Unleash Your Inner Warrior
Sometimes problems don't require a solution to solve them; instead they require maturity to outgrow them.
My dear warrior,
Ridiculous though it may sound, the power of the pout is not to be underestimated. I'm not writing this post to enable those of you who use pouting and guilt trips or seek to be enabled in order to exploit other people using such techniques. No, in fact this is a slap on the wrist. Some of you may not even realize that you do it. To my great embarrassment, I have been guilty of the pout. I used even throughout my 26th year, to my great dismay.
I did not understand why the guy I was dating at the time so hated the pout or frowny face emojis. Before he ever mentioned it, I was barely cognizant of the fact that I was using 'the pout', simply because it has become so prevalent in our culture. Up to that point, I had thought of texted frowny faces :( and of pouty lips to be cute, to be a kawaii (adorable/ cute) expression that others enjoyed. Not in the sense of pouting like a 5 year old who used it to get their way, but rather as "we've been spent the entire day together, and aww now it's over." Several of my girl friends and I have used it in similar ways, to express how much we've enjoyed time with someone, and to show them that we so appreciated them that we are (mock-) sad over the departure. One friend described her use of the frowny face or pout as "aww that's a bummer." To quote Shakespeare, "parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say good night til it be morrow." Of course, such flourishes in our language are not typically appreciated in the same way - so rather than eloquent prose or poetry, any expression of parting being “such sweet sorrow" was simply diminished to :( or a mock-pout (that lower pout lip accompanied by a corners of the lips lifting into a sweet or shy smile). I thought it expressed the ‘sweet sorrow’ I intended to convey.
Oh how mistaken I was! Regrettably, I did not realize the effect pouts and frowny faces were having on the people I cared about, who were unfortunately on the receiving end. Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m writing about pouting today. As you know, this blog is of course both about becoming mature as a Christian, and as a warrior. Since the pout and use of emoji’s has become so typical of our culture now, I cannot help but feel it is absolutely necessary to tackle such points of immaturity and help others recognize things that they perhaps would not have otherwise. I can in no uncertain terms express to you that a mature Christian does not employ the pout in their daily lives, nor does the warrior implement a pout on the battlefield to try to gain victory over their enemies. To claim such a thing would simply be ridiculous. What I want you to understand is that warriors are not simply one way on the battlefield and another at home. The warrior mindset, the warrior attitude, and a warrior's maturity are all honed at home and on the training ground. They are established in day to day training, and we then see the expression and effects thereof on the battlefield, as they conduct themselves with honor, respect, valor, and maturity even under intense pressure.
The ill-effects of the pout are not simply limited to the fact that it conveys a certain amount of immaturity (as I described in my own use thereof, it was not intended as such), but the fact that it wounds the recipients on a heart level. If you employ a pout, you are most likely using it on people you love and truly care about. Those people probably care deeply about you, too. When someone loves you and cares about you, they probably have your best interests in mind, want to make you happy, and want to do what is best for you. They want to spur you on in your passion and calling, to encourage you, and see you succeed. Your well-being is already important to them, and all that you are tugs are their heartstrings. When they have just spent much of their time, money, energy and effort on you, or have spent an entire day with you, and you end it by giving them a mock-pout face, frowny emoji or otherwise (no matter what it is you intend to express) it comes across as immature, ungrateful, and selfish. There comes an exasperation (usually more slowly over time than instantly because with love comes patience) as they begin to feel that they have poured themselves out for you and it was not enough. It makes them feel terrible, and takes a tremendous toll on their energy levels. The weight and burden begins to wear on them as they begin to feel that nothing they do ever seems to be enough. They will begin to feel used, taken advantage of, taken for granted, or even as though the things they do for you out of love are becoming expected of them. (How nauseous!) They may have enjoyed doing things for you up until such time, but at that point it will cease to be enjoyable for them, and it will begin to feel heavier and heavier of a burden until they finally simply shut down because they simply feel poured out and emptied out.
As warriors we must be absolutely intentional about our thoughts (2 Cor 10:5, Romans 8:5-6, Phil 4:8, Romans 12:1-2), our words (Psalm 19:4, Col 3:17, Ephesians 4:29, Matthew 12:36) and our behavior (Galatians 5:22-23, Titus 2:12, Matthew 7:20). That includes such things as the use of a pout. A warrior does not go around pouting to get what they want, is not controlling or manipulative, and does not use such tools to take advantage of people who love them.
Beloved, be cognizant of the way in which you are conducting yourself. Re-evaluate your behaviors, and ask yourself if your attitude is befitting of a warrior, and see where it is you lack maturity. Ask yourself where by your behavior you may have unintentionally been manipulating others, or where your attitude is less than that of a warrior and a mature Christian. Keep growing dear warriors.
From the battleground,
©Michèle Aimée, 2016
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.