Many people are familiar with the classic wedding passage:
Love it Patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. Love never fails…. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 NIV
There is scarcely a church wedding today without it. Yet, do we really apply these truths about love to our family?
With February comes Valentine’s Day and it is the time of red hearts and “love.” Many women’s magazines will come out with questionnaires this month to see how you rate on the “Love” quotient. But the values shared in these magazines often do not represent the Biblical view. Here is how the Message Bible translates the same verses in contemporary language:
Love never gives up.Love doesn’t fly off the handle? Puts up with anything? Always looks for the best? How would my marriage change if I could implement these things into my life? How would yours? And our parenting, how would that change if we could always be patient and kind? How about relationships in the office, could they improve by showing them God’s example of love? The Bible paints the perfect picture of love. All we have to do is read it…and do it. All the advice from every women’s magazine in the world won’t make your life any better than the advice from God.
Love cares more for others than self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle.
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything.
Trusts God always
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies…. We have three things to do to lead us….Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16, 17 NIV
God loved us so much that he let his Son die for us. That is so powerful. Yet, even though I am a Christian I can’t even seem to love my family enough to be patient, enough to be kind, and certainly not enough to “put up with anything.”
This February I will try to reflect on God’s perfect love for me as I try to improve on my own love for my family. I challenge you to do the same. And have a happy Valentine’s Day!