Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13
We live in a world that has misunderstood the biblical meaning of love. We have made our determination of love whether or not something makes us happy. This is why we see so many marriages ending. People are unhappy, therefore they don’t “love” the other person anymore. That person was unable to make them happy and so in turn, they have decided to break their marriage vows and head their separate ways. This is the expected outcome from a world that is dying in sin. But, our lives as forgiven believers should be very different. Our marriages, our parenting, our relationships should be founded upon the love that Paul is writing about to the people of Corinth.
One part that I really took note of in this verse is “love suffers long and is kind” The meaning behind this portion of the scripture is that love is patient. Patience means: able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
A few days ago, report cards were coming close to being due at school. My husband had been super busy and was struggling to get them done. My first response was that he should have done things in a different order, and it was his own fault that they were not done. The night before they were due, we had bible study at church. My husband didnt come home after school because he had a meeting that led right into Bible study. So I was already flustered that I had to get the kids ready by myself, pack them all up, and bring them to church. As I was yelling at my kids to get their coats on for the gazillionth time (my spell check says that is not a word, but you get the point), I ran upstairs to get my son a new pair of socks. On my way down the stairs, I didnt know that my kiddos had dumped a bottle of bubbles at the top of the stairs. (grandma always buys them bubbles, I cant think of any activity that I hate more than bubbles because they are always getting spilled inside…always!) I was in a hurry, I hit that puddle of bubbles and flew down the wooden stairs on my backside. I rarely cry from pain, but let me tell you….I CRIED!! Very loud. I think it stunned all of my kids.
I crawled across the floor crying as I put my kids shoes on. All of them were stunned, not a peep came out of their mouths. (shocking, I know!) I got to church, and started feeling sorry for myself. I was alone, I just got hurt, and not to mention those blasted report cards were like a dark cloud hanging over my head. In my pity, I decided to leave Bible study because I needed a break. I cried the whole way home, telling the Lord that I was done serving, done helping my husband, done cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, scrubbing toilets, just plain done….with everything!
I got home, and put my kids to bed, then I laid in bed crying to God. The scripture in Corinthians came to mind. God reminded me in that moment how patient He is with me, how He sacrificed all that He had for me, and that His love toward me never changes.
How could I not be patient, loving and kind? Remember the meaning of patience? Patience means: able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. My love was not patient. I was definitely annoyed and anxious! How could I not be willing to serve anymore and do the things that God has called me to do? When I think about His perfect love toward me, how can I not love Him and serve Him in return? How can I not love others this way when He loves me this way?
Ladies, we can serve God, do all the things that He has called us to, but if we don’t do it out of love we have missed the goal. We must understand that God’s love goes far deeper than we can imagine, and our desire should be to love as He loves. “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” Psalm 145:8 May our love be patient, rich, and compassionate towards one another.