Decades ago I heard a popular actor comment regarding his many adulteries, “The number of women you have bedded, whether 5 or 25, is not a measure of your manhood.”
His smirking manner and tone of voice indicated he actually believed just the opposite.
I thought to myself, “On the contrary, the number is a clear measure of your manhood.”
Manhood includes character, the upright character of a one-woman man. Essential parts of character include commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, and promise-keeping.
If a man cannot keep a vow to his wife or respect a woman’s promise to another man, how can he be trusted for anything?
The actor I heard boasting was not a real man—only a male.
An interesting book for Valentine’s Day is the relatively new book (Feb 2006) by Library of Congress curator and historian Gerard Gawalt entitled My Dear President: Letters Between Presidents and Their Wives.
The author collected private thoughts and tender communications between presidents and their wives from presidential libraries, private collections, and the Library of Congress.
Most of the presidential marital correspondence has never been previously published. Gawalt organized the correspondence thematically rather than chronologically. The author adds historical remarks and period photographs to flesh out the context of the correspondence.
Another fascinating book on this subject is The American Leadership Tradition: Moral Vision from Washington to Clinton by editor Marvin Olasky of World Magazine. Olasky demonstrates the connection between leaders’ sexual morality and their policy decisions—which affect all of us.
Olasky discusses 13 leaders including 10 presidents. He evaluates their leadership based on a Biblical worldview. Some of our presidents were real men, but some were only males.
Valentine’s Day is an especially appropriate time to annually review marital promises and recommit to faithfulness—one woman for one man for life.
We can be inspired by some of our leaders but should take warning from others.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my darling!
Soli Deo Gloria.
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday February 13, 2008 A.D.
Read my February 2008 newspaper column:
A Four-Fold Valentine
Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from your own well. Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be yours alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. (Proverbs 5:15-18)