Bravery

Do you have what it takes?

That’s a question that I think most guys ask themselves, or feel like the world is asking them, at least once in their life.  It’s often synonymous with, “Am I enough?”

I won’t go too much into why I think those are different questions, “Am I enough?” being based in one’s inherent personhood, “Do I have what it takes?” pertaining more to one’s ability to adapt to circumstances, because the focus of this entry is not on these questions, though I will talk about them for a bit longer.

Because, I’m going to be honest here, I ask this question about guys that I’m interested in to try and figure out if it’s worth my time to become invested in a relationship with them.  And when I say I ask this question, I mean I try and discern myself if they have the qualities that I’m looking for, if they have what it takes to be in a meaningful, growing relationship.

Top on that list is bravery, which can sometimes be pretty similar to strength.  I want to know that when it comes down to it, this guy will do the hard thing that’s needed of him, whether that be speaking a truth that no one (especially me) wants to hear, risking rejection and certain failure, or committing an act that requires a lot of humility or vulnerability.

Am I asking too much?  I don’t think so.  I think there are guys out there who have let God mold them into men who know how to be brave even when their hearts quake.  I’m not looking for a super hero here.  I’m talking about every day bravery, because most of us will never have to jump in front of train to save someone’s life or go to a certain death to protect another.  I’m talking about the bravery it takes to let someone see the inside of your heart or to ask for forgiveness.

I think I’d be cheating myself if I didn’t ask this question of measuring up.  Not that I think some people aren’t good enough for me; I don’t think of myself as being better or held above others.  But I want to know that a guy has the inner makeup to handle a serious relationship and eventually a lifetime of commitment.  I want to figure out if this guy is ready for walking the same path with me.

And I’m not asking for anything I don’t expect from myself either.  I know how hard it is to be brave.  A talk I heard this past Thursday night reminded me of a time when God challenged me to do the hard thing, to risk being incredibly vulnerable when I knew with almost certainty that to do so would be to meet with a (very polite and kindly meant) rejection and maybe not full-on heart break but a very rough bruising.  But I don’t regret it.  It had to be done.  And it was terrifying and messy (at least for me).  But I know now that I can do it.

And I want to know that this guy (whoever he is) will be able to take the same risk.

Some people have a top ten list of what they’re looking for or three non-negotiables that they won’t budge on.  For me, it’s knowing that he has the inner strength to do the hard thing.