Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Greatest of These...

Valentine's Day... a day for lovers everywhere.  As I've looked on Facebook, pictures of roses and stuffed animals and jewelry and candy abound.  I've had a good Valentine's Day, as good of one that you can have sick in  the bed.  I did get some chocolates and a card, hand-signed, which is a big deal from Wallace Bates.  As I've sat and pondered Valentine's Day, though, I'd like to comment just a little on what TRUE love is.  This is the kind of love we should strive for, and a kind that I'm still not really good at. 

Our greatest commandment is to love one another.  God's perfect biblical love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. I challenge you on this Valentine's Day to consider this:

 Love is patient and kind. (Love is patient.  It does not get mad when your husband leaves a million pop cans laying around the house, or when your husband forgets to bring home something from the grocery store.  It doesn't mind explaining something over and over.  It is kind in that it desires the best for your loved one.  It never wants to see the other person hurt.)

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. (Love does not get upset when your extrovert of a husband talks to a million people instead of talking to you.  You know that eventually he will get around to the one person who really is the center of his universe, even though his cell phone is permanently attached to his hand.  Love wants the best for the other person, instead of yourself.  Love isn't rude, or smart-mouthed, or snide in comments, even when a comeback would do the other person some good in bringing them back to reality.)

It does not demand its own way. (Love does not demand its own way.  Instead, it agrees to go to the Asian Buffet and sit there and sip a pop just because you know it makes your husband happy.  It's this part of love that makes a hubby sleep through a chick flick.  It's this kind of love that makes me happy to just sit next to Wallace scouting games... ok, and at least I do like sports).

It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 (Love is not irritable.  It is not grouchy.  It has a smile on its face at all times.  I told you that I wasn't really good at this type of love.  It doesn't hold grudges, or bring up arguments from 10 years ago, even if it really does help prove a point.  Love doesn't worry about proving points.)

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  (Love never gives up.  It hangs on when the going gets tough.  It is always looking for the best.  It sees things that may not be there to give it hope.  It takes every small word and uses these to help it through the bad times.  It endures.  It holds on. It struggles.  It fights to stay on good ground. It clings to the belief that true love is worth fighting for, that true love is more than just flowers and candy. True love is having a shared history, of being there for each other through difficult times, of being able to finish each other's sentences and knowing what the other person is thinking.  True love never gives up, because it believes the best.)

Our example of true love is that God first loved us.  He loved us so much He sent His son to die a criminal death so that we can be with Him forever.  In the meantime, this life down here is hard.  We can't go through it alone.  That's why He's given us a helpmate.  You may not have yours yet.  I'm so very thankful that I've got mine. So hopefully you got everything you wanted for Valentine's Day.  If not, know that there is a God that is crazy about you. 

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13. If we've got love, we can make it through whatever else....

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