“Well, I have a theory that men don’t actually cry less than women, they just do it differently. Since we never saw our fathers cry, we are forced to invent our own unique method.”—Miranda July.
Growing up in an authoritarian home environment was tough enough for any child, talk less of an introverted one like I was.
Fact is, every child seeks affirmation from his/her parents, especially from the daddy. Boys and girls alike want their fathers to acknowledge and affirm them in one way or the other. It is a natural emotional need and longing of a young soul. And if unmet the child natural looks elsewhere outside the home.
Sadly, most fathers were brought up like mine was. “Real men do not express their feelings or emotions!” They were told it was unmanly to cry, to express their feelings of vulnerability, sadness, grief and fear.
Real men, they say, hide their feelings and emotions especially from their wives and children. Their emotions or feelings of love, sadness, and grief, that is.
Funny enough, these same so-called real men are allowed to express their anger, annoyance and frustration against this same wives and children, even to the extent of emotional, verbal and sometimes physical abuse.
So, my dad can tell me I’m stupid and foolish when I err but he cannot tell me he loves me or he is proud of me when I excel? Why? Because it will make him less of a man! Wow!
Well, that eventually was the childhood my siblings and I experienced. And I bet we were not alone. However, now as a dad and husband I chose to differ!
And this is me at the rooftop, screaming at the top of my voice:
“I love you, Ryan!”
“I love you, Idara!”
“I love you, my baby!”
And if that makes me less of a man so be it! I live not for society but for God and my family.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Does this make God less of a God? Or less of a Father? Or this is God from the mountain top of Zion, screaming at the top of His voice unto mankind: “I love you, my children!”
Moreover, for me THE REAL MEN are those, man enough to express their feelings and emotions to their wives and children, not just in the confines of their homes but especially in the full glare of the entire world!
If God did it, why can’t you?
Men who do not repress nor suppress their emotions but adequately and healthily express them tend to be better dads and more importantly wonderful husbands. They are generally happy, un-withdrawn and approachable.
These are THE REAL MEN who have no difficulty in saying, “I love you”, to their wives and kids. They hug and kiss them easily. These, to me, are THE REAL MEN! The great husbands! The best dads!
# building tomorrow’s leaders today.