Love is patient,
Love is kind.
It does not envy,
It does not boast,
It is not proud,
It is not rude,
It is not deceitful.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil,
But rejoices with the truth.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
Love Never Fails.
~1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This verse has been on my heart a great deal over the last few days.
It has always been one of my favorites,
For its eloquence and beauty.
But it also spells out so clearly what the definition of what true love really is,
And what I as a wife and mother and woman should strive for in the relationships God has blessed me with.
Every time I read it,
It sheds a little light on the areas I am lacking,
But also encourages me that this kind of love is attainable.
I believe in this kind of love,
With everything in me,
I believe that this is something ithat I can experience.
Broken down in its simplest terms,
This is what true love and this verse means:
Love is Patient:
I have a difficult time with patience some days.
My three small children and my husband know this well.
I get overwhelmed and frustrated,
And sometimes allow my emotions to get the best of me.
But love, real love, is patient.
It keeps its cool when you’re boiling on the inside.
It bites it tongue when you want to lash out.
It teaches the same thing again and again,
Just as gently as the first time.
Because even when I absolutely don’t feel like it,
Love, in its purest form, is never short tempered.
It is gentle and calm and gives chance after chance,
No matter how frustrating that can sometimes be.
Love is Kind:
There are plenty of times I want to be sarcastic,
Or say exactly what I am thinking just because it popped into my head.
But real love doesn’t do that.
I don’t think that Paul meant that love never speaks a word that is unflattering,
But even when telling someone an ugly truth that needs to be said,
Doing so with kindness and humility is what love is all about.
Making sure that even criticism is constructive, with a purpose and with only that persons best interest in mind.
Love does not ever use someone as an emotional punching bag,
Allowing them to bear the brunt of frustrations and irritations.
Love has goodness at its root always.
It Does Not Envy:
This one I had a hard time understanding at first.
What does that have to do with love?
But that might be the point,
Envy has no place in a loving relationship.
For me, it means being happy in someone else’s success instead of wishing it for yourself.
It means not being jealous and petty,
Being jealous is nothing but poison to a relationship,
And remembering it has no place in your mind or heart saves a great deal of grief.
It Does Not Boast:
When you love someone,
The last thing you want is to make them feel inadequate.
Being prideful and boasting about yourself or your accomplishments has only one purpose,
To make others feel worse while you feel better.
Loving someone is making them feel good,
And making them feel happy with you when you accomplish something,
Not that you being great makes them less great.
Love is Not Proud:
Pride comes in several forms.
It can be similar to boasting (above),
Or it can be that stubborn bone of contention that makes a silly argument last for weeks.
Its refusing to admit that you are wrong,
Or refusing to apologize for causing someone you love pain.
Because sometimes, even if you were right,
Hurting someone you love is never right.
Pride has no place in love.
When you love someone,
You put their needs first.
Their happiness and well being is at the forefront of your mind and heart,
And pride cares only about itself.
Love is Not Rude:
Being rude to anyone is not okay,
Even if they initiate it,
Even if the last thing they deserve is grace.
But when you love someone,
Being rude is even worse.
Guard your mouth always,
So that the words you say do not leave scars on the heart of those you love.
Love is Not Deceitful:
When you love someone you are honest with them,
Even brutally so sometimes.
You cannot experience love the way it was intended if you lie,
If you keeps secrets,
Or skeletons hidden in the shadows.
The way that you live should be with the ones you love most in mind always,
So that there is never a need to hide things.
Deceit and lies always come out in the end,
And trying to prevent that just causes more hurt and pain than dealing with it outright ever would have.
Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs:
Holding grudges and refusing to let them go,
Poisons a person from the inside out.
It causes a healthy relationship to rot and die,
Leaving nothing but pain and resentment.
Keeping track of the bad things brings misery,
And shifts all your focus from the good;
And love is certainly not miserable or angry.
Love Does Not Delight In Evil:
Love is not evil,
And enjoying bad things,
Especially bad things happening to others is not love.
But Rejoices With The Truth:
Truth is good,
Even when it hurts,
We rejoice over the big things,
And the small things.
We rejoice with accomplishments,
And with goals,
And with anything that makes the person we love happy.
When you love someone,
Their happiness is shared with you.
Love Always Trusts:
Trust is hard for me,
And a lot of others I know.
It’s not that I don’t want to trust people,
It’s that pain and heartache leaves scars behind,
And sometimes one of the hardest things you do is to see past them.
But the thing is, loving someone requires you let go of your past.
Keeping no record of wrongs,
You move on from the things that hurt you,
And you force yourself to give the person you love the benefit of the doubt.
Even when they have hurt you before,
Love requires you to trust that person to do all they can not to cause that same pain again.
Love Always Hopes:
Without hope, what is the point?
No matter what trials are faced today,
We must always cling to the promise that tomorrow holds something better.
We hope for change in the things that hurt us,
Or bring us stress or grief.
We hope that our prayers will be answered,
And that change will come.
We hope that our dreams will come true.
Hope keeps us going,
And gives us the drive and fire to continue on,
Even when it seems there is no reason to.
Love Always Perseveres:
Determination has to be behind every relationship for it to last.
If you cannot persevere through the hard times,
You will never make it to see the good times.
Trials and tribulations are a part of life,
And there will be moments you really don’t like each other;
Arguments that get nasty,
And mistakes will be made you can never take back.
There will be heartache and heartbreak,
And there will be times you will let each other down.
If you keep going on,
With the mindset that no matter what happens,
You are in this forever,
Then you will experience the joy and delight of what true love really is,
And that bliss makes it all worth it.
Love Never Fails:
There is no pain too great,
No mistake too big,
No storm strong enough,
That true love cannot overcome.
It sounds so cliche,
But if you love someone,
Then no matter what happens you will make it through,
Simply because you refuse to surrender.
You must remember that love is many things,
But love is never uncertain,
And as long as you refuse to doubt,
You will succeed.
Real love can hurt,
Sometimes it may have scars from the battles it has fought,
But it is a bond that can never be broken,
Unless you allow it to be.
Love is treating others the way you want to be treated.
Love is giving of yourself without asking anything in return.
Love is working every single day to maintain what you have built,
Never allowing someone else to come in and damage it.
Love is forgiving before ever being asked,
Again and again and again.
Love is sacred,
The most valuable of all achievements.
Love is a journey of faith and trust.
Love is a promise;
Love is a vow,
Never to be broken.
If you cling to the promise of tomorrow,
And you remember all the things above,
Determining what this popular passage means to you,
You will discover something amazing.
The definition of love is right here.
Pure and simple.
And if you embrace is,
And strive to posses it,
Happiness and peace is sure to find you.