Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What Love Means to Me

Back when Alene and I first stated dating, I wanted to reassure her that I wanted to love her and treat her in the best way that I could.  I looked to 1st Corinthians 13 in the Bible for some guidance on what love was.  As I read the verses in the Bible, I tried to think how these words translated into real, everyday living, and I came up a written promise of how I would try to treat Alene every day.

It hangs on the wall of our home as a reminder to my wife of how I intend to love her, and it became the vows we read to each other at our wedding.

Considering how much "love" has been on my mind and heart lately, both in personal reading and in our Bible studies at church, I'd like to post this as an insight into what it means to me to demonstrate love to others throughout our lives, be it with our spouses, our children, or our friends and acquaintances.

Love, I'm convinced, should be lived throughout all of our life, spread liberally and generously without consideration for who deserves it or not.  After all, I didn't deserve it when Jesus gave his life for me. I am called to do no less for others.  

                                                        What Love Means To Me
(From 1st Corinthians 13:4-8a)

Love is patient and kind”
Love means taking the time to listen and understand each other, with an open mind and open heart. Love means always thinking about how our actions and words affect each other, and remembering to act and speak in ways that comfort and reassure each other, not hurt one another.

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude”
Love means trusting one another, and always giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Love means not putting one another down, or making one another feel less important for any reason. Love is not self-seeking, nor does love seek to build ourselves up at the expense of the other. Love means being considerate of one another in all things, valuing each other’s feelings.

Love does not demand its own way”
Love means finding the answers together, not demanding one way. Love means considering that the other just might be right, and I just might be wrong, and remembering that that’s ok. Love means valuing each other’s opinions.

Love is not irritable, and keeps no record of when it has been wronged”
Love means remembering the good things about one another that drew us together to start with, and keeping those close to our hearts. Love means forgiving one another when we confess our wrongs, and then laying those things we’ve forgiven at The Cross and leaving them there, never to pick them up again.

Love is never glad about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out”
Love means looking for and encouraging good things in life and doing things that reinforce each other’s will to do good. Love means protecting each other from evil and never repaying hurt for hurt.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance”
Love means never giving up the mission of loving one another. Love means not quitting when the going gets difficult, and never, ever threatening to leave. Love means looking for the best in one another, protecting one another, and encouraging one another, while always believing in one another. Love means looking forward to a future together, and always pulling together to make that future a reality.

Love Never Fails”
In all things, love keeps Christ as its focus and model, for apart from Christ there is no love. God’s love is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God’s love never ends and never fails, and from that unfailing love that we take comfort and strength.