The Four Faces of Manhood: The Face of the Lover - Part 3

Part 3 of 4

We’re in the middle of talking through the Four Faces of Manhood, and today we’ll discuss Part 3. Now if you haven’t read Parts 1 and 2, The Face of the King and The Face of the Warrior, let me encourage you to start there before reading this one.

This being said, let’s talk today about the third Face of Manhood, The Face of the Lover. This is a face that is as unnatural to men as the warrior is natural. That’s because it’s simply more difficult for most of us as men. 

The lover picks up on his wife's real needs. The lover is willing to let go of another good business deal to spend more time at home. The lover opens his heart and shares the things he really feels instead of hiding them and putting on a “strong face.” He can crack open the door to the hurt and pain and his life, and let others enter into that room with him. He can connect around sensitive feelings and navigate the emotional world. The lover also reflects a romantic energy characterized by tenderness, sensitivity, and sacrificial care. He exhibits emotional openness and physical affection. 

Want to see what it looks like to put on the face of a lover? Here’s a portion of a letter from the late, great Johnny Cash to his wife, June…

“We get old and get used to each other. We think alike.

“We read each other’s minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

“But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me.

“You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.”

Turning to Scripture, one of the most poignant places where we see the Face of the Lover is in Ephesians 5:25, which says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

Jesus put on the Face of the Lover for his church. And in the same way, you and I are called to put on that face for our wives (or future wives). A man who knows how to love is one who won’t just give up his life once for the woman in his wife, but will give himself up daily for her.

The king, the warrior, the lover… each of these is so vitally important as we live out God’s calling to biblical manhood. And there’s one more face I see as I look into scripture, The Face of the Friend, which I discuss in my next blog post. I hope you’ll check it out!