Potluck

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Book Release: The Strength of Male Tears

Interviewed by Taashi Rowe
Published 6/26/13

Richard P. Campbell, pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s Community church in Englewood, N.J., recently wrote the book The Strength of Male Tears. We talked with Campbell, whose ministry spans three decades and who holds a master’s in community counseling and a post-graduate advanced counseling certificate, about the book:
 
Q: What is this book about?
A: In short, this is a call for men to value their personhood more than their so-called manhood. The book assures men that there is no virtue in tearless manhood, and challenges that many of the measures we use to determine true manhood are just cop-outs from facing our deep inner truth.
 
Q: What motivated you to write the book?
A: I had met too many men—including upright Christian men—who had extreme difficulty sharing their deep pains and needs, and would rather die than be thought of as weak. During the course of preparing the manuscript, many situations occurred that made me think this book was needed as of yesterday. For example, a man lost his dear wife of many years, and when I visited him, uppermost in his mind was his fear that he would fall apart at the funeral, and that people would think he was not a man—for crying. Somebody had to write this book.
 
Q: What can women in general gain from this book?
A: Ladies could become more aware of what they may be doing or saying to reinforce faulty stereotypes of what a real man should be or do; for both men and women tell their boys that big boys don’t cry. The irony here is that to shape him into a man, you proceed to make him emotionally dysfunctional. If indeed both male and female need to review their beliefs and perceptions on the matter of manhood, this book could hopefully be a worthwhile stop.
 
Q: Is there a biblical model of manhood?
A: Manhood is linked with family priesthood, responsibility, sacrifice and respect for women. But biblical manhood is equally about owning up to one’s hurts, needs, failures and fears. True manhood recognizes the need for the support of man and help of God. Real men in the Bible had frailties. Daniel had grave fears and anxieties and experienced his share of uncertainty, hence he prayed and fasted his way through his season of confusion. Elijah experienced fear, doubt, and depression, and David, as we see in the Psalms, often opened up about his distresses, fears and despondency. We could talk about Jesus’ expressed need for human support and divine rescue at Gethsemane. True biblical manhood is therefore synonymous with asking and receiving, not pretending that you could “take care of business” on your own.
 
The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



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