To love like Christ loves the Church is a sacrificial type of love and this does not make any sense democratically, traditionally or academically (but don’t get it twisted it is an intelligent type of love). In fact it was never meant to make sense in those levels in the first place.
The process of laying down your life in order to help raise the lives of those you love so that they can be able to reach the level of the vision you have for them is often undefined – this is what Christ did – He came down to pick us up to what He sees us to be. He did not love us and leave us unchanged.
To simplify matters for you.
This starts by how you as a man understand Christ’s love for you. How you understand determines how you define and how you act-out your love for others can never be greater than how you define love in the first place.
So, as you read this, know this that my understanding of Christ’s love for me is more than a verb – to me His love is a catalyst – it is the reason why things change in my life, it initiates movement, morphing and shifting in my thinking and living.
So as a man, my vision of love has to be redemptive, restorative and graceful by nature. Not only that but its character has to have room – to love the unlovable, to bear the unbearable, and forgive the unforgivable – because when I look to Christ for love knowing the condition of my soul/person, I need Him to have those qualities in His love for me.
I mentioned that Christ’s love is a catalyst – that means it is the force that causes things to change, and people by nature are unwelcoming towards change because it’s challenging and it disruptive to the norm. Christ’s love disrupted my traditions and learning just to get to my soul. His ability to love infuriated the wise and historically inclined just to reach out for my heart.
Now in order for me as a man to fully express these qualities in my love, I am required to be intellectually and emotionally stronger than the traditions I grew up under (my love needs to be able to question, weigh and refuse certain practices that do not match up to Christ’s love for me). And because no man is ever without a culture, the love I have for my wife needs to present a new culture – new family traditions for her to teach our kids.
Your love as a man needs to be so powerful that it disrupts whatever her past was, pulling her towards her future in God. This aspect of your love as a man reveals the father nature in you, because the word ‘father’ means the founder of a lifestyle. A man’s love for his woman needs to make a new way of living.
God the Father out of love for the world gave His only begotten Son in order to establish a new way of living – a complete way of life.
Christ’s love is not a reward. God does not use His love as a performance appraisal mechanism to approve your good behavior as a man. If He did, then His love would be imperfect and conditional. So why do you deprive your wife, kids and others love just because they fall short of your expectations? Why do you give them hugs and kisses when they only do right by you? (Love her when she drives you up the wall).
I think let’s pause for a moment on this one. Man to man. Let’s be honest here.
I know you are called and gifted and all that good stuff. But we both know that most of the time the stuff in your mind is crazy, and not only that but you do it and say it anyway. So crazy you can’t say it out loud when you pray – and that prayer at the back of your head always starts with something like…Jesus here me out for a minute on this one, I know it’s not the first time but…
So leave the woman alone. Give her a break from hypocrisy will you.
Why should your ability love be based on performance? When you know your crazy-self needs mercy every two seconds. Your love as a man should not be the trophy waiting at the end of the race but it should be the coach motivating her to have the courage to start, the medic in between, the cheering crowd, and the voice that says, “Well done for going for your dreams.”
Lastly, I believe that the way I love should compel my wife to be like me (as I aim to be like Christ). She should want to share my personality, my ideals and ideas with others, simply because the purpose of sacrificial love is to make disciplines to the glory of God the Father.
What are your thoughts?