Friday, January 18, 2008

How precious the generations! Beej and Grandpa straightening their ties before church.


I had the privilege yesterday to speak at Metro Christian Academy, twice. Once, very early in the morning to Middle Schoolers, and then early in the afternoon to High School students. What an honor and blessing it was. Around 700 students in all.


Amid the opportunities the Lord has given me to speak, I have noticed something that troubles me. While it is highly noticeable among students, it tends to mirror our society as a whole.


Men are less likely to respond to how God moves than women, at least publicly. Scripture teaches public responses. As men we often believe that such a display would reflect emotion, and therefore choose not to respond. We are taught from an early age to hide our emotions, to be very private with such things, as it may tip off our intent or perhaps, who we really are.


I am weary of this. God created us as emotional beings. This does not mean we need to tear up every time a "Little House on the Prairie" rerun airs (like I do). Allowing others to see who we are...who God made us to be, is not a bad thing. We are drawn closer to others when we reveal parts of ourselves. It is not a display of weakness. How strong does one need to be, to be willing to be seen crying...at least within the confines of our culture?


Having said this, I believe I am in the minority. Too many men hold their emotions, their thoughts and feelings way too close. A pry bar would sooner dislodge a rusty screw from its age long dwelling.


Teaching our sons to be unemotional, nonreactive, to have a poker face mentality, will have certain advantages in life. But what does it teach them about their relationship with Christ?
We are to be completely open with Him. We are to hold nothing back. Honesty before the Perfect Lamb reflects the relationship between the Father and the Son! If we cannot be open and honest with our Savior, we are going to struggle to do so with our spouse's, our children, and those who would call us best friend.


Wearing masks to suit our own agendas serve no eternal purposes. They are completely self serving.


"Jesus wept."


When the circumstances of life cut Him to significant depths, He responded appropriately. Those of us who are unable to do so, are depriving ourselves of needed release. Crying is not the opposite of manliness. Emotion does not make one feminine.


God displays both masculine and feminine characteristics in His creation. Male and female were meant to be mutually exclusive in certain areas, but emotion, or response to stimuli, is not one of them.


If God moves and we refuse to respond, we are missing out on God's best for our lives. Some of us need to learn to emote a little bit, and stop acting like it is a display of weakness.


When the Holy Spirit brings conviction, masculine and feminine should melt to a posture of worship and praise. That the Almighty would choose to care about us individually is of great importance. To not respond is a grievous reaction.


To not respond becomes a much more glaring weakness in life, than an occasional outbreak of a "happy dance." Expressing ourselves is an acutely important part of relationships. Teaching our children, especially our sons, to do otherwise, is just wrong.


Having said that, I guess most sons are more likely to see their fathers laugh, than cry. Why is that? Why is it more acceptable to express joy than brokenness? It isn't. We just believe it is, so we teach this to our children, and they teach it to theirs.


Being able to appropriately emote is of significant value to our mental health. Holding back just multiplies our issues.

The Lord needs men who are willing to stand up for Him, no matter the cost. When He calls, they respond. How will this occur, unless we begin to teach them?


Most men will stand around with their hands in their pockets and mutter, "You first," to such a declaration.


We were created as passionate, emotional beings. It's okay to be both. We just have to teach our children how to direct them. Turning them ever inward produces generations predisposed to communication problems, and the inability to respond appropriately when God calls.


We have to stop wasting time.


I'll go first...


dad

12 Comments:

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I like most about you. You are not afraid to share your convictions and emotions. You just try to be real. Thanks for not putting up a front and allowing God to use you for His glory.

 
At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing what you did today. If I were to guess, it will be more women than men reading it...too bad!

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous cousin becky said...

Brent,

I don't know if you ever heard Daddy tell about the time when he was probably college-age that he decided that it "wasn't appropriate for a man to cry or show emotions." The enemy used that to put him into a period of terrible bondage. Daddy finally fell to his knees in an upstairs room in the house on S. Washington St. and pled for deliverance, surrendering himself by stating his willingness to be a man of tears. As you well know--he was! His sensitivity and willingness to express emotions-- not in a "focus-on-self" kind of way, but in a follower-of-Christ way of being "moved with compassion"--was an integral part of his ministry.

By the way, if he were still around and could read your writings on this blog site or sit at his desk with his legs propped up on the pull-out writing tray reading the book about BJ, I can guarantee you that his chin would be quivering, the tears would flow, the handkerchief would come out, and he would express to our Father the depth of his emotions of being blessed by what he reads.

With love,

Becky

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a man who is reading, loving, crying, and proclaiming Jesus next to you brother; shoulder to shoulder! \O/

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the pics ...bj and Uncle Vaughn...what cuties they are!

i love the writing from becky about uncle verdon...i can just picture him as she describes...

and i can remember times with both of them having moist eyes!!!

they were both great reflections of Jesus and his tender heart toward others.

i just love our family!!! we are so blessed to have grown up with such great examples and so much love!

i can hear them both laughing too!!! and aunt ardene..she had a great laugh..and uncle wendel...strong arms and a great lap to cuddle in...they must all be having a great time at the feet of Jesus...and BJ gets to enjoy what we can only remember.

hugs to you all.
marla

 
At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked your post today. God bless

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Matthew Pritchett said...

And I will follow...

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Debbie said...

My son is a senior at Metro Christian Academy. Please do not feel that the young men were not deeply touched by your son's story. Jonathan said he teared up. The minute he got home he shared your testimony and wanted me to look it up on the web. You are right in that our society teaches our young men not to show emotion, but I can assure you that my son was deeply moved. Please keep sharing your story. Debbie

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger BJ Will Always Be Remembered said...

Amazing Post. May God bless your words and this blog, and you and your family.

Amen.

In Christ,
Leslie.

 
At 12:14 AM, Blogger Marti said...

[you said] The Lord needs men who are willing to stand up for Him, no matter the cost. When He calls, they respond. How will this occur, unless we begin to teach them?

[BJ said] What God said to me: "Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail or forsake you." Even though many times we are weak and scared, and it seems we have nothing let in us to carry on, and God feels 1,000,000 miles away, the question is not "Do I feel good enough to do this?" or "Am I good enough?" or even "Can I do this?" The answers to these questions are often "no," but God is still with us, and no matter how we feel, the question is
"WILL I OBEY?" (Peru Journal, July 1, 2004; p. 119, I Would Die for You]

Mom and Dad: you taught him well.

Now he has the opportunity to teach many more. Praise Him for His work in all these lives!

still

praying in pink
with tender love,

Marti

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger ecc said...

Thank you so much for coming to Metro and sharing about BJ. I have been struggling with the fear of sharing my faith, and trying to decide whether or not God was really calling me to go to Belize on spring break. I feel that God sent you to Metro directly as a way of telling me that I need not fear, but just be willing to do anything for him. My anatomy class had a great time of discussion, prayer, and response and it stemmed from BJ's story. I feel very priviledged to hear such a testimony, as it has spurred me, and many of my friends into action.

 
At 3:03 AM, Anonymous Cassie said...

I appreciate you coming to speak at Metro..It really meant a lot.I know i didnt cry or anything..I tend to not cry about things as easily even though inside im hurt soo bad..Your testimony meant soo much..It truly made me think about everything..You shouldnt be wasting your time on earth,worrying bout who likes you,whats the newest technology,what the juiciest rumor is,etc.Even tho people make it a huge deal,it really isnt.. You should be sharing Gods word and getting ppl to know him..Thats what life is for.. The technology and all is NOTHING compared to our almighty lord.yet so many ppl act like they are christian,when they only care bout everything but God.

I appreciate u coming and speaking.. It was a really sad story. but it had sooo much meaning and i shared it with my mom and dad..they were shockd but was grateful u came.

Please come back soon,
Cassie

 

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