As a man, have you taken a moment to wonder about what pressures you feel every day? The world we live in shapes our understanding of our own emotions and worth. Let’s explore this further.
What Do Men Really Feel?
Many might ask:
- Is it okay for a man to take a break?
- Can a man earn less than his wife without feeling less?
- Is it alright for a man to feel sad or seek therapy?
- Can he reach out to friends when feeling down?
Becoming a Christian is a transformative experience. But sometimes, amid our spiritual highs, we might forget to address our emotional well-being. Emotional health and spiritual maturity are two sides of the same coin. No amount of knowledge can mask our inner turmoil. And for men, society’s expectations can add another layer of pain.
Emotion health and spiritual maturity
Picture an iceberg. Only a small part is visible above water, while a massive chunk remains submerged. Similarly, we often show just a fraction of our emotions, keeping the bulk hidden.
As a result, many men only seek help when they are in deep emotional pain.
- Why do you think Men often need to experience pain to change?
- Are there any alternatives?
Hebrews 12:10-11 teaches that God uses painful wake-up calls to train us. But if we don’t acknowledge our pains, God cannot use the situation to train us.
This is why it is important to take care of our emotional health in order to reach the spiritual maturity we want.
Top 10 Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality
If we are not careful, we could develop unhealthy emotional habits in our spiritual lives. Here’s a list of symptoms to look out for.
- Using God to run from God
- Ignoring anger, sadness, fear
- Dying to the wrong things
- Denying the impact of the past on the present
- Dividing life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments
- Doing for God instead of being with God
- Spiritualizing away conflict
- Covering over brokenness, weakness, and failure
- Living without limits
- Judging other people’s spiritual journey
Embracing Human Emotions
Speaking of emotions, many fear showing anger, sadness, or fear, thinking they’re signs of weakness or lack of faith. But even Jesus, the epitome of a strong man, felt and expressed emotions. He felt overwhelmed (Matthew 26:38), grieved (John 11:34-36), and even got angry (Matthew 21:12-13).
Embracing emotions doesn’t make us less manly; it makes us human. When was the last time you genuinely laughed or let yourself cry?
Remember, being human means acknowledging we have limitations. And if we keep ignoring them, we’re adding strain to our mental health. Alarmingly, men are three times more likely to end their lives than women. This statistic isn’t a sign of toughness; it’s a cry for help.
4 Steps to Emotional Resilience
For men, here is some advice to achieve emotional strength.
1. Identify Your Emotions
The first step is to acknowledge how you feel. Spot and name your emotions. Jesus acknowledged his anger when he saw people buying and selling things in the temple court. (Mark 11:15-17)
Are you angry? Sad? Happy? Spot and name your emotions. Don’t let them slip away. Catch it fast before it goes away.
2. Share Your Feelings
After you have identified your emotions, share your feelings with someone you trust. Before his crucifixion, Jesus expressed deep sorrow and distress in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:38)
Remember, everyone has emotions. People won’t be surprised if you do.
3. Know Your Limits
As men, we can be so driven to accomplish our goals that we neglect our physical and mental health. Before the significant decision of choosing the twelve apostles, he spent the entire night in prayer. (Luke 6:12-16)
We have to be comfortable with the fact that we need a break.
4. Refresh and Recharge
Jesus started His day by seeking solitude and spending time in prayer, recharging before the day’s activities. (Mark 1:35)
Like Jesus, you should protect the time and activities you recharge yourself. We all need our Sabbath to stop, rest, delight, and contemplate.