When Men Shut Down Their Hearts, The Fallout Is Devastating

The attack is so subtle it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it.

While I was working at a military training facility, a Navy SEAL called me over during his rehab session. He was almost fully healed following an injury and he was ready to get himself back into physical shape. 

He asked me about a rehabilitation program I was developing.  

During our discussion, he shared his desire to return to his previous level of fitness. He also said he wanted to “look like a warrior,” and he mentioned Gerard Butler’s character in the movie 300

And I honestly couldn’t hide my surprise. 

One of America’s most lethal warriors aspired to look like a character in a movie because that’s what he perceived a warrior should look like. 

It’s a spectacular example of how men allow Hollywood to shape our understanding of manhood. I’ve corrected more than one athlete who believed the notion that strong men must have six-pack abs, massive biceps, and perfect bodies.

It’s also emblematic of the mastery that men inherently desire: mastery of ourselves, our strength, and our skill. 

We hunger for stories of heroes struggling against great odds because it calls to our own desire for adventure and conquest. When we can’t find our own version of it, we settle for cheap imitations instead.

·     We seek our identity in the work that we do. 

·     We seek our identity in the opinions of others.

When the cheap imitations fail, we feel disappointed. Disillusioned. Hardened and ultimately hopeless.

The fallout? 

A string of broken relationships, failed marriages, and wasted talents.

We immerse ourselves in hobbies, addictions, and busyness to avoid the darkness that threatens to overtake us. We shut down our hearts because they yearn for something we can’t seem to find.

But what if we’re simply looking in the wrong places?

 We’ve lost our hearts because we have chosen to believe the world, and we didn’t realize the world is wrong about us. 

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

Begin by asking two simple questions:

1.     Am I more focused on my outward appearance or my heart?

2.     What does my life look like as a result of that choice?

This world is not all there is. This world feels insufficient because it is insufficient

The God who created you has much bigger plans for your life, but He won’t force them on you. He isn’t willing that a single man should lose his heart to the world, but the choice is ours to make.

As long as you have breath in your lungs, you can change your life’s path. 

Will today be the day?

 

 

Photo by Katleen Vanacker on Unsplash