to understand there will be many things – situations and experiences that are personal and professional – that will be significantly challenging. We will find ourselves in moments of failure and frustration. We will find ourselves emotionally charged. It is up to each of us to learn how to respond, not just react. We, as men, have the responsibility to manage our emotions, not control them. That does not mean that we “hide our feelings.” Nor does it mean that we lash out. It means we learn how to become mature adult males who respect others who respect others. (No, that is not a repetition.)
But to do this takes tears within ourselves. It is not about crying every time something does not go our way. That is weakness. Rather, it is about learning and knowing when we should and need to release that sensitivity. That begins by recognizing exactly where our strength comes from.
We can claim our physical strength. We can claim all our mental strength. But our strength comes first and foremost from the Sacred Blood of Jesus, who died once for all of our sins. Without belief in Jesus, our world, our efforts, our being is nothing. Why? For the simple reason that we are nothing without Jesus in our lives. Only through the strength of Jesus is our sweat – our diligence – poured out in the world of value.
When we face resistance in the world, we can choose to stop because of the pain we experience . . . and we can fail. Or we can value that pain as part of our growth, development, and maturation as men. The mature man is not filled with anger, or rage, or confusion, or depression. That is because the mature man is able to value the pain of resistance for what it is: the way of growth of himself as a person.
In the world today, we are too frequently willing to compartmentalize our self. We compartmentalize our skin color, our sex, our age, our income level, every aspect of who we are. Why? Because we are told by others we have to. Ask yourself this question: Does this provide me value or does it restrict me? The reality is that such compartmentalization does restrict us. We wind up limiting ourselves to “only” that way of thinking and behaving. The healthy, thoughtful approach to life begins with embracing freedom and with it the responsibility that comes hand-in-hand in the way we act. But we must do so through mental fortitude. That fortitude is established through a balance in how we respond to what we experience.
WE must always dig deeper within our self and draw out the strength latent within our belief in Jesus Christ. We may not be absolutely successful the first time. But it is the experience that helps us. The mature man will learn from the experience and develop a better, more mature response so that subsequent work in the experience will aid us in being successful through learning.
There are times in that learning process where we learn that our thoughts and ideas are wrong. That is because we find out, we discover, that what we thought was great or useful or beneficial was not of value to the larger Society and Culture. But even there we learn for reference in the future.
Each man is masculine in a variety of ways. But strength and boldness do not equate to thuggish and brutish behavior. It requires balance in the maturity and emotion that is shown throughout our lives. That balance ultimately translates to a dexterity across our strengths. Physically we have a need to be ready to defend ourselves and our loved ones. Spiritually, we must be ready to draw from the strength of our belief in Jesus and His love for us in our quest to fulfill the Will of God. Emotionally, we build upon the growth of our experiences through our creativity, sensitivity, care and compassion to live our lives in support of our loved ones without confusion that breeds anger, hatred, and the sundry emotions which, ultimately, lead to depression and hopelessness.
Indeed, by harnessing our physical, spiritual, and emotional self, we can become the mature comprehensive man of God.