“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
Manliness has taken a beating in our modern world. It is often either denied or distorted. It’s difficult even mentioning manliness without turning it into a joke somehow.
But the gospel is so comfortable with God’s created order that manliness has a vital place. Paul takes all he has taught in 1 Corinthians — the humility of the gospel, sexual integrity, marriage and singleness, personal entitlements, how to take communion, spiritual gifts, the resurrection — he translates all that theology into this practical summary: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
Act like men? Yes. Calvin: “He encourages them to be manly and courageous.” And Paul gives this charge to the entire congregation in Corinth — men and women, boys and girls. I remember reading about a Scottish mother whose son had been taken prisoner of war. She didn’t go into hysterics. Her comment was, “God have mercy on the man who’s chained to our Davy!”
Like the valiant Jesus himself, “the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1).