I have to admit that when our pastor began talking about receiving love I wanted to balk. Of course I knew how to receive love. My wife kisses me or does something for me, and I feel loved. Right?
That is about as surface level understanding as it gets. Many men simply do not know how to receive love. I’m not talking about sexual advances or a new tie. This is the soul deep source of true, unflinching, sacrificial love.
To receive love requires a level of vulnerability. Men, this is our cue to grunt.
The protector / provider mentality is ingrained in men. It’s in our DNA and not always a bad thing. It’s when the protector’s shield cannot be lowered to accept love that it becomes a problem. Grunting now isn’t encouraged. Considering this point is.
Balance is the key to battle, business, and being loved.
I guess the first item to clarify is what exactly is love. John describes it at it’s very being. It’s a little long, but there’s no more complete explanation and description of what love is.
See below and consider how much more there is to “love” than intercourse and candy bouquets. We as men must have the capacity to give love and receive love. My obvious question was, “How do I learn to do either?”
I grew up in a household where my dad worked and protected his family. He never spoke or showed love to us. I know he loved his family, but how was I expected to know love?
Many men that I speak with share this similar experience. We’ve learned to give and receive love from what we were shown. Guess what guys? There’s much more to it, and its an incredibly liberating experience once we’ve lowered our shield.
God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:7-21
Learning to receive isn’t always natural. Think about accepting a compliment, or help from a stranger. We usually shrug it off. The reaction is no different from when our partner tries to show uninhibited love to us.
Consider 1 John 4:7-21, and use it as a litmus test. Do you measure up, exceed or have work to do?
Men, it’s worth the effort.
God bless you,