If you want to attract an honorable lady, be an honorable man.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Soft Men

We've all seen the movies - ripped guy taking on millions of foes, wiping the field clean and dirt from his forehead. Sword swinging, guns blazing, bullets and blades seeming to bounce off of him as he does his daring deeds of duty. 

And then we've all seen the contrast. In some cases, stark contrast. 

No comments needed there. 

Anyway, with all the wimpy guys in today's society, the reformed circles have seen a shift away from the wimpy-Jimmy syndrome, and towards embracing a more masculine figure. We wear jeans and leather boots, with a tan on our arms, and a few scars here and there telling stories of braving the hazards of cattle chutes and sheep pens.

That was the country boy version, just for your information. Feel free to substitute whatever manly attributes you prefer to give you the proper mental picture.  

We have tried to shun that whole softie thing - were tough boys now. You can bounce rocks off our chest and watch us take on a charging sheep single handed. 

We are doing our best to restore the Biblical image of manhood, like David's mighty men of old. We don't usually run into 800 men in one sitting that all have the collective need of being given a one-way ticket to the other side of eternity, all stamped and signed with a sword swung by us - but we do our best to handle whatever runs in our way. 

Let me tell you, I am all for that. I am all for the muscles and camo and guts and glory, but I want to bring a slight caution to the wooden table where all the hot-chocolate of victory is drank and the war stories are swapped. 

Although there is such a drive in our society for soft men, there is also an equal force driving the society towards hard men - just hard in different areas. Surprisingly, the messages are coming from the same guy - the bad guy. 

Let me see if I can give you a visual.

Picture Dwayne Johnson.  

Dwayne in usually pictured in movies as a whopping tough dude - with big muscles, big guns, cool moves, and a 'you can't touch me' attitude. The picture perfect tough guy. 

But his hardness is instantly revealed - if you try to picture him holding a baby.


Wow - talk about a visual train wreck. 

Holding babies is too .... soft ..... for tough guys. That's just not for tough guys.

The hardness that runs from all appearance of weakness, tenderness, and sympathy, even down to holding a baby.

There is the hardness - an internal hardness - a cold hardheartedness that reaches out to modern men's actions, and gives us the impression that to be a tough guy means you have to be invulnerable on the inside - nothing can touch that core of....whatever is down there. Or actually, the real tough guys don't even feel - no feeling of happiness, pain, joy, heartache, remorse, guilt, or worst of all - love. 

Nothing touches heart strings - no blood, guts and gore, romance, reunions or relations - nothing penetrates. 

Folks, that was me. I was a plank in the outside, completely cut off from what was inside.

But this isn't about that whole 'letting the real you out' topic. This takes another - but similar topic.

It's about being soft with those who don't require lessons to be taught with a six-shooter or sword. People like your mom, your siblings, or if you are one of that privileged upper class, your wife.

1 Peter tells us to live with our wives in an understanding manner - and being as hard as nails towards them doesn't quite qualify.

I heard a girl say once - through a third party - that no girl wants a hard-hearted man. A man that is so cold-hearted towards his wife and kids that it drive them further and further away. Girls - wives - want love. Not sensual love, but the real kind - the kind that doesn't come from a hard heart.

In fact, God puts a boot in the seat of Israel several times for having hard hearts - granted, it was for having a hard heart towards God, but it still was a hard heart. Pharaoh had a whopping hard heart - look where that landed him!

My Pastor says often that our earthly relationships are a glance at our heavenly relationships. If we are being hard-hearted towards our family, our wives, or anybody for that matter, it probably is a good sign you are hard hearted towards God.

God urges us several times to soften our hearts, and warns that a stick-necked person who is corrected time and time again, will be destroyed once and for all 'and that without remedy'.

So this is kinda a warning - warning against being the Dwayne Johnson kinda tough, where we shun all appearances of tenderness and weakness, and go for the visual of a stone. Maybe that's how Dwayne Johnson got his nickname "The Rock".....

This is a call to be the kind of tough where you are tough on the outside, but are soft inside.

Soft men - it sounds so gross, but it actually is what God calls for.

I hope this doesn't sound preachy. : ) It's just been on my mind lately, and I thought I would throw it out there for you all. Sorta a random ramble.

This is just a reminder to be soft on the inside, soft to our wives and families, soft to the ladies in our lives, soft to the men in our lives, and most importantly, soft towards God. Let him guide you, and don't get hard towards him.

I was going to end this post with some fitting visual analogy about being soft on the inside and physically tough on the outside, but I couldn't think of any. Phooey.

So I guess I'll just end it here. : )



  1. Really good thoughts here. Thank you for sharing! I agree... we tend to do this pendulum swing for our actions. We see 'men' out there who are glamorized and whatnot, but who seem to us to be 'wimpy'. So instead of finding a middle ground, we 'go all gangsta' (quote from movie there.. sorry..) and turn and run the other direction- full speed ahead, no thought to it. Now, I'm not a guy so I can't really say from personal feelings, just as an outsider witnessing that sort of thing. However, for women we do the same thing- just on different things. :-)
    I would imagine it's hard to find the balance of being the warrior that God created men to be, but to also be the provider and caretaker of the family. It's a fine line, but I commend all you men out there who walk it so well, or who are striving to stay on balance. :-)

    1. I know, right??!! We go from one extreme to the next - We go from all law, to all grace, in one swoop, the happy middle clean forgotten.
      Soft warriors - tender men - You know then when you see them, and those are the real world changers, the real family men, the real heroes.
      And yes, it is hard. :D It's hard to go bulldog a pig who got loose (done that....) then try to be sensitive to girls emotions three seconds after. Adrenaline is flying, muscles are popping ..... being tender right then is *real* tough. :)
      Thanks for all the encouragement.

    2. Indeed! It isn't easy at all... which is why it is even more "beautiful", in a sense, when it does happen. I think the best example I've ever seen in it personally is in my 'men' here at home. Our neighbor, and elderly cowgirl who lives by herself, called to say her horse needed to be put down, my brother was kind and strong enough to go and take care of it for her. I think that right there is the toughest thing because it is a tender thing, yet a 'tough' thing at the same time. You're only doing it because it has to be done and you don't want to let the animal suffer any more, but it is so difficult to take a life like that, no matter the circumstances. I'm sure you've dealt with the same thing before.
      So, on a different subject, I'm curious to know what 'bulldog a pig' means.. We've never raised pigs, so I'm quite unfamiliar with that term.. =P

  2. "I knew beneath this tough crispy outside there was a soft nougatty center in there!" - Over the Hedge

    Couldn't resist. ;)

    This post is dead on, though, David. I had a talk with a friend a few weeks ago who was once in the same place, and he had to rediscover his feelings. He had buried them down so deep locked away that he couldn't even remember how to use them. He had to learn soft emotions again.

    I think part of being strong, is knowing when to be weak. That is a greater strength. Even Jesus cried for His friends, and there was no stronger man than He.

    1. Part of being strong is knowing when to be weak -
      Awesome, but I think I would change it to 'is knowing and accepting that you are weak' because we all are weak deep down - somewhere - from past hurts and merely from sin nature.
      I think Guys don't get that - at all. I didn't learn soft emotions, I had to admit that they were there and that they were being stuffed.
      I find I am quite a softie now inside - I surprised myself the other day when I got choked up at a scene in a movie that never bothered me before. :)
      Jesus cried - that is my favorite proof text that men should be tender on the inside. If Jesus cried when his friend died, why do we think we are so much tougher by not crying and looking all stoic. Also shows exactly how tender Jesus's heart was - he was perfect - tough as nails, tender as could possible be. Talk about a role model!

  3. Sir, I followed a link from Bushmaid, and you have just earned yourself a follow. :)

    This is so true, and so hard. I probably tend to be more stoic than I should - I was talking to a friend this morning that mentioned he always tears up during the killing of Aslan in Narnia. In general, I need to man up only as the occasion calls for it, rather than brush my siblings off in an attempt to be strong and silent.

  4. It makes me happy that at least one Christian young man has found the balanced middle between the modern day squisheyness and the harsh, bullet proof "Biblical Manliness". This was an encouragement to read from you, David! I've been loosing hope watching many Christian guys loose their soft hearts in an attempt to be 'tough' when it's actually a lot tougher to be able to deal, work through and show emotions. I personally am at the point where I will happily remain single for the rest of my life than marry a Christian man who can't be tender and is emotionally unstable because he's clamped it all up inside himself in the name of being a biblical man. I hope more young men are able to come out of the Macho Syndrome and find the proper balance of what being a true, healthy Christian man is in real life. Thanks again for writing this post!


    1. I'm glad it helped Jamie. :)
      You nailed it - the reason they are clamped up inside is because they are unstable - they know if they let out their emotions they would be a wreck, so the cork goes on and nothing comes out.
      Mom has a killer phrase -
      "You only build strongholds around weakness's - Not strengths"
      Thanks for swinging by Jamie. :)

  5. This is a good post David :) A man having a tender heart is not sissy, Jesus is the perfect example, he was tough enough to die to save others, yet tender enough to weep for his friends and hold children in his arms. Another example I thought of while reading your article was a video I saw some time ago of a big tough firefighter in the aftermath of a fire stopping to save a kitten. Every real man must have a soft spot in his heart for Christ, his brothers and the helpless, else he is no man. A "tough guy" with no compassion is nothing compared to the man that can wield the sword of war with great strength and yet still has a soft spot in his heart for the little things, the weak, the grieving, and the hurting....


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