I Don’t Wanna Cry
“Now, O women, hear the word of the Lord;
open your ears to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament. Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares.”
– Jeremiah 9:20-21
We -women, are instructed specifically to teach our daughters how to wail? What? -Not just to cook, clean, do laundry and make beds? -Nope, to wail and lament; to be emotional.
Where there is brokenness, where there is death that cuts off life…what are we to do? Be silent? Go bake a cake? -Nope. Teach our daughters how to wail and lament. Is wailing feminine? Are wailing women attractive though? What will the men think? It might repel the men who want nothing to do with a woman who expresses her emotions so openly! Only crying that’s under restraint sounds somewhat acceptable, in much of our American culture. I’ve had a low tolerance level for other people’s emotions being expressed, over and above what I’m individually comfortable with expressing myself. Wailing isn’t common or well-accepted in American society, outside of having entertainment value, at least in my experience and observation.
What’s an effective way to teach our daughters (or children) anything? – Openly role modeling it. Allowing them backstage passes behind the curtain, and into our hearts by giving them access to see grief being safely (not beautifully) expressed in real life, by doing it yourself.
My initial reaction is of judgment and fear. -It’s unsafe! -People need to control themselves!
I’ve believed that emotions are not something to outwardly be welcomed, they are something to be tamed. There’s some truth to that. Emotions do need to be tamed.
But the emotions needing to be tamed are usually needing to be tamed because they’ve been repressed, denied or stuffed so much that they’re about to start boiling over.
Mama’s can cry in front of their daughters. Really, it’s OK. When it comes to strong emotions; feel and deal. Don’t stuff, to look tough. Women of character are not women who lack emotional expression. Women of character; godly character – can wail –per God.
Most of us women that do not allow ourselves to grieve, but instead repress were probably shown that by our own mothers in how they coped with the hard stuff in life. And they from their mothers, and theirs, and so on and so forth….and it can be traced all the way back to Eve. Poor Eve, she still gets blamed for stuff…
Jesus wailed. Jesus lamented, openly. I’ve heard in sermons before that he cried so loudly, people who weren’t nearby could hear him when Lazarus died. The presence of strong emotions being expressed, especially of fear, anger and sadness make many of us Americans feel uneasy. What’s up with that? My suspicion is that it’s a result of a toxic partnership between two odorless contaminants: fear and shame. Jesus didn’t allow fear or shame to steer him or else we’d be in a LOT of trouble…
“Jesus wept.” -John 11:35
“Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.” -John 11:38
“A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” -Luke 6:40
Wail and lament when there is brokenness…
Do not repress pain to cover it up using a deceptive mask in an attempt to maintain the facade that we are strong by hiding our emotions. The worst thing to do is hide my pain from myself. That is not self-control, it is denial that’s locked in fear and toxic shame.
Take time out, to wail and lament…p.r.n.