Love and Insecurity

Disciple making is a love relationship.  Love is hard work, so it should be expected that the first months with your disciple are difficult.  You should not be surprised when you come up against instability, fear, contractions, resistance, anger, and moodiness in the life of your disciple.  He may become evasive and lash out at you, even though you have reached out to him with love. These are not unlike the relational issues Paul encountered in the lives of his disciples in Ephesus.  He pled: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Paul goes on to tell these disciples that rather they are to “Be imitators of God  . . . and live a life of love.” Ephesians 4:31-5:2

You can expect your disciple to test you in three areas:

  1. Trust.  Your disciple will send up “trial balloon” stories and behaviors to see how you will respond before he will trust you enough to share his deepest wound, shame, or fear.  This trust can takes months or even years to build.  (Note: Be careful! What you assume to be his deepest wound may not be, and what seems trivial to you could be the source of his inner pain.)
  2. Commitment.  He will test the commitment of your love by withholding his commitment from you.  He will ask himself: “Will this friendship last? Or will I just add this to my list of other relational disappointments?” Persistence over the long haul will communicate love to your disciple.  (Note: It is important for him to learn how to love you as well as how to receive love from you.)
  3. Insecure people like to control.  Some will try and control the relationship believing that by taking control they will be safe.  He will purposefully test you probing for weaknesses in your life in order to try and manipulate you, deflecting the attention off of him and onto you.   (Note: Some will seek to pull you into the drama of their own life.)

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