Alright, back to where we left off last week. I was arguing that men do not have a feminine side. Remember?
The only emotion a man is allowed to own is anger. All other emotions, we’ve decided, belong to the females of the human race, and are completely inappropriate for men to display. He can’t cry, seem afraid, be insecure, appear hopeful, or acknowledge any of the feelings that God put inside him to help him appropriately navigate the challenges of life. Instead, he’s told a real man gets through life needing nothing from no one.
And we wonder why he punches the wall when he loses his job . . . or his kids get on his nerves . . . or his wife buys that purse . . . or the car breaks down . . . or just about any other time his life seems out of his control.
Great men in the Bible weren’t afraid to express what was in their hearts. They weren’t a bunch of sniffy-nosed hand wringers, but they understood that there were times when those around them needed to know what only they could express.
David expressed his love for his friend, Jonathan. He mourned the needless death of Abner. He pled for the life of his son, Absalom. He explained to his confused servants why he refused to eat while his baby was sick, then ordered a meal as soon as the boy was pronounced dead.
All out in the open.
His psalms reveal the fears of his heart and God’s ways that he did not understand. He wrote of men who abused his trust, friends who betrayed him, and enemies that got off the hook. He didn’t talk only of his macho victories, but transparently described the times his feet almost slipped. He hid none of his humanity lest God think him arrogant and his friends think him self-sufficent. It was the only way he could be honest with God and himself, and, sometimes, it was the only way he could teach an important lesson to those who were closely watching his life.
God got the glory. We got the lesson.
Perhaps David’s best lesson was his last one. His desire to build God a house was obvious. So was God’s denial of his wish. But David didn’t go way angry. He discovered what God wanted him to do and executed that plan to its fullest.
In the closing chapter of First Chronicles, David’s sincere humanity shines through once more. He pleads for the congregation to be kind to his young son, their new king. He reminds them, and God, that all of the magnificent gifts that they were offering that day were already God’s own – they had received them from His hand.
Some would say that, in his old age, David was getting in touch with his feminine side. But the truth is, what made David great was that he used his feelings and emotions throughout his whole life to worship God and instruct his people.
May we teach our men that God planted all those emotions and feelings inside us for a reason. As men, we must learn what each feeling is signaling, and how to appropriately respond.
If we had more Davids, we’d have fewer holes in the wall, fewer battered wives, and fewer children with identity issues. Instead, we’d have more worshiping men, more secure marriages, more settled children, and more sinners wanting to know why.