When Big Boys Cry

Few things move my heart so deeply with compassion than seeing a grown man cry.

Let me explain.

I’m the cry type…and for the most part, that’s never been a problem.

Because I’m a girl AND girls are “allowed” to cry.

But when grown men cry, it takes courage.

Especially if they’ve had daddies who told them “boys don’t cry.”


The nature of what my husband and I do places us in circumstances where we often see men cry.

The reasons vary but the underlying cause is most often a TENDER, SOFTENED and BROKEN heart. (Sometimes scared.)

I marvel.

It takes me back to seeing my own husband cry…really cry.

Shedding a few tears in the past wasn’t uncommon, but this time was different.

As I sat down with him and listened to his heart over a painful childhood memory, I felt overwhelming compassion for a man who I had been married to for twenty-two years…for the FIRST time.

I held him, prayed over him and watched God show up with healing.

Strangely, seeing my husband crying and confessing his need made me feel safe…

I happen to feel safe when I know he knows he needs God. 

When big boys cry it’s often because of little boy lies.

I’ve recently come across several news articles saying our military has been told to ignore the cries of young boys who are being abused in another country. I don’t want to believe this has really happened. I want to learn it’s a lie and no human being would do this OR ignore it. However, true or not, it’s happened. Not just in other countries but our own…actually it’s happening every day. (These boys will be told to get over it, don’t tell, don’t cry….but they will decide for themselves one day. And it they ever let it all out, the tides of the ocean will cross their boundaries. Sadly, the ones who don’t find healing will often turn to rage and end up abusers themselves.)

Though my husband’s memory is nowhere near this type of trauma, it still took courage to let his tears flow and confess his pain.

I found this gem of a scripture in the Message Bible that so beautifully conveys God’s heart when our tears are finally released.

“Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” Psalm 51:16,17

Many times our childhood traumas set us up for deep shame and deep pride.

Deep shame: I never want anyone to know this, to know me…what I did, what was done to me.

Deep pride: I will take control of my life and will never acknowledge I need help…that I am not as strong as I appear.

So, when a big boy becomes transparent through tears, lies start to crumble.

The grip of pride and shame are broken off and hope begins to awaken.

I cry….recalling faces and hearts I’ve witnessed being transformed from dark to light.

Despair to hope.

Unforgiveness to forgiveness.

Shame to honor.

Forsaken to loved.

Bound to free.

Stone to flesh.

As much as I love the majestic beauty, healing and refuge of the ocean, there is nothing more beautiful to me than to behold a once hardened heart willing to believe there is hope and healing.

I love this for both men and women, yet, because of cultural norms, it takes more courage for men.

A man becomes truly strong when he can mourn his own losses, traumas and confess the lies he has believed.

I love my strong man who can cry… and that love continually grows.

I love that he has the courage to look at his fears…his pain… his past…

AND to ask God for a new future. 

A future that involves honest tears but more joy than we’ve ever known.

A future that allows honest discussion and a safe place to reach out for help…together.

I’m praying more big boys will find a safe place to cry.

Their pain is deep friends. Shame and pride are robbing them of the life Christ longs to give them.

Will you join me in this prayer:

Father, let the men we know and those we don’t discover there is courage in Christ to confess. You know what those confessions need to be for their healing. You know the lies little boys believed that never left their big boy minds. Please Jesus, heal Your men…Your boys…Your sons. And dear Jesus, I feel desperate for You to deliver both young boys and girls who are being violated in more ways than our hearts can bare. I am tired of seeing it, hearing about it and feeling helpless to do anything about it. Please change that.

In Your mighty and merciful Son’s Name,








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