Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


“Love is Manly”

You might have heard the phrase, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Cor. 13:11).

You’d think Paul wrote this phrase right after his call to the Corinthian men to “act like men” in 1 Corinthians 16:13. But he didn’t. Instead he wrote it after a passage you expect to find ensconced in crochet or festooned on flowery greeting cards:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Yeah, the “love” chapter. “Love” in our culture is like WD-40. We spray it on everything: I love burgers; I love the Cowboys; I love my wife. Hopefully our love for our wives means more than our love for cooked cow or grown men tackling each other. Paul indicates there a came a time in his life when he grew out of an immature, boyish love and embraced a more mature, and dare we say, manly love.

If we’re going to love our wives like Christ loved the church, we must let the boy die. And in marriage, that’s far easier said than done. Check out the comparisons below:

Boys retaliate quickly when hurt; manly love is patient and kind.
Boys require constant affirmation; manly love is not arrogant or rude.
Boys stew, stammer, and hold grudges when they don’t get their way; manly love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.
Boys try to win every argument; manly love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Boys have a short fuse; manly love bears all things.
Boys write people off when wronged; manly love believes God’s best for the relationship.
Boys lose hope after they’re hurt; manly love always hopes for reconciliation regardless of the pain.
Boys expect to be served; manly love endures all things.

What’s one way to let the boy die in you this week? Endure a minor offense? Reflect on a criticism rather than retaliate? Serve in a tangible way (i.e. put the toilet seat down, offer to take the kids when you are tired, make the bed with all the throw pillows placed perfectly, etc…)?

At the end of his letter to this small church in Corinth, Paul wrote, “stand firm, act like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). This might have been Paul’s way to say, “BE UNCOMMEN!” Then he says, “let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14). One of the manliest things a man can do is love his wife in a manly way.

You can find manly ways to love your wife at www.uncommen.org

Adapted from Playing Hurt: A Guy’s Strategy for a Winning