The Value of Being a One Woman Man

I have spoken on marriage and the family in previous articles. I do not apologize for doing so again.

Somewhere in my past I heard a quote that has stuck with me through the years. I do not remember its source, and I am not sure that I recall it exactly as I first heard it. But here it is, as best I can remember: Any man can love many women, but only a real man can love one woman throughout his whole life. This struck me as sound advice, and so I have made it my ambition to be a "one woman man."
On the day we take our vows, every couple wants their love to last a lifetime. But when the struggles of life set in, fewer and fewer keep the commitment so beautifully articulated before the altar. 

And so, if you are struggling in your marriage and facing the temptation to move on to greener pastures, it may prove helpful to be reminded of the tremendous value of loving only one woman for a lifetime. (If you have already suffered through one or more divorces, this article is for you as well. You ought to start afresh and commit to be a "one woman man" from here on out.)

One value to remember is kids. You know this already, but you need to hear it again. We tell ourselves that our kids need a good education, the latest toys, their own room, and opportunities to excel at sports and music and much more. 

But when it all boils down, our kids need to know that we love them. And men, the best way to love our children is to love their mother. 
As a child grows into adulthood, there is nothing more important to their security and development than knowing that Dad loves Mom. 
So do not give into the deception that whispers into your ear that the kids will be fine if we split up and go our separate ways. Yes, kids will learn to cope. But they will not be fine.

A second value in being a "one-woman man" has to do with the church. I am convinced that our churches are only as strong as our homes.

So often we are lured into thinking that the two do not influence one another. I am not saying that only perfect homes should be allowed in the church. These kinds of homes do not exist, and I would have to leave myself. 

But the church should make it a priority to teach those principles which will strengthen marriages. Men, one of the most important ways in which you can serve the church is to love your wife.  You have responsibilities heaped upon you from many places, but none of them really amount to much if you fail to love your wife. It is no accident that God tells us in I Peter 3:6-7 that if we are not considerate of our wives, our prayers will be hindered.

Thirdly, being a "one woman man" is personal in nature. When we choose to move from one woman to another we are choosing to stunt the growth of our character. 

God has perfectly designed the marriage relationship to be a furnace for forging godliness.  It is only as relationships grow deep over time that weaknesses and flaws are revealed and can be worked on between the husband and wife. 

When we move on, we must begin again on the surface. Shallowness is the result. But men, seek to be loyal to your wife. 
I am not simply speaking of outward fidelity either. Seek to be loyal in your thought-lives as well.  This will require extreme self-control. But for those who enter the struggle and refuse to give into selfish and sinful lusts, personal integrity and character will flourish.  And you will be able to have a good and healthy pride in being a real man. (As you are faced with the frustration of not possessing self-control, along with your own inability to fix yourself, you will be driven to Jesus, both for forgiveness and for a new Spirit-inspired strength to overcome your sin.)

Most important of all the values (and I have not exhausted the list in this short article) in being a "one woman man" is that of knowing Jesus Christ. 

I believe that God has designed the marriage relationship to most perfectly express the love of Jesus Christ for his people. 
Jesus loved his bride when we were most unlovable. He did not wait for us to meet him halfway.  He suffered the pain and heartache of bearing our selfish and sinful attitudes and actions upon himself. He committed to give his life so that we could be cleansed and forgiven. But he does not stop here.  He establishes us in a loving relationship with himself. The beauty of this love is not only that Jesus gives it freely, but also that the love itself elicits a response within our hearts. This powerful love actually draws us out of our addiction to selfishness and into a life of selflessness. When we as men quit in our pursuit of oneness with our wife, we short-circuit our ability to see clearly the quality of the love of Christ.

There was a time in my life when I thought it was "manly" to love as many girls as possibly. Now I know that this is not manliness, it is foolishness. Learning to love one woman for a lifetime… this is the path to manhood. 

Men, for your kids, for your churches, for your own sake, and for your ability to see Jesus, be "a one woman man."

Mike Thompson is the pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .