Love is what every man longs for. A man wants to be seen, wanted, and invited, he wants to belong. Every man deeply desires to offer his strength, to be courageous, and to matter. Love is what every masculine heart longs both to receive and to give; it is what a man was made for, and it is the standard by which every man hopes to abide.
Love is how men (and women for that matter) bear God’s image.
Life goes wrong for a man when he is harshly judged and his hopes of being loved are not met, or worse, are crushed.
The main ingredients of love are validation, acceptance, worth, belonging, and significance.
The lengths a man will go to in order to obtain these precious ingredients vary both gloriously and dangerously. Love factors into both our greatest triumphs and our worst tragedies. Love will settle a heart and even set it free, but love distorted can and will just as easily arrest and imprison a man. Our greatest wounds of the heart come from the “perversions” of love: jealousy, betrayal, unfaithfulness, and hatred.
The enemy of our Life, of our Belovedness, used to enjoy love himself. Satan knows that love is the greatest thing and he knows the power of unconditional love to set hearts free. He is therefore hell-bent on twisting love into something it’s not, using all his wiles and every means at his disposal to turn life’s wounding moments to his advantage. Satan opportunistically uses those moments to plant his lies in our hearts about love; God’s, others’, and our own in order to construct a false image that we wear and operate from as if it were true. This false image keeps us from receiving freely and giving real love freely, the way we were created to.
Every man has a false self, a tailor-made creature constructed through the wounding of his heart.
Referred to as “the flesh” in the Bible, this impostor, this traitor, arises out of a man’s strategies to make life work. It creates inner programs to avoid pain or obtain pleasure; his methods of self-protection, self-promotion, and self-provision—all of these are the man’s elaborate, false-self construction attempting to arrange for love for himself. The enemy is delighted to assist, knowing that the false self (flesh) keeps a man from experiencing True Love and Real Life. That’s got to stop. In the fight to reclaim our whole heart we must stop seeking out secondary sources of validation and worth.
In your Time alone with God, ask Him:
Father, what do you see in me that isn’t of you?
Jesus, show me what my false self looks like, how it acts out, defends, promotes?
Holy Spirit, show me how I’ve turned from You for the validation and worth only You can provide.