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Man Is Trapped by Perfectionism

Author Brené Brown was at a book signing where a woman and her husband approached her with books to get autographed. After Brown signed the books, the wife turned to leave and said, “Come on, hon” to her husband. “No,” he replied, “I want to talk with her for a second.”

Uncomfortable, Brown just waited. The man then looked at her and said, “I really love all this stuff you're talking about, this shame, and being perfect, and having to be someone we're not, and having to reach out. It is really powerful. But I never heard you mention anything about men.”

She felt relieved and said: “I don't study men.” He immediately responded, “That's convenient.” Nervously, she asked, “Why convenient?”

“It's convenient you don't talk about men,” he said, “Because when we reach out, when we tell our stories, when we share our shame experiences, we get the emotional s____ beat out of us.”

Brown was about to reply when he added, “Before you say anything about those dads, and those coaches, or about those bosses and mean bully friends, let me explain this to you. My wife and my three daughters, you just signed books for, they would rather see me die on top of my White Horse than see me fall off.” And then he just left.

Possible Preaching Angle:

This story reveals the stresses men face today—the pressure to stay on your “white horse,” to maintain your image of strength and invulnerability, rather than to trust in God’s grace and be vulnerable in Christian community.

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