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.
The greatest spiritual gift God gives us is love. Love is not just an emotion, or a phrase on a card, or an emoji on a social media post. It is an attitude that we portray, it is the way we express ourselves with others. God wants us to use His gift as the foundation for our interactions with others, even beyond our spouse, friends, and family.
In these verses, Paul describes love’s attributes, and what our behavior should be to demonstrate the love of God. In subsequent verses, he says that all other spiritual gifts are obsolete without love, so it is critical that we adopt the characteristics in our lives. This verse is often given to newlyweds as a guide for what their behavior should and should not be towards one another. However, the behavioral guide applies outside of marriage as well. It describes the love that God has for His believers, and that His love is not dependent on others returning that love. For us too, we need to love unconditionally, love fearlessly, love without judgement.
We need to recognize that this verse means God loves us for the long haul, and we should do that with others. It’s especially important for married couples to realize that these definitions of love apply through the good times and the bad, but we can carry that to all of our interactions. Love isn’t disposable, it’s not something to be discarded after a few uses. It is a long-lasting, sustainable investment that we make in others each and every day.
Make a checklist of the key behaviors and monitor results at the end of the day:
Today I was:
Today I was not:
- Accepting of sin
Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your gift of love. Help me to share that gift with others in the words I speak, in the actions I demonstrate, in the attitude with which I approach the day. Help me open my heart to accept others as you accept me, and to honor Your gift with kindness and truthfulness in my daily interactions. Let my heart be filled with your love, and my mind be strong to know that I must persevere in my loving attitude towards others for all my life. In your name I pray, Amen.
Submitted by: Anne Beihoffer