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Men are the stronger sex; they work, build, and provide for their families. They don’t cry. They don’t get overrun by “feelings” like women do. Men are tough; they are not sensitive and do not get emotionally hurt easily.

Or do they?

Something that I have observed over the years is that there is a little boy inside every grown man. I see it in my husband, I see it in my father, and I see it in many of my friends. The same things that delighted them as a boy, the same things that made them sad, still affect them on the inside, thought they may not show it. My husband delights in fixing things, taking things apart and seeing how they work and then putting them back together (he recently built a computer). From the stories I’ve heard of his childhood, this is something that he has always enjoyed. My father has always loved story-telling: the adventure, the struggle between good and evil, the hero persevering, etc. This shows even now in the things that he writes, and the stories that touch him.

My little brother (now a teenager) was always a very sensitive little boy. He would cry when characters on TV got hurt, and he didn’t like scary movies. He never tortured earthworms, or pulled the wings off of flies, or any of that. He was always considerate of other people and animal’s feelings. One year when he was 8, I had a bad birthday and I cried because no one in my family cared (it was a special birthday too), and I was going to have to make my own cake etc. all by myself. My brother made a card in the shape of an alien (complete with antennae) and wrote inside “greetings earthling, our leader wishes you a happy birthday” and stuck a dollar inside. That card was so very precious to me. I still have it, and the dollar he gave me, as a reminder of the sweet sensitivity of my eight-year-old brother.

The little boys I teach piano to also exhibit some sensitive traits. Very often, if they have a choice between Thomas the Tank engine and Littlest Petshop stickers, they’ll choose the pets! Between Buzz Lightyear and animals, they’ll go with the animals most of the time. Even when they pick the Toy Story stickers they want Ham or Rex or Bullseye more than the others. The sad thing is that many older men (and women) will tell these boys: don’t you want the rocket ship? Or will reprimand them for crying, or for enjoying something that might be a little “girly”.

This is important: the sensitivity of the little boy that you raise will dictate the kindness and courteousness of the man he will become.  That gentle little boy that you treat to respect others, to value life (even the life of a worm), to love his family, and to cry when he sees injustice and suffering will grow into a man who respects everyone, who fights to protect life, and will not stand for injustice. That little boy needs to be loved and nurtured so that he can grow into the type of man our society needs today. There is still a little boy inside of every man. If you look carefully, you may see him. But be careful not to frighten him away.

Here is what the Bible says about living peaceful lives:

1 Corinthians 13:11 – “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

1 Thesselonians 5:12-18 – “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.Rejoice always;pray without ceasing;in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

For more on this concept read John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart”.

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