Leadership Journal’s humor newsletter gives weekly doses of funny cartoons and anecdotes. Most of the time.
The cartoonist’s point, I think, is to poke a little fun at the speaker and how the men react to him. The point I got from it is that people in the church have the wrong idea about manhood.
It reminds me of the characters in the 90s sitcom Coach. The show centered on Division 1 football coach Hayden Fox. Half the show took place in his office next to the locker room and the show was as testosterone-laden as you could imagine.
Coach Fox’s life wasn’t completely woman-free, though. He had a daughter whose boyfriend the coach thoroughly disapproved of: a theater major who concentrated on the art of mime, there was nothing Stuart could do that met the uber-manly Coach Fox’s idea of what a man should be.
One scene in particular still sticks in my memory. The writing and comedic timing of the actors was perfect as Stuart was trying to tell Coach Fox about a major disappointment that had him getting emotional, and the coach getting visibly uncomfortable with Stuart:
“It’s not unmanly to cry,” Stuart choked out between sobs.
“Yes it is!” Coach Fox said.
Getting Manliness Right
When Coach Fox rebuked Stuart, it was funny. We knew the butt of this joke was not Stuart but the coach himself for not understanding that men really do cry over disappointments. That’s part of who we are and how we’re made.
That’s where the cartoon above misses the mark. It suggests that the speaker is the one who fails to understand that men do not want to hold hands and pray to “our sweet, sweet Lord.” Some men don’t want to do that, of course, but others do.
To get manliness right is a fool’s game anyway. Our life in the family of God is not supposed to be focused on a long pursuit of biblical manhood or womanhood. Our lives are to be focused on Jesus, God the Son. (Hebrews 12:1-2.) And as we concentrate on God, he has a much better goal than mere manliness or womanliness to take us to:
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. … Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:12, 17-18.)
God is transforming us into the image of God himself: Jesus.
By the way, Jesus was a man and he wept. (John 11:35.) So it must actually be manly to cry.