Sunday, March 6, 2011

Men and God. Some truth about both.

He's an attractive and cocky high school kid, he secretly watches porn on his laptop each night, and hopes to get a college scholarship for football. His fear and insecurity are masked behind his arrogance.

He is good looking, strong, works out daily, more funny than most, and the most disciplined, hardest working man around. He was sexually abused when he was young and, rightly so, he still struggles with feeling like a man. No one knows the pain he feels, his humor and impossible work ethic serve as the perfect cover. 

He was in love with her. He hoped she was the one, but she wasn't. Their last encounter was miserable, her words cut him to the core. Underneath his smile he is aching from the lack of closure, and yet he fears speaking with her because he doesn't want to let his anger get out of control. 

He loves some good weed, vodka is his drink of choice, and he tries to steer clear of tequila because it makes him rage. At parties he is usually the most fun, hilarious, crazy, and seems not to care that he makes a fool of himself most nights. His mom is gone, his dad is disconnected, and if he ever had the courage not to numb it all, the pain might just kill him. Its too much. 

My heart has been broken for guys. Young. Old. Christian. Non. 

Just a few years ago I had allowed them to be my "God". Whether they wanted me, or rejected me, that was how I determined my value. I'd be lying if I said I don't still struggle with that from time to time. Actually I have always feared guys a bit. I thought they must not want to hear what I have to say, because girls are too much for them. We talk too much and feel too much and need too much. I also thought that the only way to relate was to flirt, and offer myself in some sexual fashion. I couldn't understand that they actually have feelings too. I had seen glimpses of their true hearts, but then it seemed that I was always being hurt, or rejected, or something stupid. It was probably because I was looking to them to get something they couldn't give me, and maybe they were looking to me for the same. 

Through some deep friendships with some incredible men recently my whole perspective has been rocked. I hope that I have the grace to communicate what I've learned and I hope that God uses it to help you. It has changed me. 

There is so much pressure on them. To provide, to be strong, to get through, to "not be a dumbass" (a quote from a friend's dad). Like us girls, they have their own array of hurts and insecurities. They hope to be wanted and accepted. They hope to be enough for us. If they appear proud it is usually due to some deeply rooted fear. One of my friends who apologized for this pride earlier last week admitted that when he was young he was taunted for being "fat" so as a cover he worked out and acted conceited so no one could get close to him. 

They are visual, God made them that way, so pornography, low cut tops, short skirts, and skimpy bikinis can cause even the most Godly of men to stumble. They were created to be comforted and encouraged by sex, but God's design is that it happens within their marriage. But with sex everywhere it is difficult for them to navigate through life without falling prey to watching pornography. The best way to overcome is for them to be accountable to other people, to have a group of men that they talk to and keep each other on track with purity. We can help them too.. by dressing in a way that honors them and us. We don't have to wear a denim dress and turtleneck, but we can steer clear of skimpy, sheer, tight, and revealing clothes. 

Work can be a release for them. Thats good, but it is not supposed to be their whole life. If they are working too much it is possible that they are trying to not to face a hurt that they have inside. Pray for them. Encourage rest. 

They need us, like we need them. They need us to not view them as gods, and they need us not to view them as enemies. They are neither. They are valuable and precious and their lives matter. If we only ever see them as "options" or a potential date, we will miss out on them all together.  In fact I think that is actually our own selfishness, wanting to claim something good as our own, rather than praising God for another awesome creation. 

Men.. you are amazing. AMAZING. You work so hard. You have been hurt so badly. You've been taken advantage of, forgotten, rejected. You have lost someone you loved. You have struggled with things that you fear, if anyone knew, they would never want to see you again. You are not your job. You are not your car, your clothes, your sport. You are not your money. You're value doesn't change if you get more women. You are not your size. You are exactly enough. You are better than the way you are living. You are not alone. You are a great listener and have way more to offer than you know. You can stay pure. You can stop drinking. You can rest. Smoking will not fix it. No amount of stuff will numb the emptiness you feel. A bigger truck or a newer car will not take this away. Only the love of a perfect God can make you whole. I'm sorry for ever taking you for granted. For treating you like a god, or for treating you like an enemy. That was not fair of me, or any of us girls. No matter where you are at or what you have done you have Creator that is ready to free you and make something amazing of your life. You can trust Him. He is amazing. You are amazing. Know that today. 

Psalm 144:1-3, 15
1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock,
   who trains my hands for war,
   my fingers for battle.
2 He is my loving God and my fortress,
   my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
   who subdues peoples under me.
 3 LORD, what are men that you care for them,
   mere mortals that you think of them?
15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
   blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.


lovardaviskidd said...

Thank you for this Jessica! Powerful stuff that a lot of men, including me, need to hear.

fightingforfreedom said...

This is such an insight and really makes me think thanks girl I love you!!

Kathryn Grant said...

Jessica, I am blessed because I have you in my life. Sometimes when I look back at the studio I see destruction, of friendships of monetary gain and of a false sense of security. Some of it was really bad, but when I see your smile, it reminds me of the absolute pure nature with which God allowed me to share in the lives of so many amazing people. I have watched you grow. What an honor. I love you so much. You are perfectly and wonderfully made. I am so blessed to see you at this time in your life and the times that led to these. Thank you for your inspiration.

Allyson said...

Hey Jessica, This moved me to tears. You have incredible insight and an ability to convey truth. You're a great writer, and I can see how must impact others with your transparency and victory in your life. Thanks!

Bethany Gunn said...

AHHHHHH! this is so amazing. this is such the cry of my heart as well... this spoke to me soooo much. you will never know the impact you have and will continue to have on my life. i see jesus in your eyes.