Posted by: JennyRain | July 30, 2010

Man Week @ the Rain: Brian Clayville

Welcome back to “Man Week” at the Rain!

I have invited nine of my favorite guys to guest blog for the next two weeks. The topic I gave each of the men to blog or vlog about was:

“The stripping process of God” or “Living unmasked”

Today’s guest is Brian Clayville. The first thing that I noticed in Brian was this amazingly tender heart and quiet strength. You may remember my other favorite Clayville Jenni from the Ladies week series I did a while back. Brian’s story with Jenni has brought tears to my eyes on numerous occasions because it is such an incredible representation of God’s transformative goodness in action.

Brian truly is a man of God and a gentle leader for his family and I am so honored that God has crossed our paths. Oh, and the two little ones hangin upside down? Brian and Jenni’s children Chance and Pax, the dynamic duo of cuteness!

Photo by Joshua R. White

Brian’s Blog: BrianClayville.com

Brian’s Twitter: @brianclayville

Revealing My Voice

This past 15 months have revealed more layers of protection/identity that I always knew were there but I had no idea how  much they were affecting my life.  Once my sweet wife revealed her secret to me, I gained a new set of eyes.  These new eyes allow me to more quickly see pain and suffering around me.  Who am I kidding, my new eyes revealed my weakness, brokenness and need of a healer.

My identity has traditionally been the “nice guy”.

I relied heavily on the “nice guy” mask.  I was a nice guy most of the time but really I was just suppressing my thoughts.   Not that I’m not a nice guy, just not maybe as nice as I appeared to the outside world.  Somewhere along the way I decided my voice was not important so I just kept it silent.

The problem was, I did have important things to say.  I needed to say things to help Jenni feel loved, needed, protected.  I needed to say things so Jenni could understand my needs.  I needed to say things to friends just because it was the right thing.

But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:16-17NASB

That last verse says “right thing” and I believe the “right thing” includes saying what needs to be said rather than staying quiet to keep the peace or look like the “nice guy”.

Last fall I was finally ready to engage in healing from my deepest hurt and truly begin to restore my marriage.

It took a major breakthrough in my relationship with God to all things to move forward.  He revealed to me that my voice was important and that I needed to be vulnerable and speak up.  I tried it a few times, the results were astounding.  Most of what I feared was completely overblown in my head.  Does this mean I will never get hurt from speaking what needs to be spoken?  By no means, but I can find peace from doing what I needed to do.

Through finding my voice, I have found new freedom and gained a closer walk with God, my wife and my friends.

This was all possible through God’s way of exposing my false identity.  This breakthrough was more possible because I experienced major pain.  The pain was temporary but the benefits of my new identity are long lasting.  I am continuing to learn daily that my identity is found in Christ and Christ alone.  I really don’t need every human being to like me, even though my natural identity really craves it.  I truly desire to have new growth or more mask peeling yet in so many cases I resist with all my might.  I must choose to face the fear, the pain and embrace the change.

To sum this up here are a couple of keys to having a positive outcome from this refining process.

  • Seek dedicated time with God and give Him time to talk to you.
  • Seek a community to lift you up in prayer keep accountable.

I truly believe without those two vital actions that my story would be very different today.  I thank God for the community that has surrounded me and Jenni this past year.

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Responses

  1. Hey Brian, great post! Transparency is never easy, but God is clearly working in and through you.

    The temptation to “be nice”and call that Christianity is everywhere, isn’t it?

    • Tal,
      The “nice guy christian” is all I ever saw in church. It is really sad.

  2. Baby, I am SO proud of you. What an amazing post you’ve written here. I believe you will help SO many men see who God truly created them to be. You will help men see how they too can restore their marriages for God’s glory.

    Thank you… again and again… for your grace to me. There’s no one in the world I’d rather be doing all this with.

    • Thanks Babe,
      Love You.

  3. Great post, Brian. The way you’ve walked through this season is an inspiration to many men.

    • Jason,

      Thank you for always encouraging words.

  4. […] 30, 2010 by Brian Clayville I have had the good fortune of being asked to guest post for Jenny Rain.  Please support her and check out the other great men that have contributed this week to her […]

  5. Great post, Brian!

    I too have been through process of having God strip off my “nice guy” mask. I devoured Paul Coughlin’s “No More Christian Nice Guy” and realized my own idolatry of having the approval of others.

    I applaud your courage and humility in being able to unpack your own stuff when your flesh had to be screaming for you to blame everything on your wife and her stuff.

    • Traylor,

      I just read a bunch of your story. Wow! It’s so amazing how God transforms people when they are ready. Your story is going to help transform so many lives. I will definitely be following your blog closely from now on. I am going to check out that book you mentioned as well.

      • Thanks Brian. Melody and I have both discovered that true healing comes on the other side of the pain. We call it our “beautiful undoing”.

    • Traylor… we so want to meet you and Melody some day. praying our paths will cross sooner vs. later!

      Bless you both… and praying for your continuous restoration. God is good!!!

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jenni Clayville and David Goodwin, Jenny Rain Schmitz. Jenny Rain Schmitz said: Man Week @ the Rain: Brian Clayville: http://wp.me/pA6oA-EW […]

  7. I totally fell for the nice guy illusion too. It’s so easy to do, especially in church.

    Jesus isn’t nice; and integrity knocks nice for six every time (why am I using a cricket analogy??)

    It’s a privilege to be doing life with you as a man of integrity & not someone enslaved to an illusion of niceness that’s so far from what God requires of us. You’re actively changing lives, and that is what He requires.

    Love ya mate.

    • Thank you Mate! I love having you as a sounding board, advice giver, listening ear and so on.

      Still not totally comfortable not just being the “nice guy” but at least I’m starting to recognize when not to be the “the nice guy”. Still working on not giving into that natural response.

      See you soon, or not.

      • SOON! see you SOON. don’t ever end that with a “not” again!

  8. Why do we want to hold on to that “nice-guy” persona? I think women do it, too. I know I do. Stripping away those masks of deception, pain, omission, fear is not easy. AND I tend to take them back when I want to sit on the pity pot, while still acting all nice.

    What if people see & hear the “real” me? What am I scared of? All those “what ifs”. I need to live life with purpose and honesty. I need to live a life that people want. And that only comes with hard work. God. And this amazing internet community (esp when it becomes meeting in person!). God never said seeking Him would be easy, but it is simple. We only have to change 1 thing. EVERYthing. Hmmmm.

    P.S. Follow me back on twitter, pretty please. With sprinkles on top….

  9. Shellie,

    I am totally following you on Twitter! I started right after we met in Seattle and I just double checked again. Maybe your not following me:-)

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. It is amazing how such a strong bond in community can be formed online. We have certainly been surrounded by some amazing people that we would have never met if it weren’t for social media.


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