This has been on my heart for about a month now, so I guess 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’s good to remember what that word actually means and let’s just not toss it around like any other random word. It’s 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 “love scripture” comes from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It’s pretty descriptive but I think when we read these verses, we kind of go quickly without putting much thought to it. It’s often heard at weddings, but I’m not sure we really take it all in as we listen in that very moment. I know, in my life, there have been times when I thought I didn’t feel love from others. I’m so thankful that I can read these scriptures, and know, without doubting that God loves in this way. The weight of love is a heavy one, because it requires our own self-examination. How do 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? Or that time when I was trying to give instructions to my son when he was learning to drive? Or what about all of those mornings that I’m just trying to get us all out the door on time? 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. Ugh. I need more work on that too … I guess.
Love does not envy … Ooops. Unfortunately, I have gotten envious when it comes to a few that I love. 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! Right?
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. 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.
Or rude. Now this one I got!!! 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. 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.
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.
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’m not going to rejoice with you in sin. I’m just not going to do it. I have carried a strong moral compass with me throughout my life, and that hasn’t let up. 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? Yes. What in the world? Who decided I should do this????
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.
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 form for you to evaluate how you measure up here. This is only for your personal evaluation to see how you can grow and begin loving others the way God would have us to do so.
Just a little something to ponder …
There is not an expectation of perfection. I probably try to hold myself to a higher expectation than anyone around me ever has. BUT… our words are powerful. There are meanings behind them. Our 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 work on and do love, then don’t commit your love to someone else. You will be setting them up (and yourself too) for a broken heart.
However, when done in a genuine, thoughtful, full of effort-way, there is nothing better than love. It’s the greatest commandment, with the biggest benefits. Love is always worth it.
Oh, yeah!!! If you are looking for some good books on finding out how to give love better, Gary Chapman is the king of love languages. Love his books. He really helps you get a full understanding to how you give and receive love.
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