“Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (AMP)
Although she’s talked about this excerpt before, I thought I’d like to take a turn at it myself. Every now and then, I like to turn back to these well known verses. In days recent, there were some things that I was not happy about in my relationship. Sparing you the details, there were things that left me hurt, and that hurt often came across in my communication, mostly in negative ways. Having this scripture for reference is often the greatest advice and challenge ever, because it pokes holes into the facade of what I think to be loving my partner. I was quick to see the speck in my partner’s eyes, but completely oblivious to the beam in mine!
Was I being patient with her? Was I being kind and thoughtful? Was I being selfless? Not easily angered? Keeping records of the wrongs she did? I’m sure you get the point by now. The gold standard was placed before me, and I would’ve been lucky to achieve bronze. There are so many things that I could do better. I recognized that I’ve failed, and that’s the best part, because now I can do something about it.
Oftentimes we look at failure with eyes of scorn. We feel defeated and disturbed, and often our worth is attacked. It is for this very reason, however, that Christ died for us. He took our failure into account, and through His redemptive work on the cross gave us His righteousness. If we continue to labor with our own efforts, we labor in vain because we are bound for failure eventually. In Christ, we are free, and His grace shines brighter than our sins.
With this in mind, it is quite easy to see how vital Christ’s role is in the relationship. We are bound to disappoint; there’s no escaping that. But when we let ourselves be covered in the cleansing blood of Jesus, we no longer see just the hurt and the pain, but we see righteousness. We see forgiveness, and the new creation that He has made us to be. We see the beauty in how God has formed our partner in His image and likeness, and what to help them look more like Him with each and every day. How sweet and beautiful it is for a couple to come together in submissive reverence to the One who created them!
My encouragement to you is to love one another as Christ has loved us; not just your partner and those who might be easy to love, but those who make it difficult for us. Identify where you fall short according to God’s gold standard, and allow His grace to work in you to grow and become stronger for both yourself and those around you. Have a great day!