Once upon a time I started a blog series called 'What Is Love?' and I was going to blog each day/week/whenever about each description of love from 1 Corinthians. Of course, that failed. But lately that passage has really been in my head. I started thinking about it because I have a friend who whenever she gets in a play argument with someone will say to herself "Love is patient, love is kind. Love is patient, love is kind." Just to joke around. But I really thought about that and thats actually a really good idea. So God has put that in my head a lot. Whenever I get angry or fed up with someone I'll start to go over what the bible says love is. I've really been learning a lot from that passage in many different ways and I want to go over them with you. I had wanted to do it as a blog series in case it got long but oh well.
One angle I've been looking at it from is this: When someone is getting on my last nerve whether it be my siblings or a friend or whoever, I'll remind myself that love is patient and kind. And another angle is this: I want to be able to love someone that way some day, as in, a romantic love. One day I want to be able to love my husband with that sort of love; to be patient and kind and not arrogant. So in practicing this now I am preparing myself for the future. Today I wrote out these verses twice, just to make them stick. I've had a lot going on with my friends the best few months so this is really good stuff to keep in mind. I've been trying to see how I can practice each attribute of love in the situations I have with my friends.
Love is patient. That's the first one and it might be the hardest; because lets be honest, who likes waiting? It can be very hard to do but its what we are called to do.
Love is also kind. Sure that seems fairly easy, but what about when your friend is being less than kind to you? How can you demonstrate kindness to them even when it isn't mutual?
Love isn't jealous. This is a very tricky one for me and its the one that really sticks out to me. I can say without a doubt in my mind that I love my friends, but I am such a jealous person. So do I really love my friends the way Christ wants me to?
Love doesn't brag and isn't arrogant. Have you ever just wanted to shove something in someones face to stinkin bad? Because I know I have. Like, HA! Sucks to suck! I can really be a jerk at times. But why would I want to brag to someone I love? Is that something that Jesus would do? Heck no.
Love doesn't act unbecomingly. Or a different translation says "dishonor others." I really thought hard about those words the other day. It doesn't act unbecomingly. That means it is always in check and doesn't act out of line. It is respectful and treats others well. That means love isn't "wild" or "crazy" as the world likes to tell us, in fact, its quite the opposite. Love is kept in check,
Love doesn't seek its own. This one....you see, I'm also really selfish. The first thing that pops into my head during a situation is "How does this benefit me?" and if it doesn't benefit me, then what's the point, right? Well obviously my flesh is wrong and its then that I need to let the Holy Spirit guide me. I've been really praying for a renewing of my mind because I want the first thing I think of to be "How can I help someone else, even if it means giving up what I want."
Love is not provoked. Or "is not easily angered." That can also go hand in hand with patience. That means listening to others and not throwing out your opinion whenever you have one and biting your tongue to not let hurtful words come out.
Love doesn't take into account a wrong suffered. Love keeps no track record. Real love, the love Christ wants us to use, doesn't say "Well remember that one time when you..." No. God doesn't look at us and say "Well you sinned X amount of times today so..." That means we shouldn't do the same with our friends or significant others or our family. Don't hold grudges.
Love doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but in truth. Don't envy wicked people, don't praise sin or lift up unholiness. Rejoice in truth; God's truth.
Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Hard, huh? Can you bear all things? Can you hope in the best, even in the worst? Can you endure even the worst of situations instead of walking out? This is where I think of romantic love. One day I want to have the kind of love that will believe no matter what situation my husband and I find ourselves in. I want our hope to be in the Lord. I can only pray that the man God has for me is learning that same lesson now.
Love never fails. My brother did an amazing talk about these verses at youth group one night last year and it left us all in tears. He talked about how can people believe all that this chapter says about love because we experience the opposite. Marriages fall apart all the time, relationships crumble, and friends drift away. But yet the bible's truth still stands. Love never fails. The love God has for us never fails. Of course, we're human and we fail, but the love we should strive for is this never ending, patient, unprovoked, love. My dad left my family. I remember asking him all the time about the day he met my mom and I adored hearing that story and I always wanted a husband who would tell his kids all about how he met me with a smile on his face and a light in his eyes. After all that happened with my dad my faith in love was a bit shaken. But I still believe in all that the bible says. Love is scary, it takes faith and it requires great risk. Love means putting your heart out on the line and taking a chance knowing you could get hurt.
One day I want to be able to love someone in this way. I hope God has set this desire in his heart as well to love me in this way. But right now I get the honor of practicing this with friends and family and learning to be the bestest friend I can be. And that means not smacking someone with a brick, even when it seems like a good idea, and choosing to love them.