For the past few months I have been reflecting on what love looks like in my life. It has been a challenge to see things from other eyes and hearts, in the end, I understand more. I am also broken-hearted with what I have discovered.
We all know the “Love Chapter” from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 and many people have it read at their wedding. What does that look like though, in a marriage?
Precious people in my life were brought up to believe love was a weapon to wield over another person. A conditional gift bestowed on someone who measured up and accomplished the tasks given that day. If the expectations were not met, a helping of shame and ridicule was given instead.
Others were taught that it was more important to have power over the people who were in their lives. Love was something given as a consolation prize, like a pity gift.
“Of course, I will always love you.”
But somehow, it’s like tossing leftover pizza crust to a dog. It’s a taste of something, but it doesn’t satisfy the hunger they feel inside.
Paul’s description of love, of the love God feels for us, however, looks very different.
It’s something that serves others first; it doesn’t pull up past mistakes whenever someone stumbles. It is gentle, not forceful. It doesn’t puff up its chest to say, “Look at me and how wonderful I am for loving this person.”
Love waits. There is courtesy in love. It fights for the person, it fights against the enemies bent on destroying it. It believes in someone even when they can’t believe in themselves.
Love is the one thing that remains when everything else is gone.
This kind of love rolls up its sleeves, gets down in the dirt and digs out the junk and debris. This kind of love prepares a place for growth and places its seeds to benefit from the sun and rain. It keeps the weeds away, allowing the roots to grown down deeply. For the stalks to reach high, thriving in the sunshine.
It’s also the kind of love that when neglected will dig deeper with its roots to find something to help sustain it.
For the precious people I love so very dearly, I pray they will understand the kind of love Paul described. The kind of love from Heaven itself that is offered.
I pray they will see that this kind of love is what I have offered to them and will continue to offer to them.
For this is the most excellent way.
Blessings to you, Best Beloved.