Loving People: 70 Things Every Man Needs to Know
Excerpted from Pastoring Men, Moody Publishers.
40. Loving People
Love is the glue that holds us together, and the oil that keeps us from rubbing each other the wrong way.
Teach your men how to “neighbor love”—the New Commandment (see Matthew 22:37–39). Jesus did not say, “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you perfect your theology.” Right theology is important, and bad theology is deadly. Yet lost and lonely people are not attracted by excellent theology (though ours should be excellent).
What Jesus did say was, “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” ( John 13:35). People are attracted to us by the way we love one another.
In the second century church, Christians were accused of treason (not pledging allegiance to the Emperor), cannibalism (drinking Christ’s blood and eating his body), and sexual immorality (the kiss of peace). Yet against this backdrop the early church expanded rapidly. God was at work in the way Christians loved each other and the unlovely. Julian the Apostate, a pagan, said, “Those impious Christians. They support not only their own poor, but ours too.” It had quite an effect. It still does.
Teach your men to see people the way Jesus sees people. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). He is patient, wanting all to come to repentance. His patience means salvation (2 Peter 3:9, 15).
Biblically, reconciliation precedes worship (Matthew 5:23–24). Teach your men how to resolve conflict and heal broken relationships. A cut on your body cannot heal unless the two separated pieces are brought into contact with each other. Likewise, two people can’t heal until they are brought together.
Many task-oriented men want to be more relationship-oriented, but it goes against their nature. Tell them, “Choose to make the relationship into your task. Say to yourself until you grasp and believe this: ‘The relationship is the task.’ Turn spending time with your wife into a task—calendarize it if that makes you feel better.”
For More: Visit the Pastoring Men web page and click on “40. Loving People” to (1) see or hear “Broken Relationships” in The Man in the Mirror Remix series; (2) read the article “How to Get Along with Difficult People.”
Yours for changed lives,
#421 © 2011. Patrick Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced
for non-commercial ministry purposes with proper attribution.