The Case for Tender Men
- Ephesians 4:32
And be kind to one another, tender-hearted.
I wonder how many men look at this passage and think, That doesn't apply to me. From an early age, many men are taught not to cry, not to show feelings, not to be tender towards their wives and children.There is a real need in our communities now for men to be fathers who love and lead their families-who are not afraid to be tender.I heard of a young woman whose story illustrates the point. Desperate to reach out to her unfeeling father, she got herself arrested for shoplifting. That didn't work, so she decided to stop eating. She developed anorexia and, later, a brain tumor that the doctors said was caused in part by her undernourished condition."I was lying in my hospital bed near death with all kinds of tubes coming out of my body when my father finally came to see me," the woman recalled. "We talked for about an hour, then he got up to leave. As he opened my hospital door, I guess I just went berserk. I began to scream, 'You just can't say it, can you?' She screamed even louder, "I'm going to die and you still can't say it!"Her father said, "Say what?""I love you," she said.He finally broke down and began to weep. He moved to her bedside and through his tears said those words the young woman needed to hear so desperately.Fathers need to be tender. Their hearts need to be knitted to their children's souls. Real men can be gentle men.Prayer: Ask God to develop your heart so you will be able to communicate the tender side of love to your wife and children.
Discuss: When was the last time you told your children you loved them? Your wife? Ask your spouse what tender love for a child looks like from her perspective.
Kapuulya Angetile Musomba
P. O. Box 76 925
Dar Es Salaam, TANZANIA