The Gaiety of Men Loving Men
I love a particular man…we’ll call him John.
It was love at first sight.
When I saw him, my soul was immediately knit to his and I love him as my own soul.
I delight in him.
I choose him over others…to the shame of my mother’s nakedness.
And he loves me in an extraordinary way.
His love for me surpasses the love of women.
Men in Love
Based upon the above exchange, you’re probably thinking I’m gay. Right?
You can say it. It’s okay.
At the very least, these expression of affection toward another man made you uncomfortable.
What if I told you these things after slaying the biggest, baddest dude on the battlefield, cutting his head off with his own sword, and brandishing it for all to see, driving an entire enemy army to flee in terror? Would you still think I was gay?
See the tension?
I can think of few things more masculine than closing with and destroying the enemy in battle. David, a man after God’s own heart, was a warrior through-and-through. Born of the crucible of conflict, his triumph over Goliath introduced him to the nation, to the king, and to his best friend, Jonathan.
Their friendship—their love—ran deep and strong. I appropriated the above quotes concerning the man I love. These are all from David concerning Jonathan. Throughout David’s rise to power and amidst his conflict with Saul, Jonathan’s father, their love persisted. Following Jonathan’s death on the battlefield, David mourned and wept and fasted until evening. (1 Samuel 1:11)
David lived with passion.
He exuded intensity: intensity in his pursuit of God, intensity in battle, and intensity in his love for his friend. And in that love between men, his love for his friend, he found refuge, strength, solace, and comfort.
O’ that we might find the same.
The pendulum of error in men loving men generally swings from one extreme to another.
On one hand, at some point we began to equate masculinity with stoicism, the absence of affection and emotion. Maybe we should thank Josey Wales or John Wayne for propagating the strong, silent image of the American man.
I was raised, like many men my age I suspect, in a somewhat emotionally distant home. I recall my mother expressing affection toward me. She called me Pumpkin and loved on me when I was sick to the point where I became kind of a mama’s boy.
My relationship with my father was different.
I don’t recall my father ever telling me he loved me. I don’t recall him ever expressing physical affection toward me or my brother. My brother and I have certainly never shared the sentiment with one another and I never recall embracing my brother. That would be just weird
I don’t recall ever telling my father that I love him.
My father loves me. Of this much I am sure.
He worked very hard and always provided for our family. He was my biggest fan and my biggest cheerleader. He celebrated my successes with me and I loved making him proud. In his mind, I’m sure that this was the best way for him to express affection and love, by his actions.
But I grew up absent male affection, not even understanding it. It left a gaping hole in my heart that I never knew was missing.
For me, raised in this manner, overt displays of affection between men was, well…gay.
Satan loves to high-jack godly things and wield them for evil.
He has done exactly this with love between men, on the opposite end of the spectrum from the stoic, man’s man of yesteryear.
Some misguided Christians claim that God will one day judge American because of homosexuality. Romans 1:18-32 tells us that He has already judged America.
At some point, we traded the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the created thing rather than the Creator even though, because of Creation, every person knows in their heart that there is a Creator and are therefore without excuse. Because of this, God has placed our nation under judgment and given us over to our sinful passions.
As such, men exchanged natural relations with women and were consumed with lust and passion for one another, committing shameless acts with other men. Though we know God’s righteous decree concerning such sin, we not only do them, but celebrate those who practice them.
As such, we receive the due penalty for this error.
The penalty is paid in the form of the debasement of society wrought by the homosexual lifestyle, a lifestyle characterized by debauchery, licentiousness, addiction, and violence.
Just as he perverted love between men, Satan likewise misappropriated the symbol of gay pride, the rainbow. God originally gave this as a symbol to the world of His righteousness, that He would never again judge the world with water. A symbol of God’s judgement and righteousness has become a symbol for unrepentant sin. Let that sink in.
For nearly 800 years, the word “gay” meant happy or lively or joyful. Only in the last century was it attributed to homosexuals to the point whereby the latter application usurped the former. I’ve never heard anyone use the word “gay” to mean anything other than homosexual unless it was used in a derogatory manner to disparage something or someone.
In every conceivable way—how it’s considered, our language, our culture, our symbols—the world has corrupted the notion of men loving men.
The Power of Men Loving Men
Men need to love men.
Most grown men I know have very few friends. Once a man gets a job, gets married, and has children, he has very little time for friends. Friendships tend to coalesce around shared mutual interests. We have golf buddies or workout partners or friends at work.
What we have are acquaintances, casual friends whose company we enjoy. What we lack are men we love, who love us, men with whom we share our deepest and maybe darkest feelings, fears, and failures, men with whom we can share our struggles and triumphs, men with whom we have knit our soul.
Absent men truly loving men, most lead a lonely existence.
Brotherhoods develop, certainly. I spent 22 years in the military, 14 of those in special operations and I’ve lived the bonds of brotherhood, alongside men who did lay their lives down for their fellow men. This is the exception though and there is no reason love ought to be driven by shared occupational hazard.
We ought to deliberately love other men.
We ought to love them unashamed, unabashed, unperverted, and unconstrained.
We ought to hug and kiss our sons, teaching them how men love men.
My truculent 17-year-old son was sitting at our dining room table the other day. I walked up and wrapped my arms as tightly around his head as I could and squeezed, for all I was worth, while rocking him back and forth. I then kissed him on the top of his head and told him, “I love you, son.”
He brushed off my awkward display of affection but smiled wryly in doing so.
Consider the power of men loving men, of men knit together at the soul. It’s only been in the last year I’ve come to understand this. I have brothers who love me, who pray for me, who hold me accountable, with whom I can share anything knowing that they will never forsake me. I am blessed with men that I love, that love me. I’ve only discovered this recently and it has truly changed my life for the better.
And so I proclaim…
I love a man named Joe…two actually, two men named Joe that is.
I also love a man named Scott. And Chris.
I love another man named Ken.
There are others.
Would you love another man as I do? You’ll be surprised by the power in such gaiety.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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