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.

About John Forrest