Love Is…

Today, my friend over at Moms The Word wrote an excellent post on 1 Corinthians 13, and made the suggestion that we put our own names in place of the word “love” in these passages.  As she writes: “can you imagine what our lives, marriages and homes would look like if we lived out those truths in our words and actions (4-8)?”

Amen.

The Bible says that “God is Love.”  In the past, I have often found it difficult to understand and accept God’s love for me.  I have often felt especially loved by God when I think I’m doing everything “right” and have often felt that God wants nothing to do with me when I’m failing miserably. A few years ago, when I was going through an especially difficult time, I decided to look up 1 Corinthians 13 to find out more about God’s character. I wanted to know more about Him – I wanted to know what He was really like and how He really felt about me.  If “God is Love” then according to what I read, God is patient.  But I wanted to know more about this, too.  What, exactly, is “patience?”  God is kind.  What does it mean to be “kind?”  So I pulled out my Websters Dictionary (from the year 1828, back when the Bible was considered an authority) and looked up every word in this passage.  Finding out what, exactly, these words actually mean was so incredibly powerful – both in discovering more about the character of God, and in discovering how He wants us to treat each other. Everything listed below comes from the definition of the actual words being used, and sometimes from their synonyms. I hope it will be a blessing to you, as it was to me.

Love is Patient…

Love endures evil without complaining.  Love is not easily provoked or revengeful.  Love waits with confidence and calmness and without discontent.  Love suffers afflictions without discontent.

Love is Kind…

Love does good to others and desires to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants, and assisting them in their distress (wow, God does that?!)  Love delights in contributing happiness to others.

Love does not envy…

Love does not feel uneasy or discontent at the happiness of others.  Love does not desire to bring others down or see them depressed.  Love does not desire to possess what someone else has obtained.

Love is not boastful…

Love does not brag or make vain displays of its own worth, attainments, or decorations.  Love does not display its own merits or speak pridefully of itself.  Love is modest.  It has a moderate estimation of its own worth.  It concedes even more respect to others than they require and assumes less to itself than others are willing to give.

Love is not prideful…

Love is not scornful of others or conceited of its own superiority or accomplishments.  Love does not have a high opinion of itself or contempt of others. Love is humble.

Love does not behave rudely…

Love is not discourteous or disrespectful.  Love is always polite, gentle, and obliging.

Love does not seek its own…

Love is not selfish. Love is not concerned with its own welfare above the needs or desires of others.  Love puts others wants/needs above its own.  Love is willing to be inconvenienced in order to grant the request or fulfill the desire of another (as a parent, this one was especially powerful to me.  How often am *I* willing to be inconvenienced in order to grant the request or fulfill the desires of my children?)

Love is not easily provoked…

Love is not easily angered or offended or revengeful.  Love is not easily irritated or displeased or annoyed.

Love thinks no evil…

Love does not look at the bad or wrong in others.  Love is always ready to see the best in someone else… love focuses on the good and does not think of the bad (I’ll admit that this is something I really need God’s help with.  I often find myself “grumbling” in my head against my husband, or my children, or my friends.  “They always… they never… why can’t he just… if she would only… etc.  This is not love!)

Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but it rejoices in truth…

Love is not happy when someone else does something wrong. Love is not pleased to see someone else in trouble for wrong actions.  Love is not happy to see someone else fail (an “I told you so” attitude) but rejoices to see them lifted up and acting in ways pleasing to God.

Love bears all things…

Love suffers without resentment. Love bears the burdens of others and supports them.  Love suffers without interference to prevent the wrong but endures with patience.

Love hopes all things…

Love expects good from others and waits with confident expectation for the good.  Love exhibits qualities that inspire hope in others. Love knows and expects that things will be better.  Love looks and treats a person in light of what he will be, not as he is. (I have a friend who has a husband who is not saved.  Several years ago, she was given a prophetic word that she must act as if her husband is already who God wants him to be.  She is to treat him as if he is what she wants him to become. This is love!)

Love believes all things…

Love has no doubts about others.  Love believes in others and in their word. Love is trusting and not suspicious

Love endures all things…

Love bears trials and suffering without resistance but also without yielding (as in, yielding to the wrong).  Love endures all things with patience.  Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love works no ill to another…

Love does not hurt others but looks for ways to help, encourage, and uplift others. Love does nothing that would cause someone else to stumble or be torn down.  (I’m reminded of a time when a friend of mine was treated badly by an employee at a restaurant. She was visibly upset and wanted more than anything to complain to a manager.  However, she refrained from this, despite the legitimate reasons she had for reporting the employee.  Little did I recognize it at the time, but I was witnessing love in action! )

LOVE NEVER FAILS

I hope you will also check out the original post on this subject, which can be found Here.  She brings out many additional points about this passage that are incredibly powerful and definitely worth reading.

 

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8 Responses to Love Is…

  1. momstheword says:

    Oh this was just so beautiful, my friend! Such a blessing to read today.

    We do tend to view God in light of our experience and our emotions, which means we limit Him to our understanding.

    Oh to understand the depth of His love. Can you imagine? I’m just glad that we can feel it because I sure cannot understand it!

  2. momstheword says:

    Forgot to add a thank you for joining us today!

  3. allisonnotes says:

    This is a beautiful study of love and also so convicting! I took away so great things I can do to love others more fully!

  4. Mrs. Parunak says:

    Wow, Rina. What can I say? I don’t think I’m a very loving person. This is something I really need to pray about.

    • Rina says:

      Kind of humbling, isn’t it? Praying over here on my end, too. For you and for me!
      I’m glad it was helpful, Allison.
      Momstheword, I enjoy participating when I can. It was a nice opportunity for me to share that, so thank YOU.

  5. We just read this less than 10 minutes ago! Beautiful post!
    ~Kim

  6. HI Rina, I commented on this previously, but I just love this post! I even read it to my husband because I feel like it is an area we could better focus on in our parenting. I plan to write about some of the things we are doing with our children relating to this in the next few weeks and I’d love to link to your blog post whenever I get around to writing that post!

    • Rina says:

      Of course you can link to it, and I’m glad you’ll be writing more on it. It’s one thing to say “this is what we should do,” but a whole different thing to say: “this is how we can do it!” I’m looking forward to reading your articles.

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