THIS MONTH'S THEME: R.E.A.L. MEN
One of the most beautiful relationship moments I ever had with a man was after the passing of his grandmother. I will explain. Despite being together a few years, my relationship with my former beloved's family still felt more cordial than close. But not Madea. Her and Paw Paw were altogether different. We did not visit often, but when we did I always hoped for quality time on her porch. It did not matter how brief our time together, this woman knew me, she knew my pain, and she absolutely knew her grandson. My relationship with him is long over and I still feel the loss of that woman. As the family gathered to celebrate her life, I sensed my beloved at the time was, in some way, also celebrating us. That was a big deal for me and unexpected for I had experienced hard times trying to love this hard man. Most men keep their vulnerability close to the vest but his was on another level. I know now I spent most our relationship with his representative and not him. Mourning Madea was one of the few times I got to see the man I fell in love with hiding inside. So, what changed? After years of construction, I believe his heart no longer had the strength to keep building a wall between us. I just had to make sure I was still standing when it came down. Madea's passing gave us the most tender and loving moments of our entire relationship.
Vulnerability is Not Weakness
No doubt I still have much to learn, but that relationship taught me a crucial element about love...
Love is more than words, more than gifts, more than public displays of affection. Love is a safe place to fall, and we all need a safe place to fall.
“Let me in, dear companion, dearest friend, my dove, consummate lover! I’m soaked with the dampness of the night, drenched with dew, shivering and cold.” ~Songs of Songs 5:2b, The Message Translation
Brothas, vulnerability is not weakness. You deserve to be loved. You need a safe place to fall. You do not have to live your life as a representative.
Accessibility is Everything
Another thing I learned during that season is accessibility is everything to a man.
I have taken off my robe— must I put it on again? I have washed my feet— must I soil them again? My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him. I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the bolt. I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer. ~Song of Songs 5:3-6, New International Version
Sistas, men do not articulate pain as often and in the same way we do. Being accessible to him when he finally does express his vulnerability is crucial.
Love is inconvenient. If you love him, get over the inconvenience and be that safe place to fall. It does not take anything away from you to love like love.
I still believe in love. I still believe God has someone for me to love and that will love me as well, so I hold these lessons close to her heart. I am going need them.
In the meantime, God can choose the one for whom I will be a safe place and will be a safe place for me.
Are you a safe place?
I hope you have been blessed so far by the R.E.A.L. Men series. I admit it has ministered to me in ways I did not expect. What about you? Reply back and let me know. In the meantime, we close out in love next week! See you then.
Equipping You for Intimacy, Transparency, and Destiny with Christ.