We all know a guy like this. He’s outgoing, suave, sensitive, and flirtatious. Women flock to him, and because of this he always has a different one on his arm. Some are quick to write him off as a player. Others simply attribute his antics to a deep love for women. And with so many to choose from, there are a lot out there for him to love.
Adam Levine, lead singer of the band Maroon 5, seems to think the same thing; owing his rampant promiscuity is to his love for women. In a recent article, Levine attributes his reputation of sleeping around with many women as a representation of his love for them. He is clear to distinguish his actions with other types of men who do the same thing—namely men who he would call misogynistic and only out for themselves. He on the other hand only loves women and can’t seem to get enough of them. And he doesn’t really seem to care.
But is this love? Does he behave this way because of a deep sense of affection and care for the women that he beds? Hardly.
While the culture celebrates men (and women) who view a myriad of sexual exploits as expressions freedom and love, the Bible tells a very different story. As much as we like to think that as a post-sexual revolution society we are more enlightened and uninhibited than our repressed ancestors, human desire and sin ensure that behavior simply is repackaged for the order of the day. In other words, this liberated sexuality is really not a new idea at all.
Solomon knew this well when he instructed his son to “rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18). At first glance, this verse implies two things about loving a woman well.
- There is only one woman for him to love.
- The love he has for her is to be long-lasting.
Here is the true test of whether a man loves women or not. Does he love one woman well for a lifetime? It’s easy to have sex with a lot of women over the course of your life. But try loving a woman who doesn’t always treat you with the respect you think you deserve. Or try loving a woman who gets sick and needs care, is weaker than you physically, or gets in your way when you want to do something. Real love for women takes hard work, not smooth talk and flattery. Any man can bounce from woman to woman. That’s easy and old news. The real evidence of love and manhood is if you love and stay until your (or her) dying breath—not when her face looks a little worn or another woman comes along.
And girls, this is the type of man you should be looking for. Don’t settle for a man who asserts his manhood through sexual experiences and flirtation. That will not be true love in the end. True love shows restraint when necessary, and especially when she is not his wife. Look for a man who will love you enough to say “no” until your wedding day, and then say “yes” only to you for the rest of your earthly lives.
The ambient culture sees no problem with Levine’s definition of loving women. In fact, in many circles it is the norm now. As Christians, our lives should not mirror the cultural wasteland that we live in. A man (or woman) who follows Christ will look very different when put next to the views of men like Levine. Men who follow Christ are called to love like the One who saved them, not like the world they were saved from. Men who follow Christ serve, instead of take. They die to self, instead of live for self. And they love women by protecting them from the predatory men that seek to devour the women God has given them, all in the name of love.