Guys: if you don’t fit the “manly, macho” mold, you have been lied to. I guarantee it.

If you are a boy or a young man who has artistic abilities, you have been told in a million different ways that you aren’t a real man. But please understand, if you have deep feelings, or you’re musical, artistic, or extra sensitive to the emotional state of those around you: God gave you a gift, not a curse. You stand in the line of a highly emotional singer/songwriter named David, who was used by God not only to slay giants, but to write music with his guitar. You follow in the footsteps of Moses, who had mood swings so violent that he killed a man, and then hid in the backside of the desert for 40 years. 

Even Jesus Christ, Who was perfectly balanced in all areas, felt no shame when He wept at the death of his friend.

Maybe you are more comfortable around girls than guys. Maybe you understand the cut of a suit, the coordination of colors and clothing fashion. That doesn’t mean you are a girl. It means you have extra sensitive observational skills others (without them) will not understand. Who ended up doing more for God, Esau, or Jacob? Do you remember the description of Jacob? While Esau was hunting, Jacob was back with the women, washing dishes and chatting. Both Esau and Jacob had their flaws (Esau was proud, Jacob was conniving), but it was Jacob who wrestled with God.

It was Jacob whose name was changed to Israel, and whose line Jesus Christ was born through.

You’re being lied to. You’re told that these qualities mean you aren’t a real man. You’re told that there must be femininity twisted up inside you, or maybe you were born into the wrong body. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Being sensitive gives you the ability to sense things others cannot. It gives you a world of color when others only see black and white. It allows you to create worlds of music, magic, word pictures, drama, with nuance and subtlety that will resonate far beyond a ball through a hoop. You have the potential to create beauty that transcends our lifetimes and impacts eternity.

Don’t let this rusty, burned-out, wretched world steal away that gift by convincing you that God made a mistake.

Don’t run from who you are. Embrace it and ground yourself in the power of the Word of God and God will use you with a depth others will never understand but will benefit from. Those parts of you are not “feminine.” They are character qualities found in God Himself. They are powerful and strong. Use them for God. This world desperately needs men who are not afraid to love deeply, to express fully, and to embrace the precious gifts found in the arts. 

Update: I’ve been asked several times recently if this article is autobiographical. It is not. I don’t mean to misrepresent myself at all. However, I am a musician and I do have much sensitivity to the emotional states of others. I do have a large number of friends, though, who have struggled through this specific issue of doubting their place in God’s design. I have known a fair number of them who have made poor choices as a result of despair and lack of any resources, and I am very sensitive to their questions and I have a great desire to help.

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