Most people are familiar with that bit in the bible that says what love is. That 'bit in the bible' is from 1 Corinthians 13
"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails."
Experience teaches us about life, it helps us make our own decisions. It helps us to decide what we believe, and how we live our lives. I love this passage from 1 Corinthians because I know it all to be true.
Love is patient. Love doesn't mind waiting, because it knows it will eventually triumph. Because love is understanding, it knows that at times you'll forget that love is there. But because it is patient, it'll be there when we remember. Love is something is always there, just waiting to be introduced. And it'll wait for that introduction till kingdom come!
Love is kind. Love is at the heart of every kind word, every smile. Because if you love someone, you cannot hurt them because it hurts you too. Because kindness and smiles are the easiest way to show love.
Love isn't envious. Love is for everyone. And there is enough love that everyone can experience it. Envy is our human greed wanting more than our fair share. Envy is the human nature to be selfish, and the desire to have something that someone else has. But everyone has love, so there is no need for love to be envious.
Love does not boast. We all share love. How can love boast it has something better, because love has everything and everyone.
Love is not proud. Pride tempts us to forget love. Pride suggests we have done a good job, but loving never stops.
Love honours. Love doesn't make people feel bad, it gives us a spring in our step. It makes sure our feelings are upheld, and that everyone is equal. It understands our traditions and works with them. It also challenges people who discriminate.
Love is not selfish. Love makes us think how others are feeling. Love is for others, not ourselves. Love makes us consider how we make other people feel, it makes us want to make them feel good. Sometimes that means sacrificing something ourselves.
Love is not angered easily. Love is calm, love helps us to forgive. Love makes us more accepting of things. And because love is not selfish, it means we are less likely to get angry.
Love doesn't keep track. We all make mistakes, and love knows that. But it doesn't matter. Love just wants us to feel good. It picks us up and holds our hands in those times of mistakes, temptations and trials. Love doesn't remember the last time, because it doesn't matter.
Love rejoices with truth. Love isn't evil, love is joyful. Love is truthful. Love makes us do things properly and respectfully with honour. Love rejoices!
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. That is just what love makes us do. Protect those we love, trust them, hope they will have the best possible, and it is always there no matter what. Persevering through everything. Shining bright.
Love never fails. We will always have love. It will always be with us. Experience tells me this. Experience tells me all of this.
But I can never talk about love, without remembering 1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us." Love is a God given gift. Love is a God given talent, and is showing love, we offer that gift back to God for his work. And that work will show in our relationships. His work will be done through our love.
Whether that be love for our friends, family, wife or husband,
boyfriend or girlfriend, or even for our pet goldfish. God is working through it!
I've thought a lot about love lately. In fact I've stressed a lot about it lately. I've been left wondering why God didn't give an instruction book with this gift. It would be really useful right now! But love manifests itself differently in different people, so I guess it would be a massive undertaking, and frankly I'm sure God is too busy!
Love is complicated, love doesn't make sense. It makes me do silly things, and makes my brain hurt. But I know I wouldn't live without love.
I know I wouldn't live without you...