Boy child, please speak out!
written by Absolom Gumoshabe (GWC Past Student)
You need to become aware of the fact that tradition and your cultural setting has been teaching you that ‘you have to be a man’, but unfortunately it hasn’t prepared you to be one. Who said that if you have an issue, as a man you shouldn’t speak out? Is crying normal or not? It’s an involuntary and natural action, but people interpret it as an indication of weak masculinity. Does the presence of sad emotions and brokenness prove that you’re half a man? Does seeking counsel and pouring out your feelings before someone prove that now you’re no longer a man? We have encountered many instances where men have died without even leaving a trace of the cause of their demise just because they were too fearful to come forward due to the voice of ‘masculinity’ within them urging them not to.
The boy child is bearing an enormous burden, because society has it wrong – including parents – and guardians think males can handle everything by themselves. They say “boys will be boys, we don’t need to tell them certain things, they’ll discover them by themselves”. Most of the focus has been put on a girl child, which wouldn’t be wrong if the boys were also empowered in a similar manner. All children are equal before God. Do you have faithful friends whom you truly trust enough to tell them what’s going wrong in your life? Do you have aunts, uncles, sisters or brothers that you reveal your emotions to without the fear that they might judge you and see you as less of a man? If you do, I implore you to reach out to them. And trust me, solutions will always be there, but when you keep silent, the answers to your problems will always seem to evade you.
In fact, this is more advantageous than committing suicide, resorting to drugs and other unhealthy habits. These unhelpful defensive mechanisms might provide temporary relief, but they are not conducive to recovery in the long run. James 5:16 says “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Christ as a role model
Matthew 23:11-12 “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Jesus is the paragon of humility. Philippians 2 reveals to us that He humbled himself by leaving his heavenly position with God to enter the earth and become a man in order to die for our sins so that we might be forgiven. And here we see that Jesus tells his disciples, a group of men, that the greatest man will be the man that humbles himself. Not the man who clothes himself in arrogance and pomposity. Jesus modelled this perfectly, the ultimate example of humility. And all Christian males should follow his example.
This is connected to the topic at hand, because many males today do not disclose the emotions that they feel society deems as feminine feelings. They fear that they will be judged and, therefore, that their manhood will be dismissed. This type of attitude is infested with pride. At the core of it, we observe that the motive is to be accepted by society because they fear being judged as unworthy. If the community doesn’t acknowledge their value, then they feel they have no value at all. However, Christ commands humility. And, there will be a point at which a male should decide whether he will mould his identity according to the conventions of the traditions of man or on the person of Jesus Christ. It takes humility for a male to speak out and admit that he is struggling with certain issues. Nonetheless, they can rest confidently in the fact that Christ promised that those who are humble enough so as to admit their struggles and faults, and put on the garment of humility, will be exalted. Jesus Christ should be the role model for men. Not the warped perception advocated by the media and modern-day society.
Boy child, please speak out!
Let not depression or other issues ruin your life when God has placed before you genuine friends to stand with you.
Psalm 30:5 “Sorrow may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.” Yes, a problem can be tough but it’s not going to be permanent.