I’ve been watching with curiosity a trend that seems to happening in the males of our species. I’m not exactly sure when it started or why but I find by the whole thing strange.
The first thing I saw was that our boys were really emotional. They cry for everything. Yes, we want our boys to be able to cry and not hold things in but they cry over things that don’t seem to be important. They cry when the vending machine is out of their favorite soda and they have to pick another. Is that really an issue to cry over? What is going to happen when life doesn’t hand you what you want and you’re a father of three kids?
In counseling I am talking to married men on a regular basis who say things like, “I hate my job and I am seriously thinking about quitting because I deserve to be happy.” Yes, it would be great to be happy but you have a wife and kids and you are the sole support of your family. YOU CAN’T JUST QUIT! I don’t think my grandfather ever once came home and threatened to quit his job. He understood his role in his family as the support of the home. He probably hated his jobs. He worked out in the fields and drove truck and was a card dealer at night I would bet that it was a pretty miserable to work two jobs and sleep in the cab of your truck as they loaded up your trailers yet not once did I hear him complain. His words to us were simply, “I am working hard to provide opportunities for you so that you don’t have to work this hard.” Since when do emotions enter into sustenance decisions that affect our families?
In speaking to Pastor Doug he felt that there was a shift when men were told they weren’t sensitive enough. So we created a generation of emotional males. I agree he is probably right but there is a problem with that. When a man thinks emotionally he thinks irrationally. Men tend to problem focus while women tend to emotionally focus. When a man thinks emotionally he doesn’t think clearly and it frustrates him and therefore runs the risk of making rash decisions that ultimately hurt the family.
I think there has to be a happy medium. Yes, I believe men have emotions and they need to express them appropriately. It’s normal to cry when your dog dies, when your mom dies, when something is truly sad. It’s not okay to cry when Chili’s is out of baby back ribs. It’s not okay to cry when your baby needs diapers and you have to spend your poker money on them. No one has ever promised you that life would be fair. Life is just but it’s not fair. So your best friend got a Wii for Christmas and you didn’t. It’s okay, your day will come and you’ll get it too. This is nothing to cry about.
I am not in any way including tender-hearted men in this blog. Some men are just touched by sensitive things. The difference is they cry over a baby’s birth or a sad movie not whether they can go golfing or not. I am talking about the crying over life’s issues that just happen. I am talking to the women raising men. If your son didn’t clean his room and wants to go to the movies and your deal was he had to clean his room, no amount of crying should move you to change the deal. These aren’t things to cry about and we need to teach this. These are simply consequences.
I don’t know if I am the only one who thinks this, but this is a very serious issue to me. I see men not stepping up to the plate as men because they don’t “feel” like it. As a woman I am wondering what happens to our children when men seek their own happiness over their the well-being of their family. It used to be that a man would abandon his family very rarely. It was an oddity. Now not having a dad is pretty normal, most births in America are to single moms. The number one thing I hear when a father doesn’t want to be a dad is because he isn’t getting his way. A few years ago I heard a man say, “Well, she bought clothes for the baby and so I spent the same amount on a couple of tickets to the WWE, it’s only fair.” Want to see my head explode? This is a good way to see it happen. We have work to do or rather undo.