Warriors don’t get depressed.

Real Christian men don’t get anxiety. 

If you struggle with depression, it’s only because you aren’t praying and reading your Bible enough. 

Your wife thinks you are a lazy coward for having depression.

These and other lies are dragonfire on a man’s soul. 

Allow me to introduce you to one of history’s greatest conquering kings: 

“I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.”

Psalm 6:6

The man who wrote that was a ruthless warlord. He rose from tending livestock to uniting twelve tribes who hated each other, led them through a vicious civil war, then conquered every empire on their landmass. The Philistine kingdoms, who had oppressed tiny Israel for generations, were so afraid of him that they paid him fortunes in gold just to leave them alone. He took their treasure and then still vanquished them from history. One neighboring king offered to build him a palace at is own expense. Think about that. Mighty empires that had existed for centuries quivering in fear at what he might do to them. Word had spread about the ten thousands he had personally slain. 

But he wasn’t just an empire conqueror. He worshipped better than you, read his Scriptures better than you, wrote better than you, and sang better than you. If a Godly Man ever walked the face of the earth, David was it. 

So what is this nonsense he writes about drenching couches with tears? Give us more of the joyful and motivational poster-ready “be a mighty man!” psalms.

It is accurate theology to declare that a Christian man struggling with depression and despair needs to read the Bible and pray more. What leads such a person to suicidal thoughts is the gap between the application of that theology and the feeling of it. 

The Christian man going through this thinks: I must be weak because my wife looks at me with scorn when I mention this to her. I must be weak because my buddies just recommend more accountability group time when I speak of it. I must be weak because others have suffered more than me and made it out ok. 

There were times when David simply did not feel any hope. He wanted death. He needed release from pain, and no amount of worshipping, conquering, or building was going to ease it on that particular day. Trite encouragement about God’s love didn’t work. It’s the same as jovially telling a cancer patient who is vomiting during chemo, “Hey man! God’s got this!” 

The Christian life promises suffering and pain. It’s the default setting. Our sin brings it, the Enemy brings it, the fallen world brings it. Beds get flooded with weeping. 

Everything is hard and then we die, and somewhere in that truth, joy and life are found. 

If you suffer depression and anxiety, you are not weak. You are not a coward. A warrior seeks help. A warrior lets the flood of tears come. A warrior cries out in desperation.

Let those feelings come. Be strong, and also be vulnerable. Be strong, and ask for help. Be strong, and show yourself a man.

Praise and Arrows,