Excerpted from Living That Matters: Honest Conversations for Men of Faith by Steve Thomas and Don Neufeld. Used by permission of Herald Press. All rights reserved.
There is little that goes more against the grain of traditional masculinity than the concept of vulnerability. In fact, much of what is generally taught to boys and men about being men is designed to limit vulnerability and fine-tune “strength.” How do we reconcile our understandings of healthy strength and determination that serve our humanity well with the absolute-must relational requirements of vulnerability?
“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences,” writes Brené Brown. If this is true, given the opposite messages men have been receiving about power and strength, how have we managed until now? Are we in a different time and place that might allow us to embrace vulnerability in a new way as men?
Emotional vulnerability, according to Brown, is “the cradle of the emotions and experiences that we crave. Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.” Our ability to connect, belong, and love is made possible by our ability to open ourselves to each other, to let down our guard, to be truly willing to give and receive vulnerably.
The surprise of healthy vulnerability is that it’s actually an outcome of a certain kind of strength. When we know who we are as God’s beloved and that our worth comes from the fact that God created us, we can more easily dare to show our true selves.
Living that Matters: Honest Conversations for Men of Faith serves as a men's guide for conversation and reflection and includes 70 topics, like Sexuality, for use by individuals or groups. Order Living that matters: Honest Conversations for Men of Faith HERE.