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Friday, June 28, 2013

Love and Brotherhood

At one point this year, I was talking with my friend, Ryan, over Facebook when I asked him how I could become closer with other Christian guys. I had asked him about his thoughts on this a few months ago as I was questioning if I will ever become close with another guy who also loves God. This past week, he made a response to my question through a long email, and the passages that he recommended me to meditate on were as follows:
  • 1 Samuel 20 (David and Jonathan's oath of friendship under the sight of God)
  • Proverbs 27 (wise expressions about love, family and friendships)
  • 1 Corinthians 13 (Paul explaining about the character of a Godly love)
I found that while 1 Samuel 20 portrays a great example of friendship between two close friends (who were guys), 1 Corinthians 13 seemed to pop out more to me. I still find it a bit hard to explain why, but it seems to be a more heavily focused passage, and that it was something on which I needed to reflect. Another particular thing that came to my attention was Proverbs 27:10 (see below).

"Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family,  and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away."

I guess that, based on these readings, I still have trouble with love. I guess it could have something to do with my difficulty to fully accept myself. I don't know why, but I find that as I get older, I feel more of the pressure to be like other guys (typical gender stereotypes). I try to go through life, but you keep hearing that you're supposed to be this or that. The thing is, I'm not so hugely into cars, I'm not a sports super fan, I don't even obsess over sex and girls like guys normally do.

I still tend to question God as to why he allowed me to be born with Autism as it tends to act more like a curse in both the "job world" and the "guy world" (which both co-exist as though they are one and the same; again, this is just my way of explaining things from my point of view). Because the main impairments caused by this disorder are my delayed speech and the fact that I need time to think things through before speaking. But the only thing I have going for me as an advantage is that I am often more focused on some things rather than others. Hopefully, I'll be able to get over this hurdle in my life.

Chances are, I'm not alone in these kinds of struggles: there are probably many Christian guys like me who are having trouble in making and maintaining strong friendships with other Christian guys. I agree that it's not easy, especially since I'm expressing about my thoughts. I think what might work for guys like us in being closer and more trusting with our Christian brothers is what Ryan had said to me in the email message: 

"As for advice? I would say, find a friend you think you can trust, and tell him you want to be a brother in CHRIST for him. Don't be clingy, but just say, 'Let's be there to encourage each other in our walk with God'. From my experience when you consciously make that decision then you focus a lot more on it. Pray, envision, minister with, and confess sin to brothers you can trust. The Bible asks this."

I hope that any of this helps somebody as I am also going through this. I find that expressing these struggles and lessons allows me to remain humble and to remind me, as well as everybody else, that we are all human and need God's love and grace as he conducts his work on us and through us. It's great to be writing about real life rather than some fantasy sometimes.

Peace be with you and keep it real with Jesus!

-Alex