At The Intersection of Vulnerability & Masculinity

vulnerability-masculinity

I saw this post from a friend the other day, and I thought it might resonate with you:

I’m a happy, positive, and optimistic guy, but today I’m Struggling.

This is a vie for honesty and vulnerability. As a man we are told its best to buck up, Keep your feelings to yourself and “grow some balls”. That’s all fine and dandy but men do have moments of fear, insecurity, heart issues, and it’s all very real. We are told to just deal with it, and it’s hurting us. There’s a line between vulnerability and being responsible for your issues. It’s what you do with those feelings/issues that make you a real man.

“Men we need to fight for the survival of masculinity.”

Being “manly” is a term that unfortunately is changing in our society. Going too far either way makes for either, a “feminine” man, or you end up with a self hating, angry basket case that can’t keep himself together. (I almost got in a tussle with one at Olive Garden last week as he was expressing “his feelings” on the “stupid brats” we were with.)

I have days, like today, of fear, insecurity, loneliness, and for sure thoughts of throwing in the towel. It’s sometimes a fight to wake up and keep moving forward towards the goals that I’ve set for myself and future family. What keeps me going is remembering the responsibility I have been given to do what I’m suppose to do. Now, I’m going to continue my day as if I’m not feeling these feelings and project to the world I’m a strong responsible man who’s conquering this planet. When the fight on the inside doesn’t always look as confident. I don’t have it all together and I’m ok with that, we are all on a journey and that’s what makes life so adventurous! When your going about your day always remember the outside typically tells a different story than what’s on the inside. If your capable take a moment to stop and ask someone how their heart is doing, it could serve you both well.

Sometimes there seems to be a war between vulnerability and masculinity. But it’s a false war.

True masculinity requires vulnerability. If we can’t be honest with ourselves and then open up into honest communication with those close to us, we’re ultimately left with nothing.

If you are only 50% vulnerable with me – if you only allow me to see 50% of who you are – I can only love 50% of you. When we refuse to open ourselves up were are disallowing those close to us from fully loving us. And we are forcing ourselves to endure our struggles alone, when that was never what God intended.

It’s okay to put your game face on. It’s okay to feel the turmoil inside and do what needs to be done to meet your responsibilities. That’s part of being a man.

But you weren’t designed to wear your game face 24/7. You have to allow yourself to get real with what’s happening on the inside, because like it or not, your external life will be driven by what’s happening internally.

Make vulnerability a priority.

Jacob McMillen

Jacob McMillen is a professional writer, preacher, and the chief editor of Uncompromised Men. In addition to throwing down sweet lines on manly topics, he enjoys writing about theology and will absolutely steal your dignity on the basketball court. Follow him on twitter @jmcmillen89... if you dare.

  • Edward

    Today’s society is a sad mess with men not knowing who or what a man should be and women trying to be a man or criticized for being a true woman. The Truth is we’re living in the last days of the Church Age and Scripture says these days will be the same as in the days of Noah, Lot, and when the Son of Man returns. (Luke 17:27-30) Yes, as the author stated, it makes life difficult with all this gender-acting confusion, but as a Christian this chaotic mess should get you excited and looking to the North for Christ’s return. So how do you deal with society today? Look to the Bible heroes. Stand up for your God against those who defy Him like David. Be like Solomon and ask God to reveal His wisdom to you while you STUDY His Word. Learn from Paul to be all things to all men, which actually is be Christ like to all people. Christ never backed down, but He did deflect comments back to His accusers. This wisdom comes from studying the Word. Should we show vulnerabilities? Only when Christ can be glorified. For other times, everyone should have a true brother or sister that can pray with them and they should be giving that vulnerability to Christ to handle.

  • Brian

    Vulnerability is a part of our life as humans. To be open in our struggles with others, at the appropriate time, is important for them and for us. Perhaps, they needed to hear they are not the only one that struggles in a particular area.
    Overall, I think vulnerability that is genuine can lead quickly to genuine trust between individuals. To be vulnerable usually is also accompanied by being real and honest. This can happen in our relationships with others and with God. For more reading on this topic, feel free to visit my post at http://changedthroughfaith.com/the-chest-protector

  • Roseville Garage

    Shepherd Thoughts has no lack of Christian blogs, Christian videos, podcasts, and articles based on Biblical views and thoughts. You may learn the early expansion of Christianity over there.

    http://www.shepherdthoughts.com/

  • Sam Mwaura

    someone said that if loving material things is what make u love u what happens when this things are gone??? beauty is fleeting and so is machismo no!!! the true character of a man is shaped not by how we see him but by how he feels about himself and this often takes place away from prying eyes ..

    Paul told us that by the grace of God we are who we are and that is children of the most high God .. if we feel confident about who we are we can face any obstacle just like David faced the giant philistine Goliath man!!!

  • Derrick Smith

    The trick is convincing men that vulnerability is strength. We are still overshadowed by the perception of how to be a man based on old definitions. It doesn’t work today because the things that defined a man years ago have been taken away (the ability for people to depend on you for their needs). We’re not needed for those things, but the need for real men has greatly increased. I see it as a challenge from God himself to seek Him for definition. Vulnerability doesn’t allow us so much the strength of self as it does the strength of community, where strengths and weaknesses are balanced out by submitting to each other (in the fear of God) for a greater purpose.