Men of God - by Brad Davison
We just finished that magical time of year again. Christmas? No, Valentine’s day!
If we’re really honest though, what comes to the mind when you remembered Valentine’s day
was right around the corner (like on the 13th)? Did the absurdity of the “Hallmark” holiday begin to boil your blood when you remembered how much those roses and chocolates cost? Did you remind yourself that you don’t celebrate Valentine’s day because your wife said “she didn’t want anything”? Did you go all out, spend loads of money, and plan a romantic date night…knowing that it will be one of few, if only, times that you outwardly express love to your wife this year? Or, by chance, did you look at it as an opportunity to show a little extra love, adding to the abundant amount you already pour out on your spouse and kids?
We know that Valentine’s day is supposed to be an emotionally gushy day, fully of love, laughter, and romance (if the holiday was observed at all). But, why does that emotional side to us so often stop February 15th? As Christian men, following the example and truths of Jes
us Christ, shouldn’t our everyday be filled with love and laughter? Are we striving to be more than bible readers, and become biblical followers?
Colossians 3: 12-13 tells us “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other.” Biblical love was ordered, not suggested, to be poured out lavishly upon the whole world. Especially those within our own household. If Valentine’s Day is the only time of year that you lower your barriers and allow your wife to sense your love for her, you may need to take a hard look at whom you are following. Jesus, or our American tough-guy culture?
So, as men, why do we so often create barriers and withhold the outward expression of our love? As a firefighter and paramedic for the past seven years, I have seen things that would turn most stomachs and bring many to their knees. I have had to develop emotional barriers out of sheer protection for my long-term mental health. However, when my tour ends and I come home, those emotional walls come to the ground, because my wife shouldn’t have to battle and long
for my emotional or romantic attention. If you take a second to examine yourself, are you hiding behind a barrier so you don’t have to ‘feel’? Have you bought into the cultural lie that men aren’t suppose to show, feel, or express emotion?
As we look back throughout history, we see that cultural norms are fickle. What was honorable for a man was vastly different a hundred years ago from today, and will be a hundred years in the future. So, shouldn’t we be clinging to something a bit more stable and enduring? The bible tells us that the most godly and manly-men of the bible were very emotional. Probably one of the most remembered versus in the children’s ministry, because of its brevity, is when Jesus publicly cried over the death of his friend (John 11: 35), “Jesus wept”.
2 Samuel 12 also
shows us that one of the most manly-men in the bible (King David) was extremely connected to his family, and wept to the point of refusing to eat when his infant son died. All of this is to say, that God created us with emotions. The bottling up and refusal to express your emotions is to tell God that he made a part of you in error, and you are correcting His mistake. This is not to say that from now on we are to go about expressing our emotions as woman often do (since God has us men and women distinctly different), but that we are to drop our idolatry of American culture and follow the biblical example of the most manly-men in history.
So today, start loving on
your wife and kids as you desire for God to love on you. Don’t hold back your affection or praise, and tear down those walls of vulnerability protection. God has called you to lead and love your family. Strive to do both, and not one or the other.
May the spirt and love of God be with you!
About the author,
Brad is a Firefighter and Paramedic in Indianola Iowa. He has been blessed with a beautiful and supportive wife, and will celebrate four years of marriage this summer. Brad is a board member of JDM, and hopes to serve God in growing its ministry. In the fall of 2017, Brad completed his Master’s degree in Public Administration. Brad can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.