There are many passages concerning love, but for my discussion, a passage used by many couples as part of their wedding ceremony comes to mind.
- 1Corinthians 13:4-7
- Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful, or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Take this passage phrase by phrase to see how God wants us to love.
- Love is patient
- The dictionary meaning for patient is; bearing annoyance, pain, etc. without complaint or anger.
So love will stand up through adversity--for as long as it takes.
- And kind
- Synonyms for this would be; gentle, tender, and compassionate. It implies a willingness to do good, to serve, or to give pleasure.
- Love is not jealous,
- The word jealous implies being resentful or envious of other's good fortune.
- Or boastful,
- This is the habit of speaking with excessive pride or vanity. This shows no humility.
- Or proud,
- Being proud is believing in one's superiority in some respect.
Being boastful or proud involves having your attention focused inward and not on others.This is not a characteristic of a humble person.
- or rude
- This is being discourteous or impolite and is the opposite of being kind.
- Love does not demand its own way.
- Loving someone involves compromise even to the extent of giving up the need to be right.
- Love is not irritable,
- Being irritable is being easily moved to impatience or anger.
- and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
- Each and every offense is forgiven and forgotten, never to be mentioned again.
- It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
- Romans 12:15
When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.
- Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- Love is strong through the good times and the bad.
Can we reflect this kind of love in our own lives? It is a tall order, yet we are told to extend love to everyone, not just our husband, wife, family or even close friends.
- John 15:12
- I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.
As you can see, this is a difficult commandment. On our own we are not able to love in the way God describes, but when we ask, He will give us the strength to love as He commands it.
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