Many men don’t like emotions. I didn’t like emotions. For me, they were confusing and frustrating. They conflicted with logic. But let me ask you a question: Who created emotions—God or Satan? If you answered that God created emotions, did He make a mistake? And, if God didn’t make a mistake, why did God create emotions?
Augustine divided the human soul into the mind, will, and emotions. I understood the logic of the mind. I understood the drive of the will. I just didn’t understand the feelings of emotions. I now see that we need our emotions. If we don’t understand and use them the way God intends, Satan will use them–against us. Which do you prefer?
A Window to the Soul
Emotions are a window into your soul. Whether this is good or bad depends on whether you want to know what is going on in your soul! I used to hate it. People would ask, “How are you?” and I didn’t know. I always felt the same. If you’ve buried your emotions like I did, you have no idea how you are feeling. While nosey people or even people who are just being polite don’t have a right to this information, it will be helpful to you, your spouse, your kids, and others who are close to you. If you suppress your emotions, do you ever feel joy? When you thank God, do you feel gratitude? Is it possible to feel content? Do you understand the Psalms?
God designed the mind, will, and emotions to work in harmony. The mind decides the godly thing to do, and the will gets it done. Your emotions either inhibit your good intentions or give you power to complete the job. You need your emotions to do what God wants strong Christians to do. In Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis wrote a chapter entitled “Men without Chests” in which he wrote about the need for emotions. When we acquiesce to modern society eliminating our emotions, we have no courage to stand up to injustice and speak truth. Instead, we cower in fear. We have no compassion that empowers ministry. The Bible tells us at least four times that Jesus was motivated by compassion. The Prodigal’s father was motivated by compassion as well. (Matthew 9:36; Mark 1:41; Matthew 14:14 and Mark 6:34; Matthew 15:32 and Mark 8:2; Matthew 20:34; Luke 7:13 and Luke 15:20) Fear is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against us and fear is an emotion. You need courage—a positive emotion—to overcome it. When we step away from god-empowering emotions, Satan fills the void with other soul-destroying emotions like impatience, anger, anxiety, depression, and envy.
Don’t Fear. Learn Instead!
Men, we need our emotions. Don’t deceive yourself that you don’t. Do not fear your emotions. God created them. Let God teach you to use them properly. Your spouse may be able to help. It may be a difficult journey into those emotions to understand and receive healing for past wounds, but the reward is that you get your heart back.