On to Chapter 2 of TLAM. Titled “Our Love Isn’t Like Your Love” Harvey uses this chapter to set out three ways women can know a man loves them. From TLAM:
“How do you know a man loves you? Simple: [Ut oh, here he goes again simplifying stuff]. He will do each of the following things.” (TLAM, p. 22)
“…the man who truly has feelings for you—will give you a title.” (TLAM, p. 22).
Here Harvey posits that if a man is in love with you he’s going to tell any and everybody about you. You’ll have a title that extends far more than friendship. Makes sense, right? I guess so. If you’re a woman looking for a title. If you’re merely looking for a title from a man—a mouth profession that you’re his— then you’re selling yourself short.
I drive a Ford Mustang. My glove compartment is full of plenty of items. My owner’s manual, maintenance history on the car, and other random paperwork. Buried beneath all of that paperwork—somewhere beneath all the mess—is my car’s title. I never pull it out and inspect it. That is, until I need it. You know, when I get in a bind for committing a traffic violation or something.
Be careful with believing that a man giving you a title has anything to do with him loving you. There are men out there who never pull that title out until they need it. They’re in a bind. They’ve committed a violation. Of course they’ll reach over in that “glove compartment” and give you any title you think you need. As long as he gets off.
“…you will know a man is serious about you once he claims you.” (TLAM, p. 24)
Whoa! I think this is a bit patronizing. A woman isn’t a piece of property. I never “claimed” my wife. I guess he’s trying to say that this signifies that a woman is taken. But there’s a hint of chauvinism in that statement. Matter fact, as a Christian woman, there’s only one person who can truly claim you. And that’s your redeemer, Jesus Christ. If more men understood that women were already Christ’s possession, they’d handle our sisters’ hearts with the care our Creator calls for.
Harvey then moves to the second pillar upon which he stands when it comes to recognizing a man loves you. Provision.
“…a man who loves you will bring that money home to make sure that you and the kids have what you all need. That is our role—our purpose.” (pp. 24-25)
You’ll know a man loves you if he brings money home that takes care of home. That’s men’s roles. That’s men’s purpose.
I’d say I agree with one portion of that statement. Men do have an innate sense of responsibility. But here’s where things get dicey. There are men (and women) who’ll read this to mean that this is the man’s only role. As long as a brother is bringing home the bacon, he can do whatever else he pleases. Because he’s a provider. Never mind the fact his kids don’t see him—ever. Never mind the fact that he does nothing else to affirm his significant other. A slippery slope here, if I’ve ever seen one.
“It is your right to expect that a man will pay for…your club entry fee.” (TLAM p. 27)
Yo, did I just read that? Here’s what I read. My sister, you have a right to let this brother pay for you to get into a smoke-filled, alcohol-laden nightclub. Awesome! Paying a club entry fee isn’t showing you how much a man loves you nor is it showing you how much he’s providing for you. It shows he’s ignorant and doesn’t value you enough. Especially when you’re talking about a relationship where both parties are Christians.
On to the third pillar.
“When a man truly loves you anybody who says, does, suggests or even thinks about doing something offensive to you stands the risk of being obliterated.” (TLAM p. 30)
I promise, I won’t disagree with everything Harvey has to say in this book. Like I mentioned before, he does have some good things to say about relationships. And this is one of those things. His final suggestion is that you’ll be able to determine a man’s love for you based on his willingness to protect you. Though I wouldn’t go as far as saying men should obliterate others who offend their significant other, there’s seems to be an Adamic nature in men to restore what was lost in Eden. We blew it. When God asked Adam what happened, Adam passed the blame to Eve. He was supposed to protect her, but didn’t step up when he had the opportunity. Though we’re born into sin and have Adam-like tendencies, there does seem to be a protective, God-given DNA in men to protect. Whether it’s our mom, wife, sister, or daughter, a lot of men are protectors. So kudos to Harvey for recognizing that role.
Overall though, in this post I wanted to point out a few caveats when it comes to profession and provision. I’d hate to see Christian women (and men) dangerously view these two pillars as an end all be all when it comes to ways to know a man loves. I’d rather stick with what God says.
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 Cor. 13:4-7
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