when men say ‘I love you’ (to each other)


In chatting with a mate of mine about why his sister divorced her husband, he gave this wise insight; “she married him because she thought he was the strong silent type. It turned out he was silent only.” Well, there you have it, the problem with men. Saying “I love you” may be a thought the male brain carries, though not frequently all the way to the lips.


Imagine my surprise recently, sitting amongst a bunch of men—real men—(think the toughest bunch of big wave surfers on the planet) when from the lips of more than one I hear the words “I love you” and “I loved that guy”. We were holding hands too (pictured above). Let me add two qualifiers immediately, the context was that of a funeral and that of a Christian man. Pierre du Plessis was one of the most respected big wave surfers in South Africa, a pioneer and a legend in his own time. (That’s Pierre sliding out from underneath the wave!) But, he was also a Christian, a family man and a church man. Perhaps this is the reason for the uttering of the unutterable amongst men.


I was taken aback a little. Not all there were followers of Christ, but each one came under the power of the moment. It is true that there is kinship amongst extreme sportsmen and adventurers, especially surfers, but it was present in greater dimension on the day. In a telling sort of way, suggestive of sacrifice and meaning possible in death. “We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. He who does not love abides in death … we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 Jn 3:14,16)

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