Today marks the final entry in our Love is series. Paul sums it all up by declaring, “love never fails!”
Wow! How many marriages would endure if both the husband and wife had this conviction of heart. If something isn’t able to fail, then whatever happens must be endured. And not only endured, but worked on to improve and strengthen.
The love Paul has outlined for us is impossible left to ourselves. We are incapable of loving our spouse the way God intended. Only Adam and Eve experienced this kind of marital bliss, yet even they weren’t satisfied.
They had perfection, but desired still more! If Adam and Eve weren’t content, how is it possible for us to cling to such commitment? Only by allowing God to love our spouse through us. As we have each received perfect love from the Lord which will never fail; we can trust in the same way He will allow us to love others, our spouse included, far above what we ever thought was possible. It is a miracle, and one which brings great glory to Him.
If our love doesn’t fail, it is only by His grace at work within us. Every year as you celebrate your wedding anniversary, remember “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13.
Now for a quick recap of what we’ve discovered about love as defined in the 1 Corinthians 13. You can click on each title to read the entire post for that day.
Love is patient – The Holy Spirit who is perfectly patient with us helps us in our weakness to grow so our marriages become a reflection of Him!
Love is kind – True kindness takes no regard for how it is received; for kindness that is real flows from a heart that longs to please God, not man. It has no strings attached.
Love does not envy – If I am allowing myself to think envious thoughts, I am NOT loving my husband/wife. See it. Admit it. Confess it. Repent of it. And be free from it! We don’t have to live this way. Christ has set us free from the bonds of slavery to sin; this includes envy.
Love does not boast – Boasting is a manifestation of pride, and pride concerns itself with self – not others. We can’t truly love our spouse if we are boasting in our selves and what we’ve done or plan to do. We must look out for the interests of our spouse – what pleases them, what would serve them.
Love is not rude – Rude behavior is the outflow of a selfish heart.
Love is not arrogant – Arrogance and humility are both undetected by its possessors. The proof comes from the observations of those who are closest to us. Only the humble person will ask!
Love does not insist on its own way – I must not insist on my own way, but I must also embrace the way of another. This can be my spouse’s way, God’s way, or someone else’s way (like cranky babies, unruly toddlers, or rebellious teens). Love demands that I set aside my own agenda to serve another.
Love is not irritable – God has provided much for me – more than I deserve. He has done for me that which I could never do for myself – made peace between Him and me. I will never understand such kindness, such mercy. As I meditate on this Truth I can feel my irritations taking a back seat to gratefulness.
Love is not resentful – When we choose to love each other the way God ordains, suddenly what mattered before doesn’t matter anymore. We realize we aren’t loving, and it’s easier to let go. If love is NOT resentful, and if love is NOT a feeling, but a choice we make – then we can choose to change with God’s help.
Love does not rejoice in wrong-doing, but rejoices in the truth – We can easily look at this portion of 1 Corinthians 13 and assume we never rejoice in wrong doing. But we must take a closer look – dig deeper than the surface. We tend to gloss over things rather than mulling them over and inquiring of God for His help to accurately assess our hearts and what motivates us.
Love bears all things – True love is willing to bear the little things, the big things, the inconvenient things and the unexpected things. True love bears ALL things – after all, this is what Christ has done for us. He gave us the most He possibly could – Himself!
Love believes all things – We live in a society that thrives on being critical of everyone! Let’s go against the flow by choosing to believe the best instead of looking for the worst. It’s a much more loving way to live – and it glorifies God!
Love hopes all things – We all have areas where change hasn’t happened or any progress we have made is too small to notice. Yet God has promised to complete the work He’s begun in us. This applies to our spouse as well! Don’t give up hope! As long as we are living and breathing there is always hope for change.
Love endures all things – God made us husband and wife for a purpose. He has given us all we need to grow in godliness and the ability to endure. When we do we feel His pleasure and He is glorified.