Love one another

active-1853657_640A few weeks ago we celebrated Easter – an annual reminder and celebration that Jesus died on the Cross and rose again. Jesus suffering and dying on the Cross was the ultimate demonstration of love. He was willing to sacrifice his own life to pay the penalty for mankind’s sin, save us, and restore us to a relationship with God.

Christians are called to do the same, to love sacrificially, yet those of us who struggle with intimacy anorexia are so self-focused, so isolated, and so enamored with ourselves that we rarely show selfless love towards others.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13

Selfless love starts in the home. We chose to love and serve our wives. We chose to give her priority and demote our own needs, wants, and desires. We learn to listen to her heart and do that which encourages and helps her grow as a woman of God. We affirm her and speak life into her soul. We give up our own life through service in order to lift up our wives and encourage her. This is loving one another (our wives) as Jesus demonstrated.

Likewise we chose to love our children. To sacrifice our desires, free time, and energy to develop a relationship with each of our children. We commit our efforts to train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). We speak life into our children and encourage their unique talents, interests, and personality. We help them learn how to bear fruit in their lives. This is loving one another (our children) as Jesus demonstrated.

Further, as recovering intimacy anorexics, we serve other men who need us to walk beside them and hold them accountable to right thinking and behavior. This too is a sacrifice of love. We give up our own agenda in order to connect with other men, even men who are needy and difficult. We listen to their stories and childhood wounds. We point them to the healing power of Jesus as we travel together on the journey of life – filled with peril as well as victory. This is loving one another (other men) as Jesus demonstrated.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16

Jesus chose us to follow him. He appointed us to bear fruit. What is this fruit? How do we do grow it? By loving one another as Christ loved his disciples and us. By sacrificing our own needs, desires, and agenda in order to serve our wives, family, and friends. By looking outward to the needs of others – being selfless rather than selfish.

Jesus has claimed us as his friends in order to bear fruit, we do this by loving one another. To overcome intimacy anorexia, we must look outside ourselves (instead of inward) and meet the needs of those around us and point them to the Father of life.

Seeing is believing?

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There is an old adage that “seeing is believing.” With this adage, it is customary that for a person to believe something, there must be some sort of visual proof.  Yet our world is filled with many unexplained phenomena and spiritual truths that only a well-tuned eye will see.  This well-tuned eye must possess an element of faith. […]

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Hiking with my friend

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Yesterday we had 10” of snow here in Colorado Springs. The mountains looked beautiful dressed in white. I had to get out and hike my favorite trail. With all that fresh, wet snow (when it stopped snowing, the temperature had risen above freezing), I realized that this hike was going to be a bit more […]

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Setting captives free

setting captives free

At the onset of His earthly ministry, Jesus made a very clear statement of His mission and purpose. Quoting from the prophet Isaiah, Jesus stated what He was about to do and how His life fulfilled this ancient prophecy. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good […]

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Dealing with strong emotions

emotions

God created us in His image. This image includes our emotions and desires. Emotions are a part of our human experience, a gift from God. Emotions are an essential aspect of being human.  Some emotions are pleasant and welcome: happiness, joy, contentment, while others hit us like waves on the rocks: grief, anger, or shame. The […]

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Should I admit I have a problem?

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If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 Admitting our faults, flaws, and wrong behavior is a difficult thing. As men, we want to be seen in a good light. We want to be perceived as strong. We […]

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Weak and selfish

weak and selfish

I was listening to a friend in recovery discussing what he had recently learned and one of his phrases caught my attention. He described his past behavior as “weak and selfish.” I jotted it down and meditated on that phrase.  It is poignant. “Weak and selfish” aptly characterizes men living in addiction. An addict is weak, not […]

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Our thoughts

our thoughts

Recently I was watching an old science fiction television show. During the episode, the intrepid crew of our technologically advanced space ship was visiting an alien planet. During the visit with this alien civilization, one of the crew members was arrested for having “evil thoughts”. This alien species had laws not only against evil behavior […]

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Shame

shame

Last week I introduced the concept of intimacy anorexia. To follow up on that subject, this week I will discuss shame.  Many intimacy anorexics and those recovering from addiction unnecessarily suffer with immense shame. I have known many men who have come to realize their wrongful ways and are  overwhelmed with the burden of shame […]

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Intimacy anorexia

intimacy

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.    Genesis 1:27 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of […]

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