Real Men can Love God Deeply.

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15  After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” 16  A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” 17  A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus said to him, Take care of my sheep.” John 21:15-17 (TEV)

9  Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread? 10  Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a fish? 11  As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11 (TEV)

499      We men don’t know how to show Jesus the gentle refinements of love that some poor, rough fellows—Christians all the same—show daily to some pitiful little creature (their wife, their child, their friend) who is as poor as they are. This truth should serve as a salutary shock to make us react.  (1)

I keep hearing that men are afraid of commitment, or they shy away from deep abiding relationships, and that is the reason why they struggle to church.  There are even a number of books out there about why men struggle at church, and how to make the church “men friendly”. I even have a couple of friends who mock me (when they aren’t to criticizing me) when I talk about having a relationship with God, and that it has to be a deep, intimate relationship.  “Those words will scare off men,” they protest.

But they realize that need is real, that we need that relationship with God.  We need to know His love, the perfect love of a Father for His children, the love of Jesus, the perfect love of a husband, for us His bride.

A few days ago, a pro basketball player weeped because a young girl he knew passed away because of cancer.  He broke down in a press conference after a game.  Isn’t that a level of deep love, we often don’t hear guys expressing?  What about the deep love that is show at funerals, or when a friend is hospitalized, or when we see someone hungry and in need?  If you are old enough to remember Gayle Sayers and Brian Piccolo, how many guys didn’t watch the movie Brian’s song every time it came on?

Men are capable of deep emotions, of being dedicated and devoted to people. We may be silent about them, we may be afraid of them, we may not want to admit that we have them.  But we are capable of having them, and moe than that we need them.

Especially a relationship with God.  For that relationship makes everything else possible.  To know His mercy, helps us to be merciful.  To know His forgiveness, helps us forgive those who betray us, to know His holiness and presence, helps us to be holy….and to know the height and depth, the breadth and width of His love for us, helps us to have the courage and the love to read out and love others that way.

Real men can love, because in Christ, the fears are set aside because of the need of people to be loved.

We grasp that the little ways we love reflect that love, even as Jesus comments upon dad’s knowing what to give their kids.  Even as St Josemaria noted that among the “simple” people of his day.

But loving God means taking care of the people he entrusts to us, finding ways to love them  To care for them deeply, sacrificially.  It means letting our hearts break when His does, it means bearing our cross to love them, even to the point of confessing the depth of that love to those around us.  Peter, had to hear this three times, he had to get past the emotional tug of admitting his love for God, of admitting the intimate bond between them.

May we all find the strength and courage to love the God who cam to us, to show us love, and enkindle it in our hearts.

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1907-1910). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on December 10, 2014, in Devotions, Poiema, The Forge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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