Christian Crybabies?

January 12, 2009
I’m a guy. Obviously.

But I’m not really what you would call a “man’s man.” I’m not a lumberjack, for one thing. I actually have a little bit of a hard time fitting in with my wife’s family. They’re all farmers. They hunt animals, and all that good stuff. They earn their living through physical labor.

Now, I can handle myself, mind you. I was a Boy Scout. That’s pretty manly stuff they teach you. Know why my brother and I got into Boy Scouts? Because he brought home a flyer that had a picture of a kid shooting a bow and arrow. So we joined up and sure enough, we got to play with knives, guns and fire.

But…I don’t hunt. I’m not a farmer. I went to art school before becoming a minister. If there’s one job less physical than an artist, it’s a minister. Ministers just aren’t always looked at as ‘manly.’ And artists? I just traded in my ‘man card’ right there. But yeah, that’s right, I draw. And paint. And I like it. I’m not a giant chunk of muscle either. I’m pretty wiry. And I don’t ride a Harley. I ride a scooter.

But you know what, Chef Duff on ‘Ace of Cakes’ rides a scooter, and he’s pretty manly…Wait, he decorates cakes for a living…maybe not a good comparison for me.

But probably what’s most controversial in my claims on manhood is my ability to be emotional. Guys are generally taught to be tough, not show a lot of emotion other than ‘rage,’ and definately not to cry.

I was reminded of my male inadequacy the other week while seeing ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’ First, I’ve got to say, that was a fantastic movie. Absolutely a must see. But near the end, a strange sensation overcame me. I felt a wave of emotion overtake me. I was actually choking back tears by the end of the film. As we were walking out of the theater, a woman asked her husband what he thought. His reply was one of complete apathy and emotional absence, “It was…different.” What a manly answer.

Seriously? Pathetic.

I was just lucky I was with my wife and not my church’s worship leader who is one of my best friends. That guy is a giant crybaby, and I would not have been able to hold on with him bawling next to me. I’m pretty sure he would’ve wanted me to hold him in my arms until I could get him home to his wife. And his wife would not have appreciated me returning him in such a fragile state.

Now my worship leader/crybaby friend is a physical guy, athletic, tattoos. But he’s got this pesky problem of crying. A lot. Seriously, way more than me…

So it occurred to me the other day that perhaps I was not alone. Perhaps there may be a reason for this ridiculous blubbering which I am prone to from time to time. I wondered if Christian guys cry more than average guys. Or, to be more fair, are Christian guys more ’emotionally open’ or ‘vulnerable’ as the family counselors say. I just picture some stone faced guy whose not a Christian, and then one day he has his ‘Jesus moment:’

Jesus and some dude are in Jesus’ office:

Jesus: It’s not your fault.

Guy: …I know.

Jesus: No you don’t. It’s not your fault.

Guy: Don’t mess with me, not you.

Jesus: It’s not your fault.

Matt Damon: I said don’t mess with me.

Jesus: It’s not your fault.

Guy: (turns into blubbering, slobbering mess, they hug) I’m so sorry Jesus!

Jesus: Now you are a Christian.

In that initial Jesus moment, the guy finds Jesus and against all he’s ever been taught, breaks down and cries. I think it probably happens a lot. Crying is basically the cornerstone to the last night at church camp. (Or in my experience, welcome week at a Christian college, which was basically church camp 10 years too late.) Is that guy who learned to cry first when he became a Chrsitan then more prone to emotional outbursts from then on? If a Christian guy does not ever cry, does that mean he hasn’t had a real ‘Jesus moment’ recently or ever? (Maybe I’m kidding on that one, unless you agree.)

What do you think? Are the Christian guys in your life a bunch of crybabies? Are they at least more emotionally vulnerable than the non-Christian guys you know? Guys, this is a safe place. It’s okay to admit that you cry too. Because I already know that you do. What do you think? Are you more emotionally open with your loved ones now as a Christian than before you became one.
And if no one here is willing to say that they cry, I’m going to look like a total idiot.