The Standard for Love
“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
At the risk of sounding like a bragger, please allow me to remind you that I’ve been married forever. Or, as we put it in our younger years in love notes, 4ever. <smile> Being married 4ever doesn’t make me an expert, but I can just about guarantee you that I’ve witnessed everything there is to see in a marriage. I think I’ve shared with you before that a very good friend of mine who happens to be a practicing, licensed Christian psychologist told me several years ago that mine and Tommy’s marriage works so well because we agree on the three most important things: Faith, Parenting, and Money. In that order. Of course, a little sex thrown in never hurt. <wink>
I know Valentine’s Day is a difficult time for some people. Some people are not married. Some of you are not in loving relationships so the love holiday hurts. Many of you lost your love over the course of the past year. But love goes so much farther than a wedding ring. Love exists between friends, among neighbors and within churches. Please allow me to suggest that you send love notes to anyone you love. Friend or foe. Maybe a friend is going through a hard time. Maybe you want to tell your employer thank you for your job. Maybe a neighbor needs a boost in the arm due to burdens on the heart?
If we can really grasp love, we’ll see all relationships improve. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious. Love doesn’t brag or become arrogant, especially during heated conversations. Love is not rude to anyone. Get that? A-N-Y-O-N-E. So, if the bible says love your enemies (which it does), all the attributes listed above should be in play.
Love is not self-serving. Lust isn’t love. If you marry someone or become intimate with someone based on your sexual desire, the relationship is not going to last. Period. Lasting love goes far beyond physical attraction. Lust may feel heavy, but it is a shallow emotion.
Love is not easily angered or resentful. Love knows how to let it go. Again, whether it is between lovers, friends or enemies – love knows how to let go of anger, disappointment and resentment.
Lies are not a part of love. Even if you think you are lying to protect someone, lies and love never go hand in hand.
Want to feel loved? Be lovable. When we love as Jesus loved, we meet His standard for love.