OK, so a little personal embarrassing confession time here.
When I was younger, I liked the music of Clay Aiken. I actually got made fun of at school for it. But I liked it. One of his standout songs was “Measure of a Man.” The chorus is catchy, and it gets stuck in my head every now and then even though I can’t remember the last time I listened to it.
It goes like this:
Would he walk on water?
Would he run through fire?
Would he stand before you, when it’s down to the wire?
Would he give his life up to be all he can?
Is that, is that, is that how you measure a man?
Say what you will about Clay Aiken and his musical prowess or lack thereof, but I think there’s something quite insightful about those lyrics.
What defines how you measure a man? According to Proverbs, it’s something you might not expect.
Proverbs 19:22 and 20:6 say,
What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar…Many a man proclaims his steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?
Steadfast love is to be most desired in someone. Not an overwhelming amount of knowledge, not skill at a trade, not even spiritual acumen, but the trait most desired is steadfast love.
What is steadfast love? It’s love that doesn’t sway or change due to feelings, circumstances, obstacles, whatever. It’s a love that stays the same. Really, it’s the way God loves.
So what’s most important for someone, what’s most desired, is steadfast love, a love that doesn’t change, a love that stays the same through the ages. A love that looks like this:
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. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
That is what is most desired in a man.