Monday, August 31, 2009

It's not like we're engaged or anything...

I know my dad loves me...beyond a shadow of a doubt. Validation comes from his actions and not necessarily his words. He has always been there for me, and I know he will be there until his last breath. That's why when I end a phone call or a great visit and say Love ya dad, my feelings aren't at all hurt by the responding Okay. Saying I love you just isn't his style...and that's okay with me.

However, we don't share this trait. I tell my wife I love her daily. I tell me daughters daily also. Sometimes it's just random...when I'm feeling that strong need to share. I also tell my mom and sister whenever we finish a visit or call. For a long time, it was a lot easier for me to express love to females in general...hey...you know what I mean. Emotional love. Not spreading the love Woodstock style.

So why is it so hard for unrelated guys to say...



Okay, sidebar...I'm going to be honest here. Unless I'm feeling a little soppy, the man hug is very awkward for me. Please don't judge. I really try not to be that way. I've convinced myself that Jesus was a hugger when He walked the earth...so why shouldn't I be a hugger too? No, it's not Biblical, so don't try to find it in your Bible... even if it is an NIV Bible. Maybe I based my conclusion on all the male hugging that goes on in the movie Ben Hur...I'm just saying...it was a virtual orgy of arm wrapping. Ben hugging Messala, a Roman Tribune. Ben hugging Arrius, a Roman Consul. I'm not quite sure how things were in the Roman military, but I can assure you the United States Marine Corps is not so touchy-feely of an organization...or at least wasn't in my time. I doubt you'd find all that hugging at an NRA rally either...Chuck Heston.

Just why is it so hard for a man to say I love you to another man? Is it a cultural thing? A societal issue? Psychological? Just what makes it so darn difficult?

At times, it has become easier for me though. The closer my walk with Christ, the less encumbered I seem to be about expressing my love for others...even guys. Maybe that comes from realizing that everything Jesus taught He wrapped into two great commandments as recorded in the Gospel of Mark: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength...Love your neighbor as yourself.

I stray from these words all too often. That's when I find it most difficult to tell a brother I love you man or wrap my arms around him in Christian love and encouragement. When it's hard to love yourself because you are saddled with the guilt of sin or you aren't as close as you should be to Christ...can you adequately love someone else? Sure seems like an uphill battle to me.

For you guys reading Tony C Today out there...I love you man. Hey, that wasn't so darn hard after all. Actually, I love all of you... and hope you are blessed in a special way today.


11 comments:

photogr said...

Yep it is hard to say to another guy "Love you" but I have a couple friends that do that at the church I go to. I am not a person that would go up to another guy and say or do that. I guess it is fear of getting decked but that is the norm at this church.

I always felt a strong grasp and a hand shake was the cool thing with another guy. It is something I have to get used to I guess some day.
Ok Lets try it.

Although I find mankind in general to be a bit of a pain sometimes I do love my fellow persons and have compassion for them that are less fortunate. Ok I said it kinda.

Peace and love Tony C. from the gorilla.

David said...

Did you watch this movie? Or just use it as a springboard for the blog? I was writing a blog about it and then... well, I felt like doing something else. Scary that we think alike.

Everyone knows the Bible says that we should love. Saying it is good too. Affection is one of the 5 love languages along with with affirmations, quality time together, gift giving and acts of service.

So, go for it. Affection and kind words are a great way to show the love we have of one another. But before you get all uptight-- there's more.

* Romans 16.16a — "Greet one another with a holy kiss"
* I Corinthians 16.20b — "Greet one another with a holy kiss"
* II Corinthians 13.12a — "Greet one another with a holy kiss"
* I Thessalonians 5.26 — "Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss"
* I Peter 5.14a — "Greet one another with a kiss of love"

Love ya man. *Muah*

Shauna said...

Such a different world in woman-land. This is so easy for many of us!

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I often felt awkward hugging and telling people I love them but now it seems easy. I just have trouble with people saying it and not meaning it. The number one emotion shown by a man that touches my heart is to see a tear or tears from his face.

Anonymous said...

This is so true! You just keep on hugging and telling people you love them! You never know how big of an impact it may have on someone. It could change someone's life-you never know.

Jim H said...

great post, Tony! I'm getting ready to re-do a bible study called "The quest for Authentic Manhood" and one thing that really struck me the first time around was how important it is for Dads to tell their sons "I love you, and I'm proud of you". Very few guys ever hear that from their father and it can be a revoltionizing thing.

Jim H said...

okay, that was a completely misleading misspelling - should have been "revolutionizing"

Tevet said...

I never met you Tony C, but I want you to know that I love you!
Have you noticed that it can be easier to say 'I love you' to another dude than it is at times to receive the 'I love you'?
I often get the 'you too' response from other Bruthas. The dudes at work really get tripped up by the 'I love you' when I get caught up in sharing the Word and His Love.

Tony C said...

You guys are the best!

I love you man...I really do.

(But I still ain't kissing you David...holy style or any other way)

Z said...

What a wonderful sentiment...I'm not a GUY so you can hug me!!:-)
I loved that my Dad was a big hugger of his very good friends......but I sure recognize it's not easy for a lot of guys, and what the heck?

it's what we say and feel and do for them that counts.

Thanks, Tony, backatcha. xxx
I'm laughing out loud at the holy kiss thing...~!!

Mesha said...

Yea, so first I have to laugh at your NIV comment! PRICELESS! Second, I really loved this post (even though I'm a woman). Last Sunday, my pastor actually opened the pulpit up to a member of our church and his message was on "loving one other deeply," and the verse that says, "love covers a multitude of sins." Every aspect of the message was AWESOME explaining how love doesn't "excuse" active sin but rather brings light with the intention of healing. BUT all of that is sorta a bunny trail, what reminded me of that message was when you talked about being tangled up in sin it's hard to truly love other people - he pointed that very thing out! He talked about as long as we are "navel gazing," because we can't get our own lives in order...we'll never be able to fully show that "deep love from the heart" that the Bible speaks of for one another. Hmmm...it was a great message and I got the CD...your blog was equally great! Keep encouraging, keep educating and keep on making us laugh Tony C! Have a great week!