This post of mine is getting some attention again, “Teaching Men How to Be Emotionally Honest.” and since it’s an issue that has come up several times I think we should revisit it. First off, you can’t. You can’t “teach” men how to “do” anything, they have to do it themselves. In fact, if you are female and searching for those articles, you need to stop and take the time to get to know thyself.
Know thyself. The only way to be emotionally honest is to get to know thyself and if you get to know thyself with any kind of honesty, than you’re really going to need grace to cover your multitude of sins and a Savior to lead you. So read the Bible, or better yet, let the Bible read you, and let Jesus guide you.
One of my favorite stories is about Peter who is awesome in every way, except he does not know himself. The rooster crows just to remind him. He is not “bad” it is just that how he perceives himself, how he thinks he is in, is an illusion, a mirage not based on the truth of who he really is. Peter becomes a rock, (never mind all the controversy that passage has caused over the years) but a rock in the sense of now having his feet firmly planted in the truth and his identity firmly placed in Christ.
That’s my answer, but many others have written about these same things in different ways. One of Jordan Peterson’s most popular videos is actually called, “How To Know Thyself.” I really liked it. Something I like, he talks about mayhem, your darker side, and how useful those traits might be when put to good use. Like, anger for example, can fuel you to learn how to set boundaries.
One thing I like about Jordan Peterson, he talks about emotional things without sounding like he is, without sounding like he’s singing, “feelings, nothing more than feelings.” In fact, I think a great deal of his appeal has to do with the fact that there is a tremendous hunger out there for emotional and spiritual growth, and he can speak of it all in a voice using myths, psychology, and lobsters, rather then sounding like a self help book or a dire religious projection.
In the Bible, Proverbs 25:28 is one of my favorites, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 16:32 is good too. It says, “He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city.”
So, self control, the ability to rule over your spirit, all require emotional honesty and the ability to know thyself. Also, “self control” is a fruit of the Spirit, so you do not try to force it or make it happen under your own steam. It is the harvest, the end result, the gift that comes as a result of being emotionally honest and getting to know thyself.