1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man…
Let us examine this love as it manifests itself in the child, and afterward in the man. Love in childhood is but love "in part." It is lovely and lovable, but it is not perfect; it is not the truest love. The love of manhood takes up the germ of love in the child, like as the tree absorbs and develops the germ in the seed. The child's love is love, but it is founded in ignorance, and is the creature of impulse.
I. THAT THE ATTAINMENT TO MANHOOD IN LOVE COSTS AN EFFORT. You are not only to develop out of the child's love, but you are to "put away childish things."
II. MANHOOD IN LOVE PUTS AWAY ONLY CHILDISHNESS, NOT CHILDLIKENESS. All that is good is to be kept by the growing man. The child's love is gentle, sincere, confiding, honest, simple; retain all this, and add to it, by putting away the "childish" peevishness, and ignorance, and vacillations.
1. One of the weaknesses of a child is his longing to outgrow childhood. the apple-tree in blossom is beautiful. So is the perfect tree. A child when a child, a man when a man, are alike beautiful.
2. One of the greatest magnets on earth is a little child. A child is a purifier of our evil thoughts and passions. All that is thus excellent in the child retain, cultivate, put not away.
III. THE CULTIVATION OF A MANLY LOVE, FREE FROM CHILDISHNESS, IS WORTHY OF MANHOOD.
1. When the powers of manly love are enlarged, it is easy to rid ourselves of childishness.
2. Manly love is quite likely to assert itself as we approach manhood.
3. Manly love is of the highest worth "Greatest of these" is love.
4. Manly love moves the hand as well as the heart. It is self-sacrificing and yielding.
5. It is invincible. Becomes strong by "long suffering." It "endures all things."In conclusion —
1. How can we be content with the unripe and the imperfect? We should become men; not be fickle, impulsive, ignorant in our love.
2. Paul's love enabled him to endure as a good soldier. His life was not child's play. Be strong, be manly; "put away childish things" in manly love.
(Thomas Armitage, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.