This has been on my heart for a while now, so I decided that I better write it down. Here goes. How many times have you told someone that you love them? Is it something you say to everyone at church, or maybe when you’ve reached a third date with someone you’re sweet on, or is it reserved for only the special people in your life?
In my family, we say it pretty often, coming and going, and randomly in between. 🙂 Every now and then, it is good to remember what that word actually means and let’s just not toss it around like any other random word.
Love is definitely a verb. It requires action, on my part. When I say “I love you” then there are expectations. I take it seriously, and I would hope that you do too.
Now, I know we aren’t perfect and sometimes I get in my own way. But it’s important that I hold myself accountable to what the Word of God says love is.
The commonly referred to “love scripture” is located in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It is pretty descriptive but I think when we read these verses, we kind of go quickly without putting much thought into it. Well, at least I know I do this.
It’s often recited at weddings by the officiant, but I am not sure we truly take it all in as we are attempting to listen and managing all of the emotion in that very moment.
I know, in my life, there have been times when I thought I didn’t feel the love from others.
I am so thankful that I can read these scriptures, and know, without a doubt, that God loves in this way. The weight of love is a heavy one because it requires action and our own self-examination.
For this reason, I made myself an exam and want to share it with you. The link to get a copy for yourself is below, but in the meantime, maybe you are wondering… How did I measure up?
Verse 4: Love is patient …
Was I patient with my 8-year-old the other night when she took, what seemed like an eternity, to get ready for bed? Is my child the only one on the planet that has created a specific ritual that must be completed before she can close her eyes to go to sleep? I mean, really? Do all of her animal friends have to be in the exact position and order so she can really rest? Do her pillows really have to be stacked just so? Oops. I think my impatience is showing. Ugh.
Or that time when I was trying to give instructions to my son when he was learning to drive and I thought we were all fixing to die?
Or what about all of those mornings that I’m just trying to get us all out the door on time or even just 2 minutes late?
Okay, so I may need a little work in that area.
And kind; …
Was I kind the other day when someone whom I love said and did something hurtful? Ummm. I think not. I have to be honest here. I was quick to rush to judgment and snap back. I may or may not do this from time to time. Ugh.
I need more work on that too … I guess.
Love does not envy …
Oops. This is such a hard one. There is so much more I want in my life… I think I will stop there.
Let’s just say that unfortunately, I have gotten envious a few times.
This self-examination thing isn’t going so well for me.
Or boast; …
Okay, I don’t think I’m a bragger. Well, there was that time that I was super excited about that thing. But that wasn’t bragging, right? I mean I was just excited and wanted the world to know!
It is not arrogant …
Well, there you have it. That is something I am definitely not. Arrogant. Ha!
Never. I admit fully that I don’t have all the right answers. I mean, I truly know that I don’t have ALL of the answers, but I do have SOME OF THEM. Does that make me arrogant?
Okay … Okay … Maybe there was that one time … or ten times … Okay.
I understand. Arrogant. I guess I have been arrogant. I need to work on that one too.
I’m not really liking this idea.
Now this one I got!!! I know it! I am a lot of things, but I am certainly not rude. I mean even when I’ve had a bad day, I have great compassion for others. I do!
Well, okay … not always. I admit I have been rude at times. Well, shoot!
It does not insist on its own way; …
UGH!!! I admit it. You got me there. I’m just shaking my head at this point. I want to stop now. Can I please stop? Why did I even start this?
Growth hurts. I don’t like it.
It is not irritable or resentful; …
I actually do pretty good at forgiveness. Well, most of the time. I mean there are probably a few things that seem to pop up here and there. But who doesn’t experience those hiccups?
I actually do work really hard to lower my expectations and practice pre-forgiveness. I know I still carry some things. I’m working through it though. It’s a daily process.
Verse 6: It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, …
Now this one I definitely got. I am never going to ask someone I love to do something that breaks the law of the land. I’m just not going to do it. It’s a value of mine. I am not going to rejoice with you in sin. I am just not going to do that either. I have carried a strong moral compass with me throughout my life, and that part hasn’t let up.
Well, except possibly when it comes to minor traffic violations when I’m in a hurry, like speeding or rushing through that yellow light… or stuffing our bellies at Disney World. Those are minor though. Right?
But rejoices with the truth. …
ALWAYS! Wait a minute. Even when the truth is hard and it breaks my heart or someone else that I love? The short answer here is, yes.
What in the world? Who decided I should do this AND MAKE IT PUBLIC????
Verse 7: Love bears all things, …
Now this one, I got. I’m not going anywhere. I will cast my cares on The One that can bear it when I can’t.
Believes all things, …
I will admit from the beginning that this one is a hard one. I’m working on it. I am.
Hopes all things, …
Every single day, I try to find hope even when things seem hopeless. I’m not about to say there aren’t hopeless moments, so I guess I need to deal with that one too.
Endures all things.
So far, so good. I haven’t quit on anyone yet.
Verse 8: Love never ends.
It never ends. It’s commitment to the end. Forever.
I created a Self-Evaluation based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that will help you to determine what areas that you are doing great at and what areas you could use some help in. There are always areas that we could do better so I would encourage you to start looking today.
If you are struggling in your life or marriage, please check out my coaching pages and see how I could help you navigate whatever you are going through.
Just a little something to ponder …
I wrote this in a very light-hearted way but in all seriousness, I want to clarify a few things.
There is not an expectation of perfection. I probably try to hold myself to a higher expectation than anyone around me ever has and therefore I tend to be my own worst critic. BUT know this… our words are powerful. This applies to the words you speak to yourself and to others too.
There are meanings behind spoken words, even the ones you speak mumbled under your breath, or silently to yourself inside of your head. The power is still there.
Words have the ability to hurt others, but they also have the ability to heal relationships.
Think twice before you tell someone you love them. If you don’t have the willingness and ability to attempt to make the professed love actionable, then don’t commit your love to someone else. Yes, it’s a commitment. If you don’t treat it as such, you will set them up (and yourself too) for a broken heart.
However, when done in a genuine, thoughtful, full-of-effort kind-of-way, there is nothing better than love, and be loved in return.
It’s the greatest commandment, with the biggest benefits.
Love is always worth it.
By the way, don’t forget to get your copy of the self-examination through the link above, and share this post with others. You can also follow me on social media through the links on this page too.
DaySpring has some great products around Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages, which if you haven’t read, I highly recommend the entire series. Below are affiliate links which will take you to DaySpring. If you use one of my links to make a purchase, I make a small referral fee, but your price remains the same. You can find my other disclosures here.