Culture teaches men that they need to be tough and hold their emotions back, but Pastor Nate Pyle says that we actually need to train our men to access all of their emotions.
Nate teaches us the importance of identifying our weaknesses, so that we can find God’s strength. He shares biblical insight and advice from his book Man Enough.
As a father of a young boy, Nate says that he makes it a point to be transparent about his personal failures with his son.
“I have been very open with him about the places in my life where I’ve failed, about some of the worries that I have, about the despair that I felt in certain situations that have happened pretty recently.”
“My son is 6 and he’s already learning how that’s not a sign of weakness, that’s just an acknowledgment of the brokenness of the world and that he, too, can begin to show emotions.”
We need to depend on God’s strength, especially in our weaknesses.
“In those moments, where we recognize and name the weakness, we can then ask God to step into it. Another way to say it, if men can never be weak, then Christ will never be strong in their life.”
Nate shares a personal example,
“I’m working on a project right now and the project kind of fell through. I thought it was going to work and I was really excited about it, and I heard back from a number of people that I was collaborating with and they said, ‘This is just isn’t going to happen.’
“I was actually so deflated by that, it happened right before dinner, and I’m sitting at the dinner table and I felt sick to my stomach; I was unable to eat, I was unable to be present and I excused myself from the dinner table just said, ‘I need to go up to my room. I just need to go up to the bedroom and lay down for a little bit.’
“My wife and my kids finished up the dinner. I went up to my room and I just laid in bed and I started crying because I was so upset that this thing was failing. I felt like a failure.”
God used Nate’s 6 year old son in a powerful way that night.
“My son after dinner came up and he laid in bed next to me and he put his hand on my back and he said, ‘Daddy, at school we are working on a book and it’s been really hard for me to draw the pictures; I got really frustrated and I felt sad, but I prayed to God and God has been able to help me finish my project and God will help you finish your project.’”
Almost in disbelief, he asked his wife if she had anything to do with this interaction.
“I went to my wife the next day and I said to her, ‘Did you tell him to go up and say that to me?’
“She looked at me and said, ‘No I didn’t him to say that at all; he did that because you have already been setting the stage for him…you’ve modeled for him how to identify your pain with his pain, and now he was taking his pain and identifying it with your pain.’”
“That was a parenting win, even though I felt like such a failure in that moment in some other places in my life, I felt like now I think I’m getting this part right.”