Jerusalem’s gates collapsed to the ground; he destroyed and broke the bars of her gates. Both king and prince have gone into captivity. There is no instruction, and the prophets receive no vision from the LORD. The leaders of cherished Zion sit silently on the ground; they throw dust on their heads and dress in mourning clothes. The young women of Jerusalem bow their heads in sorrow. My eyes are worn out from crying, my insides are churning, My emotions pour out in grief because my people are destroyed— Children and infants faint in the streets of the city.
My entire life growing up in a Cuban household, I was told that men do not cry and to never show my emotions because it showed weakness. This slowly built a wall around my heart and hardened it to others. It was not until I let God in and work in my life that those walls were slowly taken away. He told me that it was ok to cry and cast all my emotions unto Him. In this piece of scripture, Jeremiah’s tears were full of sincerity and compassion. This was not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Men need to understand just because you cry or show sorrow in any way does not mean that you lack faith or strength. There is nothing wrong with showing your emotions if you are a man and this stigma must be retracted in every household. Jesus Christ himself showed His emotions and cried.
As soon as Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet and told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was greatly troubled in spirit and deeply moved. He asked, “Where have you put him?” They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus burst into tears.
Let’s talk a little about emotions adult to adult. How do you react when you are sad or hurt? Do you show the proper emotions or does anger come out instead as a defense mechanism? Do you randomly feel sad and do not know why? I have felt this way in my life and I know many of you have too. What helped me was when I cried out to Jesus and prayed for help with my emotions. By letting these emotions out and casting them where they should have been all along (at the foot of the cross), helped me open my heart up as a man of God. It is ok to feel sorrow for yourself, the community, and even our nation. This sorrow does not show lack of faith but reminds us all to turn to the Lord in our times of weakness. This shows true strength and commitment to the Lord. So I say again, real men do cry.
As a father of four children, three of whom are boys; I must ensure that the way I was raised to hide my emotions do not hinder them in their growth. I teach them it’s ok to love, laugh and cry. I do not want them to waste many years of their lives bottling up their emotions just because I did. I pray that this message helps those men of God to not fear the emotions God gave us, but to embrace them and thank Him for them. Whenever you have that feeling in your gut that tells you to hold it in next time, say “I am not weak.” Never be afraid to express yourself in a godly manner. Please have a blessed day and I pray this message helps someone today.