Love Is …

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

If you are old enough you may remember posters and figurines which attempted to reveal the nature and appearance of love. Love is … a puppy on a summer day, or something like that. Well, I have travelled many miles since those days and I now know what love is and it is a lot more simple than we ever knew. In fact, God did the original Love is … poster two thousand years ago. Love is patient, kind, etc.

I started to title this Word of the Day “Marriage Advice” because this is the most clear exposition on love I have ever heard. You could attend a week long marriage seminar and not get as much as this simple yet rich verse reveals. So this is what I would say to a couple seeking pre-marital counseling, if the person you are planning on marrying does not display these characteristics, these behaviors towards you, then don’t marry him/her.

If someone does not exhibit patience, kindness, and the rest then it is not love. Love is …. They may need you, they may have a dysfunctional attachment to you but love is known by the attributes above. Now, we may not always like this truth but truth is truth and you go ahead and marry that person but you will be back for couples counseling later and probably still end up in divorce.

We are not requiring a person to be perfect but love has some characteristics, it leaves evidence. For example, love is not jealous. If your soon to be spouse is jealous then understand that he/she isn’t demonstrating love through that expression. They are expressing ownership. They believe they have the right to own all your time, your thoughts and decisions. And, importantly, he or she does not trust you. Now, what would you say to a friend whose boyfriend or girlfriend tried to control them through jealousy? I am sure you would warn them. Well, take your own advice. Anyone who treats us other than as the verse above enumerates is acting out of some motivation other than love.

You deserve love. Christ brought love. God is love. Live in love.