My grand children’s faces illuminate their feelings, especially the younger ones. Their facial expressions reflect what is going on within their hearts. Fortunately, at this age, they haven’t learned to hide their feelings. They haven’t learned to “mask” their true thoughts or feelings like most adults.
You’ve heard it said, “The eyes are the window of the soul.” We might take that a little further, “Our faces are a reflection of our hearts.” Most would agree that this is true of young children, but not so for most men. After all, life has taught most of us men to guard our thoughts and feelings. Our motto has become, “Never let them see you sweat.” Moreover, having a perfect, “Poker face” has become an admired quality among the culture of men in America.
Our life experiences have taught us to guard our hearts, partly due to the hurt others have inflicted upon us and partly due to an unhealthy manhood culture. Being the “strong, silent type” has been our model of manhood glorified within the media and our boyhood heroes.
Unfortunately, being the strong, silent type doesn’t help us when it comes to building relationships with our family, friends or other men. Our facial expressions are often used to keep people out of our lives, not welcome them in.
When you approach another man on the street at work or in your travels, does his face invite you to say “hello,” or to say anything at all? Probably not.
For generations, our manhood culture has taught us to use facial expressions to “ward off” rather than invite other men into our world. We have come to believe that “looking tough” keeps men and people for using us, again revealing the hurt within our hearts. Although that may be true and somewhat necessary in our day-to-day “real world,” all too often we embrace that same philosophy within most of our intimate personal relationships also.
Even within our families, our facial expressions often keep our loved ones away from us, not draw them to us. Quite often, this is the result of men seeing their roles as more functional instead of relational.
Does the expression tell your loved ones that you are “approachable,” or do they have to wait until you’re in the right mood to approach you with their requests or problem?
If I asked your family, friend, and especially your children, who would, they say your typical facial expression resembles? More like Ebenezer Scrooge, “Bah Humbug!” or more like Jesus Christ, who said “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not?”
Like it or not, our facial expressions will either reflect an approachable heart or the mask we wear to hide our true feelings and thoughts. If we have indeed given our hearts to Christ, shouldn’t our faces reflect that heart change? Or at the least, shouldn’t there be a change within our intimate relationships? The critical word here is “change,” a challenging and uncomfortable process.
Making this kind of change, letting go of old habits caused by hurting and wounded hearts, is difficult, but attainable. Our Heavenly Father knew we would need help in accomplishing this kind of heart change. Therefore, he placed within us the virtues required for this kind of change. Galatians 5:22-23, speaks to the virtues that God gave us through the Holy Spirit. Virtues like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All are restorative, relational and relationship building virtues
Furthermore, if Galatians 5:22-23 represents the character of our Heavenly Father, then it stands to reason that the virtues given to us through the Holy Spirit are essential virtues for being a great father. He put these virtues within you so that He can if you will allow Him, become a better man, husband, father, and friend than you have ever imagined!
And when this kind of heart restoration begins to take place, the transformation is reflected on our faces and in our behavior. However, this kind of heart transformation needs to be purposely pursued. Fortunately this is best accomplished within the company of other men and fathers. As Proverbs 27:17 illustrates, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Within the fellowship of other men we can grow stronger than if we try to go it alone. By doing so, we also model to our children, especially our sons the importance of relationship with other men.
So if we want to become more loving and approachable to our loved ones, our facial expressions need to change. Change that declares to our loved ones that we are “very approachable” and change that draws them to us. Change that is heard in our voices during phone calls shared in text messages and revealed on our faces around the dinner table.
But we can’t do that until we allow our Heavenly Father to make a wholesale change within our hearts. Begin by joining or starting a fellowship of men like Rescuing the Rogue or a men’s small group within your faith community.
Passionately pursue, Galatians 5:22, asking God to reveal and nurture these virtues within you. As you do, He will change your heart and change your beliefs about yourself, about others resulting in a truly remarkable life-changing restoration that is radiantly reflected on your face every day to everyone one. For you now have the face of our Father.
I hope that today’s blog encouraged you, make sure you sign up to receive blogs when posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s why we are here. Transforming Families was created to guide you through the restoration process of developing your heart, mind, and strength, enabling you to become the healthiest man or woman you can be.
I also provide one-on-one coaching, if you’re wanting to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God.
Rescuing the Rogue, “Rogue” is uniquely designed to transform relationships for men like you by eliminating relational barriers and intimacy ignorance that causes you to feel sexually dependent, isolated, or lonely. What you discover in Rogue will restore an authentic intimacy that will equip you to forge intimate relationships that last a lifetime.