Saturday, May 18, 2013

...and the greatest of these is Love.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." (1 Corinthians 13:4) To some, this may sound a bit cliche.

Surely, most of you have attended at least one wedding that included this passage from scripture. Because of its popularity in wedding vows, I think many people find the scripture to be cliche and do not think much of it beyond vows.

This chapter in the bible is often referred to as the love chapter, because its entire purpose is to define genuine, Jesus-like, love.

Let me backtrack. Recently, my husband and I went out on a date night, leaving our sons at my parent's house. When we returned to pick them up, my mom told me that my older son had stuck a pea up his nose, and had apparently left his "listening-ears" at home.

To be honest, the whole thing angered and embarrassed me. The anger that I was feeling was directed toward my son, and even the next morning, I had a really hard time letting go of it. I kept racking my brain as to why he would behave so badly. Had he had a bad day? Was coming down with something? Was it because he hadn't taken a nap that day?

Then it occurred to me, he had done this the last time we left him there for a date night - nearly six months earlier. This is the point when I started to do exactly what the bible calls me not to do; I began to keep a record of wrongs, which just made me more angry.

As I took a shower that morning, this verse whispered into my thoughts:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails." 

(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I have no doubt that this is a God-thing, as the lesson for preschoolers this week at my church is about genuine love, and we are using the love chapter to demonstrate this.

What a powerful message this has been for me today. Not only should I work harder at not angering easily and keeping a record of wrongs, I also need to be a consistent example of genuine, Jesus-like love for my children.

So, the next time you hear all or some of these verses at a wedding, don't roll your eyes. These simple truths extend far beyond wedding vows -  they are truly worth thinking about.

"There are three things that will endure - faith, hope and love - and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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