Stephen Mansfield: Men on Fire Devotional Day 5
“The Fire of Love”
Scripture reading: Galatians 6:9-10
Love comes easily. It also drifts easily away. We have to fight to keep it and make it grow.
Think about those you love. You met that friend and it didn’t take long before a manly friendship developed. In time, you would have used the word love. You probably can’t even remember quite why you liked the guy so much, but you did. Friendship started. It grew. In time, love arrived.
It was even more of the same with your wife or the woman you love. You saw her. You were attracted. Perhaps she spoke and you melted. You spent time with her and found nearly everything she did endearing and as though it was what you had wanted all your life. There was little strain. Nothing about it was labor. You saw. You wanted. Love came.
Any man who has been there at the birth of his children has experienced much the same thing. Initially, they are just big round tummies that kick. You know there’s a human in there but you can’t really call what you feel love. Then they come out. Though they all look like Martians or Churchill when they do, you can’t believe how you feel. They look at you. They coo. They smile, or maybe it’s gas but you don’t care. You lose your mind. You start acting ridiculous. They popped out. They’re yours. Love came.
As sweet as all this is, we have to admit that these kinds of love can all go away. Friends grow apart. Husbands and wives divorce or perhaps live in loveless marriages. Parents and children can grow so distant they end up dying estranged. It is painful to admit, but a quick gaze at the world as it is tells us it’s true.
I would say that these things happen because we lose the battle for love, but the truth is that most of us never engage in the fight. We don’t know there is one. We assume love will stay as effortlessly as it arrived. It usually doesn’t. Love—for our friends, our children, our wives, and our God—has to be tended. It has to be protected and fed and repaired. It has to be fought for.
As the apostle Paul urged, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
You can do it. God has already put the needed equipment in your soul. No man loses the love in his life because he just can’t love. More often, he just doesn’t know how to fight for it. He doesn’t know how to tend it. He doesn’t know how to build a fire that will remain.
Trust God. Trust your band of brothers. Get a vision for loving manhood and walk it out. It will bring great riches to your life.
Spend some time thinking through the health of your most important relationships. Pray about your concerns.