Happy Valentine’s Day and I’m sure the romantics will be finding, if you haven’t already, some clever ways to express your love to those valentines in your life with chocolates, roses, hearts, etc. Hopefully you’ve got that covered. But today we do celebrate love and we know that God is love and He is the source of the unconditional and unbreakable love that we need to make our marriages thrive.
So let’s take a look at that familiar passage that never stops teaching us something about love: 1 Corinthians 13. I’m going to break it down into Paul’s outline of what love is, what love isn’t, and what love always does.
What love is: Love is patient. It’s forgiving and extending grace while we’re in process. It’s steady and persevering. Love is kind. It doesn’t speak or act harshly. It’s considerate, calm and gentle.
What love is not: Love is not jealous or envious. It doesn’t feel discontented. It’s not longing for what another person or another couple has. It’s looking for ways to put others first. Love does not dishonor. It doesn’t embarrass, belittle, disgrace or bring shame. Love is not proud and egotistical. It isn’t demanding in its own way to have its needs met first. Love is not easily angered. It doesn’t fly off the handle easily. Love doesn’t keep score of wrongs. It doesn’t hold grudges and is willing to forgive and move on. Love does not delight in evil, but looks for ways to bring help and healing to those who need it.
What love always does: it rejoices with the truth. It celebrates the good things and even the challenging things that we know are coming from God to make us better. Love always protects. It’s always looking for ways to shelter our loved ones from harm. Love always hopes and is expecting and desiring the best. Love always keeps on loving, even when the loving feeling is gone. The unconditional love of God never fails. Why not take a minute to ask your spouse which of these descriptors of love do you need from me today? And I’m going to bet that meeting that need will be the best Valentine’s gift ever.