March 26, 2012

Love Is


Our society is obsessed with love.

Or at least, its idea of what love is.

But so often, what people consider to be love is really a cheap imitation. It copies some aspects of real love in order to fool people. Then, when the imitation’s false surface begins to chip away, those people believe love has failed.

But really, it wasn’t love to begin with.

Love is more than attraction. It’s more than what the good times bring. As the former Christian rock band DC Talk said, “Love is a verb.”

One of the most-quoted sections of the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. And it’s—you guessed it—all about love.

Love is patient, love is kind.
Love doesn’t grow tired of waiting. Love doesn’t grow huffy when a spouse forgets to throw his socks in the hamper AGAIN. Love chooses to see the best in someone even when she doesn’t deserve it.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Love means wanting the best for others, even if that means a detriment or disappointment for myself. Love means thinking of someone else’s needs before my own. And remember, if this doesn’t come naturally and even if I don’t feel it, that’s okay, because love is an action. It means choosing to put aside petty jealousy or pride.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love means holding back a retort when you feel you have a right to say something. It means not bringing up the mistake your loved one made five years ago. Love is not competitive. Love is not all about trying to bring fairness to your life or relationship.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Love does not tear down. Love does not purposefully hurt. Love does not look like a tear-stained face. Love does not look like a purple bruise. Love, in fact, finds joy in the light.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love defends the innocent. It doesn’t give up. Even when things look dire and a relationship seems doomed, love keeps going. Love doesn’t let circumstances get in the way of its commitment. 

Love never fails.

This last line is the part that gets me most. I know my own love fails...a lot. I don’t always choose to love. I don’t always put into action the commitment I’ve made to love others. I am impatient. I am envious. I am petty.

But the ultimate source of Love, the one who embodies it, well, HE DOES NOT FAIL.

Amen. Over and over, amen.

Your Turn: What aspect of love is the hardest for you to put into action? What aspect is the easiest?

14 comments:

  1. This is so true. The hardest for me? Cooking for my family, especially a certain person to whom it would mean a lot. Ironing for him too. Those are hard for me (I guess basically putting my own desires aside for his).
    What comes easily? Hmmm. I think I'm okay with the unconditional thing. I love him for who he is, even the parts I don't care for.
    Wonderful post!

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    1. It is definitely difficult to put aside our own desires for those we love, isn't it?

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  2. Old school DC Talk!! Love it!

    I think the hardest part for me is the part about it not being self-seeking. It's just too easy, even in actively loving someone else, for it to be all about me...and then what kind of love is that?

    The easiest, I think, is the part about protecting, trusting, hoping, persevering...those parts of it come more naturally to me. Maybe it's the first-born in me that loves to protect and persevere...I don't know... :)

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    1. The Jesus Freak album was my first Christian CD ever! :P

      And I love what you said about the first born wanting to protect. I feel that way about my little brother for sure.

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  3. Always trusts...that one can get confusing for me.

    I needed this today. Thank you.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. Trusting others can be sooo hard, especially when we've been hurt before. Praying this for you, friend.

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  4. Love is patient is the hardest for me, because I'm typically not a patient person. Every day is progress though! :)

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    1. I sooo hear ya, Jess!! I'm not patient either.

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  5. For me? It's listening. I have a hard time just stopping whatever it is I am doing and just listen to my son or my husband.

    Ugh!!

    I hate being THAT busy. I am working on improving my listening skills. I know the Lord will help me with that part of love.

    Great post!

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    1. Totally agree, Ruth. Listening is an acquired skill. It just takes lots of practice.

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  6. I kept picturing the image of Jesus on the cross as I read this post. We're doing an in-depth study of Easter in my small group, and it's reminding me just how deep His love is.

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    1. The ultimate showing of love...amen to that, right?

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  7. I love ((wink)) that particular passage in 1 Corinthians. My cousin had it framed and gave it to us as a wedding gift. The ability to be patient, to trust, to keep no record of wrongs, to forgive, etc., ebbs and flows in my own life. Amen to your conclusion: to dwell on the fact that God's love never fails.

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    1. So true, Barb. At different times in our lives, we may struggle with different things. The important thing is to focus on the Lord and constantly ask Him to help us love others.

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