Blog Masculinity: Emotional Transparency by Jake Etcheverria I can say it one thousand times; masculinity is defined culturally by opinion, not by creation. We are men, created masculine, and our Creator does not make mistakes. Being a man is and should be important to you! Read that one more time. In the past three years, I have learned some of the greatest tools of being the man God created me to be. Have I mastered this? No! But I am striving for this. One thing I would like to encourage you to start doing today is to be more emotionally transparent especially in your relationships. We can see how culture encourages men to be strong, silent, emotionally disengaged and non-communicative. However, we need men to rise up and be the masculine creation God designed us to be. Emotional transparency is one of the most important traits anyone can have. I was in a long-distance relationship for two years before marrying my best friend. We have been married for one year this month, and this was the most important thing I learned in my journey. We as men cannot expect the individuals in our lives to guess our emotional state. People need to express emotion to communicate effectively; otherwise our lives will play out in a stream of awkward text messages, full of confusion and run on sentences. As men, it is okay to have emotion. If you are angry, sad, depressed, joyful or in love you are not doing something wrong and these emotions are okay. Crying is not the enemy. Telling someone how you feel does not make you weak and expressing to someone how a change in your life made you upset does not mean you’re powerless. These things mean you are a man and you are normal. Emotional transparency gives you courage and makes your intimate friendships strongly established on honesty and trust. I can speak personally about this. When I was able to trust the people I wanted to hold close and share with them how I was feeling, those relationships grew in ways that were unexpected and indescribable. I was able to show my wife the emotion she needed to assure her of my love and devotion to her. My friendships became grounded in accountability and family. We as men can no longer fear emotion; we need to allow ourselves to be free and courageous. I challenge you, my brothers, take some time in deep prayer asking the Lord to help you embrace your heart as He embraces it. One of the most courageous acts I have ever heard was a prayer asking Mary to show you how much her Son loves you. You cannot fully love until you allow God to love you first. It is God who will show you how to love, and He is perfect love. Stay on the narrow path always pray with and for your brother daily.