1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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.
This beautiful scripture has been quoted in most weddings, including ours. It is such an eloquent passage. It is hard for me to read this and not automatically pertain it to my marriage. Until recently, I always applied this scripture to my relationship with Joe.
No where in this scripture does it say,
love is easy,
love is only for the person you fall in love with,
or that love is a feeling.
Love is a commandment.
As a Christ follower I can not ignore or excuse myself from these scriptures...
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' [ Lev. 19:18] There is no commandment greater than these."
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love
When I actually read these words and take the time completely think about what they say, I realize I have no excuses. I am to love those who seem unlovable. I am to love when I don't feel all warm and fuzzy. What hard words to portray, what hard words to act out all day, every day. With everyone, even the people that hurt me.
Life is not about the here and now. We are here for a greater purpose. This world is not about a pleasure trip, but about doing what God has commanded me. It's all very clear in the Bible, but I get so distracted. All my fleshly feelings are so misleading.
I am here to learn and not teach. To grow and not figure everything out. To strive for improvement and not settle for some other standard. Too many times I pat myself and others on the back and say, "You've worked so hard. No one will blame you for giving up. That person doesn't deserve your love." Instead, I should be going back to the Bible and seeing the example Christ gave. The example I am to follow. I stumble but I must continue to try again.
And again, and again.
Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.