Intensely felt, openly demonstrated love between manly men of God—who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Three ways to create that culture in our churches:
One, “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Rom. 12:10). No flippant put-downs. No undercutting. Not even waiting for the next guy to make the first move and open up. But me getting out of my self-concern to lift the next man up with high honor, which is what he deserves. Doing this verbally, unashamedly, openly, gladly.
Two, “Bear with one another” (Col. 3:13). Not trying to change one another, not pressuring one another. Who appointed us to that role? Our privilege is to bear with one another’s “weaknesses and oddities, which are such a trial to our patience, . . . to break through to the point where we take joy in [the other man’s quirkiness]” (Bonhoeffer, Life Together, page 101). There is room in this non-crisis calm for every man to grow.
Three, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths but only such as is good for building up” (Eph. 4:29). Nothing could be more unAmerican than us freely denying ourselves our right of free speech. But men of God filter every word according to a higher standard. Even if the words wanting to come out of my mouth are factually true, the real question is, Are my words positively helping the man listening?
Manly men of God loving one another intensely are a life-giving social environment, that our angry world will look upon with astonishment.