When meeting someone for the first time, it’s safe to assume that the initial impression you have of that person might not be a full representation of their true self. This phenomenon is what I refer to as “posing.” People present an image that is a curated version of themselves – stronger, braver, more intelligent, or more composed – often, we do this unintentionally. It is something we have learned to do as a protective measure. Posing can also be seen as a coping mechanism, driven by various factors, but one of the big ones is the need for self-preservation. This need to pose (we can also call is hide) is particularly noticeable in men, who often grapple with their genuine selves, especially in uncharted territories like relationships and bonding.
While projecting oneself as the life of the party, the constant scripture quoter, or the unyielding tough guy might seem like effective strategies, they inadvertently distance individuals from what their hearts truly yearn for – validation. The art of posing is something that we men have been cultivating, often for years- sometimes decades- in an effort not to be exposed. There is almost always a narrative that men know, and it’s something along the lines of: “I don’t want them to find out that…“
It’s crucial to understand that posing is not who you are but rather a defence mechanism shaped by personal experiences. Sadly, these experiences are often fuelled by our closest male role models, particularly our fathers, who fall short in recognising and affirming our authentic selves. (Not pointing fingers here, we all fall short.)
This recurring pattern traces back to the earliest days of humanity, carried through by the first man, Adam. After his failure to protect and support Eve as she was deceived, he resorted to hiding. And this behaviour is visible in modern men also, it just looks different. We hide behind our careers, athleticism, promotions, and busyness. We hide ourselves behind musical talents, spiritual gifts, and sometimes even behind our personal “Eve” our wives. The tragedy of this behaviour is that it breeds men incapable of fighting for their loved ones, or to advocate for others, and lastly, he is unable to fight for his own heart.
As men, we know that God has put something on our hearts that requires the ability to fight for something or someone. I have yet to meet a man who likes injustice.
If the intention is then to offer genuine strength to others, the way forward requires abandoning the practice of posing and shedding the masks. You know, the front we put up- those layers that are only good for self-preservation and protection. A man must delve deeper into his own heart, confronting the notion that he is more than the fabricated image he projects out into the world.
Understanding that the heart is important is an understatement. Life is all about the heart! The man who lives the closest to his own heart is also the most authentic guy and has no need to pose or hide. Friends, your heart is important, your heart matters (Proverbs 4:23). It is where you bear the image of God. If you cannot live from your heart, you will struggle to find the life God has intended for you.
Let me be a controversial voice, it’s time to embrace a new reality: “Your heart is good.” I am aware that this is an unpopular message depending on your theology, but it’s a message that might not have reached you from the voices of your past.
The journey towards authentic living begins with acknowledging the tendency to pose and the courage to dismantle the walls we’ve built. By doing so, we can move closer to our hearts, where true strength is found. Remember, your heart is the conduit to the life God has destined for you. It’s time to step into your authentic self and embrace the profound truth: “Your heart is good.”
Let me make a suggestion; don’t just take it from me. I encourage you to take a moment after reading this blog and ask your Heavenly Father what He thinks of you.
Strength & Honour,