Love Is/Love is Not/Love Is
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us what love is, “Love is patient and kind” (1 Cor. 13:4). Patience and kindness are the positive components of love and are good things to practice within our families, especially in our relationships with our children. But too often, we practice the negative side of love; what love is not.
Paul writes that “love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant”. These expressions of love are the opposite of selfless service to others. Our love for our families and our children should not be rude or overbearing. In a deeper and more personal way, our love for our families should never want its own way. Furthermore, love is not irritated or angered. The way we are called to love is by bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, and enduring all things. It’s this last component of love; love endures all things, that makes me pause and think. I pause because I see so many people who aren’t willing to endure. The first sign of difficulty or pain in their lives and they flee. Their marriages get hard and they convince themselves that the love isn’t there anymore so they quit their marriage. People have a falling out with a long time friend; pride, not love dictates the future of the friendship. Nothing gets resolved and the friendship becomes a sad memory. A child doesn’t behave the way the parent thinks he should. They fail to realize the child is different from them, but instead of accepting and loving the child for who he is, the parent distances themselves severing the relationship. Life doesn’t go the way you think it should. You lose a job, you lose your health, or you lose a loved one. For many, when this happens, they quit God. They don’t think about the ultimate love, the sacrificial love that He showed us (John 3:16). That, my friends, is the love we are called to have…sacrificial love that endures the hard times that we will go through in this life.
So, let me close with a question and a challenge. Question: Are you a love is kind of person or are you love is not kind of person? Challenge: Endure! Press into God when the difficulty arises. Only He will get you through.