They’re taught that sadness is weakness, that talking about their fears or short comings makes them less than. They don’t mourn properly. The struggle to grieve. They’re afraid to cry. It all spills into the way they husband and father and I hate it.
Love is a verb. It is something you do. It is not the same as babying, coddling or spoiling. It is something my son deserves. I will always love him when he is hurting and my prayer for him is that he is alway open to receiving love so he can love in return and keep that cycle going.
As the mom of two sons, I have to agree with Sullivan that it is GREAT to teach our boys that there is an absolutely appropriate time, place, and way to express sadness, hurt, etc. I have seen my own dad cry quite a few times — in fact he’s the parent I am most like emotionally. He’s a great man, father, and leader and his ability to express his feelings appropriately is certainly part of that. Why would I not want my sons to be emotionally healthy? There’s absolutely a place for toughness, too, but it can coexist alongside ALL of our emotions. It does NOT replace them.
I don’t think it’s any accident that the Bible shows us Jesus expressing sadness and weeping over his friend Lazarus’ death, of being so anguished before his death that he cried out to God to help him in the Garden of Gethsemane, telling his disciples that “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death;” (Matthew 26:38). If Christ can show us that there is a place for grief, sadness, anguish, why should we not teach our sons the same?
It’s my aim to raise up godly sons who treat others as they want to be treated—and if that makes them more “soft” than “tough”—I’m totally okay with that. Are you?