Manhood is special. Manhood is volatile. Manhood is tough. Manhood is a higher calling. Men endure pain and suffering untold for a cause they believe in. It almost seems that there is some silent element in the definition of manhood that has to do with the ability to withstand a given degree of pain.
How come that men too weep in public? Is this not strange? To make it worse, in some cultures and traditions, weeping is one thing that real men should not do. It is deemed a sign of weakness to express oneself emotionally. So you find men in the funeral of those dearest to them comforting the mourners instead of mourning, and they often break down when the funeral train has passed, and there is no one to comfort them. Is this not demanding too much from the men?
I believe emotions should be allowed to take their course irrespective of one’s gender. One of the reasons why male mortality is high is because men harbor lots of heartaches and pains while women weep them out. Men, too, should learn to wash the pain away with their tears. Pains of life are no respecter of gender, and the appropriate response is not distinguished between gender. Response to pain is human.
However, there is something that all men must know. Men must learn to mourn like men. When everyone is grieving, men must understand that they must be the ones to finish earlier than everyone and comfort the rest. Men are allowed to mourn but in a manly way. Masculine decorum dictates that we(men) know when, why, and how to grieve.
Here are some of the men who had a reason to weep in public:
We all know Jacob, the son of Isaac, the brother of Esau, who had twelve sons. As a young man, he tried being faithful and remaining committed to God. He, however, came out a man of crafty means, for he supplanted the intemperate Esau twice; first for the birthright, and secondly for paternal blessings. However, he was able to bounce back and be a man of character reliability. A man of war and naturally strong was caught up in the fatigue of old age. One of the most painful things in the life of Jacob is the loss of loved ones. The woman he had endured fourteen years of servitude died while delivering their second born. A few years later, he got a piece of news he was not prepared to handle of the possible death of Joseph, his favorite son, in the hands of a beast. This is a snippet of the matter:
KJV Genesis 37:31-35
And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
and they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
Jacob mourned the loss of his dearest son, who was his only comfort after Rachel’s death. Men weep in public when they lose people close to their hearts.
A man of war and conquest, a slayer of giants and a royal majesty, he had a clear conscience with God and man. But like all men of God, his life was embattled from all points. The enemy of man’s soul was upon his tail. To his sorrows and trials was added the pains of betrayal and conspiracy by his own son Absalom. His own son was out to kill him and take by force, a kingdom that would have been his rightfully when David died. As he escaped to safety and to have a strategy, this is what the Bible says:
KJV 2 Samuel 15:30
And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
His love for his disobedient and traitorous son made him weep even more after his mean plottings were defeated by the experienced arms of Joab and divine providence. Indeed he proved a man after God’s heart when he mourned at the death of the wicked.
I can guess you are already in John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” This was in Bethany when His friend Lazarus was dead. Here is a home where Christ was welcomed and shown hospitality. The loss of such a friend, and the pains of the two sisters who remained in pain, touched Jesus.
However, the greatest mourning was witnessed at the end of His ministry, when the people He sought to save were in the funeral committee planning his death.
KJV Matthew 23:37-39
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed, is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Christ had the solution to the Jewish problem, but their foresight was blinded by their temporal expectations at the sacrifice of eternal realities. Christ wept, for Jerusalem was doomed and destined to destruction, while they had their best chance to be made invincible to the sheer power of the devil.
The case of Jacob, David, and the greatest man of all times, Christ, is proof that great men mourn for serious issues.