As a man, I love many things. I love my wife and kids, my Indian motorcycle, flying on a sunny day (I’m a pilot), going to the gym, a thick steak, a good book and many other things. So just from that sentence you can see that the concept of “love” in our time has been watered down quite a bit.
As men, we sometimes have difficulty understanding and therefore exemplifying it.
How does a man show love?
There are few “real men” left. We look to sports figures who – make millions, spend it on themselves, and mostly act as pathetic moral examples. The same can be said for movie stars and, sadly, political leaders.
Even when we look to the church we find many pastors who took their eyes from Christ and fell from the high standards they required of their people.
In the Greek language there are four words that mean love.
Storgē is the type of affection a parent has for their children.
Phileo means friendship or loyalty to friends.
Erōs means a sensual desire or longing.
Agápē means “true love” or sacrificial love. This is the kind of love we see Christ having for his people in I John 3. Because Jesus is God in a human body, He’s the perfect example. He shows us what a “real man” is.
Jesus, from the beginning, exemplified real manhood through His mission – offering His life as a sacrifice for His own.
I John 3:16 says, “We know what true love is because Christ gave up His life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.”
Would you give your life up for someone else? There are many examples of heroism during a war. We hear of a soldier falling on a grenade to save those around him. Often we write these off as being from war, and therefore don’t apply that same sacrificial attitude to our daily lives.
However, being a man means thinking of others first. Christ left heaven and came to earth to die for us. His example is one every man should follow.
In the previous verse the words “true love” come from that single Greek word agápē.
In the first century if a man were to say, “I love you,” to his wife it would be the word “agápē.” Jesus said, “I love you” to mankind by sacrificing Himself for us.
As a man, I may never be in war and have the opportunity to save my platoon, but…
I can put my wife and children before myself.
I can help my elderly neighbor or be a father to the boy next door whose dad left.
I can always pray and read my Bible with my family.
I can always tithe and support the work of the church.
In a world where most families break up because of selfish desires and most men chase after the things of the world, I can be different.
Being a man is more than our physical characteristics and design. It is more than benching hundreds of pounds or owning a fast car. Being a man, a “real man” is an ideal and a way of life.
When I begin to look to the world for examples of love and come up empty, I can follow the example of the first “real man” – Jesus. I can know what true love is and show it to my family and the world. This is the start of being a man!