Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Barber shops are interesting places to do a study of the male half of the human race. It's really "Guy's World." That's what made me take special notice of the dad who came in last week with his two young daughters. They were doing fine, and it was really neat to see how the three of them got along. But you just don't usually see many females in the barber shop. I smiled at that dad and I said, "Your daughters are really well-behaved. It must be interesting for them to be here. It's kind of a 'guy's world,' isn't it?" Yeah," he replied. "Not much talking."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Silent Guys."
Now if you ask most women, that's part of the problem in our relationships. This guy thing called "not much talking." Or at least not much talking about what's really going on inside us. Oh, we'll talk about work and sports and cars and "stuff." But too many men just don't talk much about what they're feeling ... about what they need ... about what's hurting, what they're hoping for, what's wrong.
It was never meant to be this way. Just go back to the creation of guys. Adam was king of his domain there in the Garden of Eden, managing things for His Creator. But even with all of that - according to Genesis 2:18, our word for today from the Word of God - "the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." So, God created woman because a man's work and achievements could never be enough to complete him - he needed relationship. He needed someone outside of himself to share his life with.
Man was never meant to be an island, keeping everything to himself. We were never meant to be some Lone Ranger, wearing a mask to cover up our identity. God made us to need a shared life. But sadly, a lot of men have somewhere bought the lie that manhood means keeping your deepest feelings to yourself. Some of us got it from a father who seldom let anyone into what was behind his macho mask. And if you had a dad like that, you know how frustrating it was to never really know where you stood with him ... to wish that he would express his love to you, his approval, his joy, even his hurts. Then we grow up and we repeat the cycle and do it to those we love.
The people who love you and the people you love desperately need for you to express your tenderness, and your hurts, and your expectations, your needs. If you could just risk letting them know that you don't have it all together - that sometimes you're weak, you struggle, you're unsure - it would open up a depth of closeness and healing you never thought you could experience. And if you're a woman in the life of a man who struggles to express his feelings, be very careful when he does. Some men don't say it because of the harsh things that happen when they do.
Men who don't talk much, who don't express what's inside, end up leaving a painful trail of tears around them - frustrated sons, wives who don't know where they stand, daughters who are love-starved - and terribly vulnerable to the sexual mistakes of a girl who's unsure of her father's love.
One thing I love about Jesus is that He sets men free to feel, to forgive, to love. Because they've experienced His love and forgiveness - as men who have accepted for themselves His sacrifice on the cross for their sins. Which, if you've never done that, is a step I pray you'll take this very day. I've written a booklet about this relationship. It's called "Yours For Life." And I'd like to send it to you, if you'll just let me know you want it.
It doesn't have to be so lonely, so full of hurt that's built up inside like a volcano. The man who risks letting people inside is a man who is finally free. And a man who is giving the people he loves one of the greatest gifts he can give them - himself.