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Love Is Demanding

I never thought I would write about one of the most over used and most often ignored passages in The Bible.

It really hit me when a guy from our small group shared his testimony and read this passage along with it.  This verse makes more sense to me and is more clear to me now than the 100 times I had read/heard it before.  You know the saying, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”?  Well, it applies here.  I now see how true that cliche really is.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (The Message)

There are a couple of lines that really stand out to me in light of my experiences with love this year.

Love never gives up

Love cares more for others than for self…In relationships – especially marriage, it is easy to do “stuff” for your spouse and think, “I just racked up some points.”  What it’s saying instead of considering the “points”, we do these things JUST because we want to care for our spouse and honor our relationship.  This also helps us avoid building up unspoken expectations.  According to this verse, there are no points in “real” love.

Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others and puts up with anything… This one really hit home for me.  I can’t relive the times my wife hurt me so I can justify rude, hurtful or, in my case, silent behavior.  Once it’s forgiven, it is to never be used against the one you love again.

I have gained a fresh perspective on loving someone unconditionally as well as living under the illusion of love.  I have been guilty of claiming to love but not having all the attributes listed above.  I have experienced the claim of love for me with many of these pieces missing as well.  I truly believe now that if I look for someone else to love me like this description, there will most likely be disappointment.  If I choose to love to the best of my ability like this, my love may come back to me more purely than I ever expected.

I am called to give it my best effort.

Can any of us claim to have perfect love for anyone or anything?  These are pretty demanding statements.

How have you experienced love like this?
How have you shown love like this?

I would actually love to hear about it.

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