May 15th, 2017
Love is such a large topic that it would take more than the space we have here to cover it. So lets just take a chunk of it and see where we get with that.
Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious, love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.
The other day I went to give my wife a flirtatious hug and it was curtly rejected. Her response to my flirting hurt my feelings and I immediately went into self preservation mode and put on the cold shoulder as I got ready to head out to the store. She made a point of being super sweet to me as I was leaving and tried to give me a hug and kiss that had all the subtext of an apology and I denied it with a quick peck and headed out the door. I screwed up y'all. My reaction to my wife was not patient, I was not kind, and I was certainly proud and arrogant.
I'd like to back up to verse 1 of 1 Corinthians 13: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [a]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. 3 If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all. 4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
I left the house to go to the store and I have my two daughters with me, and all I could think about was how I had screwed up. I had been studying this part of scripture getting ready for this podcast and I knew that I wasn't living up to 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. I was failing to live it out, so what did I do? While I was at the store I bought my wife's favorite soda, a king size Kit Kat, and a little bouquet of flowers. I took those home to her and apologized for reacting poorly. What I had not taken into consideration, and it only occurred to me after I realized I had screwed up, was that my wife had recently cut her own hair (which is stunning by the way, don't you agree?) and was feeling less than secure in her new hairstyle and to top it off was trying to braid her hair to get ready to do some yard work because I haven't been able to do any due to an ankle injury. In the moment that she was feeling these things and getting ready to go out and serve our family in the yard, at that exact moment was the one I chose to interrupt all those things, and her plans to flirt with her. Seeing the scenario from her side changed everything.
How many times in our lives do we not believe the best in each other, are overly sensitive and forget love? Not just in marriages, but in all our relationships? Friendships, Co-Workers, Acquaintances, people we share the road with when we're driving. As Christians love is supposed to be our standard so that the world will know that we are Christians. They'll know we are Christians by our love for each-other (John 13:35), right? We are to be rooted and grounded in love, this is more important than faith, more important than hope. Love is the most important thing. Love is the most important aspect of your life that you need to conquer. Go back through 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, look at all the different aspects of love, go out there and treat people with love so that they know that you're a Christian. So that they know who you represent and we'll all be better for it.