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Posts Tagged ‘Love is’

Sitting at a wedding recently, the ‘love chapter’ was read.

1 Corinthians 13 is a pretty common passage read at weddings, after all a wedding is all about love, and this passage certainly fits the bill.

There is a portion of the reading that always catches my ear, my thoughts …

“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”
(v. 4-7)

Whenever I hear those words read at a wedding ceremony, my ‘experienced’ married brain of twenty-three plus years, thinks, ‘they have no idea what love is, no idea how difficult it will be to keep loving.’

Now I don’t mean to be so negative at such a special event. It’s just that … well, after twenty-three plus years in the marital trenches I understand that soon the firing will start and both of those individuals who ‘love’ each other will be experiencing what it is to be shell shocked.

Let’s unpack this!

“Love is patient,
Other than the fashionably late bride, has there really been much practice of patience before they say ‘I do’?

love is kind.
Being kind might be more difficult when he is sick, and she is PMS’ing (so I’ve heard).

It does not envy,
What happens when one is experiencing great success at their career, and the other is experiencing a time of stagnation?

it does not boast,
Sometimes this is heard in phrases like, “my mom makes much better turkey stuffing” or “my dad always filled the gas tank for my mom.”

it is not proud.
“my chair,” “my remote,” “my chocolate,” “my money,” “my body” … just put ‘my’ in front of it and you’ve got pride.

It does not dishonor others,
They have not had time to tell their private stories, of the other, to their girlfriends, their guy friends.

it is not self-seeking,
Lets face it, in the beginning, a relationship is truly born out of self-seeking. They meet the needs of each other, and it is in the meeting of needs that their attraction for the other grows. The difficulty is that we often ignore this part of the passage, as soon as it is said. When, in realty, it should be on our lips, and in our minds from sun up ’til bedtime at night. I really believe that if we can drop self-seeking in the early days, we might have a better chance of staying together. How many couples, years (or months) after the marriage say, “but, they don’t meet my needs anymore …”?

it is not easily angered,
On the wedding day, it is easier to not be easily angered … there has been no anniversary to forget, or in laws to insult.

it keeps no record of wrongs.
This is sooooo much easier in the beginning, when there has not yet been enough time to have wronged each other, when there is so little baggage to make you say things like, “but, you always do …”

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
At the beginning of a marriage both individuals are filled with hope for the future (otherwise why would they do it?), they are not anticipating the negative, the nasty.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”
These are the optimistic four! Can the couple keep protecting, trusting, hoping … can the couple persevere through all of the stuff of real, honest to goodness living together … ’til death do them part?

I’m not saying a newly married couple knows nothing of love, just that newly married love is often untested, untried. It is only as the years pass that love will really be defined and purified in how they love each other …

and the greatest of these (faith, hope and love) is

love.

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After twenty-two years of marriage, let me tell you what I think love is …

Love is honoring … that means that you do what is best for the other person.  It means that you make the other person look and sound good to others. Putting your significant other down puts your relationship down further … don’t do it!

Love is work. When you met you may have ‘fallen’ effortlessly in love with your sweetie … how … precious. Do not expect that staying in love will be so effortlessly. Staying ‘in love’ will take daily effort, and some days might take hourly effort. Remember old Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid movie would say wax on wax off … that is the kind of work it takes to keep the love machine rolling.

Love is sacrificial … if you thought work was gonna be tough, try sacrifice. This means that you give, before, not in response to, receiving. Hum, that means you do what is best for the other person, even if it means you have to stretch, or bend. or even watch the football movie, Rudy, for the millionth time, just because it is his favorite movie, and you would rather watch P. S. I Love You (that does go both ways though, just remember, sacrifice is not sacrifice if we do it SO THAT our significant other will do back for us).

Love is respect … mutual respect. It is looking at your other half as a whole. It is seeing their value through the eyes of one who created them. It is seeing them as valuable because their Creator is made them with purpose, as He did you.

Love is trust. A relationship is not a loving one if there is not trust of the other person. When one lays their life in the hands of another, intimacy is only present if trust is as well.

Love is forgiveness, because if you are in love with a human, you will need to learn to forgiven. There will be times when Mr. or Mrs. (or Ms.) right does something wrong … there will be times when you (and I) are the ones who are doing the wrong … if love is to survive, forgiveness must thrive.

Love is commitment … that means you stay together, for the long haul. There are no escape clauses, there are no backup plans. If it is love, it is committed, or it is not love.

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.
Ruth 1:16-17

And that is what I think love is.

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