You cannot expect someone to love who has not been discipled. To assume that your disciple has a desire to love God, you, and others can frustrate him because he is aware of the relational expectations you have of him but he knows that he cannot fulfill them.
Fear developed in your disciple because of a void of love. This fear disrupts his relationships, which inhibits love, which brings on more insecurity, and so goes the downward cycle. He is afraid of what he does not know how to do and so to ask him to love God or people is to ask him to face a deep fear. That fear leads to frustration and frustration to anger and you may be the recipient of his anger.
The inability of your disciple to build and maintain healthy relationships is a result of a detachment from God caused by a distorted view of God, which may have been brought on by his Christian experience. This distortion developed out of the contradiction of his hearing the message of God’s love in sermons, books, and bible studies that did not match up with his experience whether in his family or church.
As Jesus bridged this breach by the laying down of his life for his disciples so you remove the contradiction in your disciple’s thinking by the laying down of your life for him. The message of love now lines up with his experience.
- You will experience your disciple’s inability to build relationships either by (1) his aversion to connect with you or (2) his outright rejection of you fueled by his fear.
- Laying down your life for your disciple will cost you. It can be a painful experience.
- Parents have the opportunity to daily demonstrate love to their children by the laying down of their lives for one another and also for each child.