In today’s world, gender often dictates that women act as nurturers, are kind and tender, are weak and emotional. Men are compelled to be strong, tough, unemotional, assertive and forceful. The world is suspicious of men who publicly cry or who show emotion. These are, of course, generalities that do not apply in all communities and all situations. But such views are widespread.
Jesus Christ presents a stark contrast. He is compassionate, caring, nurturing, considerate and yet he is also strong and capable. He cries and he does so without apology on a number of occasions. We have to consider why “Jesus wept,” and what he intends us to understand.
Perhaps his message is a redefinition of what is truly appropriate “manly” behavior. Indeed, Christ would have all his disciples, male and female, be kind, compassionate, caring and strong. He would have us “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light mourn with those that mourn comfort those that stand in need of comfort” and in this way, “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may have eternal life” (Mosiah 18:8-9).
While the world grows more hardened and impenitent, Christ exemplifies kindness, compassion and charity. He enjoins both men and women to mourn and to weep, as “Jesus wept,” and in this way become true disciples of Christ.
Kristine Frederickson writes on issue-oriented topics that affect members of the LDS Church worldwide in her column “LDS World."
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