Tough love, boys, men, Jesus and becoming

About a week ago, I read that some men don’t approach women because they are intimidated by how beautiful the woman is. I was doing research on why men don’t approach me. I had never considered this before, so I asked my friend Jeff about it. Last night he called me. Jeff has aspergers which is refreshing because he is succinct, sincere, and firmly enthused by his passions. “You know I’ve been thinking about what you asked me,” he replies in his shaky loud voice. “And you shouldn’t ever think that way, because, if this makes sense, you’re too good to think that way.”

‘I’m taking this one year challenge’, I tell my best girl from across a café table. I tell her more about the book and how parts of it were tough to read. “Like put it down and think for a moment, or throw it across the room tough.” She laughs. We’re seated in those high blue chairs. No dating, no flirting, no sexting, no sex. She tells me that she doesn’t want to kiss anyone other than the man she’ll marry. I exhale slowly at her resolve. “I just put so much of myself into that,” she says. I recall all the things that keep us kindred, one being that we are women who have poured so much of ourselves out.

So far, I thought the decision would remove tension and make my life easier. Yet, the tension, the pull is so palatable. Standing in worship beside the gangly yet masculine boy from Redding with the piercings he doesn’t wear any more. To the right of me the other man who eats out a lot and goes straight for people. The man who stares right at me during bible study and told me about his apartment in the Oakland hills the second night we spoke. I never knew I could want so much. Want to feel safe. Want to love. Want to belong. And then I read 1 John 4:17-19 and it was all okay. It was okay to love from a place of fear. It was okay to realize my attachment style. It was okay because all of that can be put on Jesus because in his love there is no fear and I can trust this love.

I’m not sure why Jesus makes me so prone to self-identify through others. Perhaps it is because he is most frequently revealed to me through my observation of the people around me. I never thought I would feel nostalgic for the ease of sin. For the person I was, for the bad decisions I made. I didn’t know I would long for the shy tall boy. For the man I spent days with and talked to with vulnerability. For the mess of a boy who kissed my hand as he drove. For the few good men in between who came and went because I was in no way ready for them. I’m finally realizing the men in your life should not be a breeding ground of ways to numb yourself of the things you lack.

I’m not sure who I’ll become but it is evident the danger in longing to remove my entire self and nestle into every aspect of a man. It’s clear that I need to settle into Jesus. To transfer that desire for physical closeness, reverence, admiration and awe to my relationship with Jesus. I need to become the person the person I’m looking for is looking for.

 

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2 thoughts on “Tough love, boys, men, Jesus and becoming

  1. I assume it’s Andy Stanley’s challenge you’re accepting? I love that guy, did the one year thing myself a while back. I can tell you that while I still had and have stuff to work through, that year off was a Kickstarter for complete positive life change. You’re doing a great thing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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