What Love Looks Like
It seems as if before the Christmas decorations were even placed back into our storage shed, Valentines cards and candy popped up in stores everywhere. As jewelry commercials flood our TV, I tell my husband “I need that ring, or I don’t have that one yet” – Sam’s response is to record everything and fast forward through the commercials.
We as a church think it is healthy for couples to invest in their marriage and go on dates without the children sometimes. That is why we are holding a Parent’s Night Out this Saturday to give parents an opportunity to do just that.
But Valentine’s Day also can be a hard season for some. It has been also called S.A.D.: Single Awareness Day. And for some it is just a fun time for school age children to exchange cards and consume more sugar.
Regardless, a lot of people throw the word Love around so that it has lost its meaning and power. I say I love pizza, but hate kale. The middle school girls that I work with seemingly “love” a new boy each week. For a Biblical view of what love is let’s look at a familiar passage:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a, ESV).
What does real love look like? The Apostle Paul tells us . . .
“Love is patient…” It waits for people to change. It’s long-tempered. It accepts people as they are, not as we want them to be.
Love is “…kind.” This doesn’t mean passive endurance but active goodwill. Not just passively accepting people but actively accepting people. Love looks for ways to express acceptance to people whom we might otherwise target with our harsh criticism.
“Love does not envy or boast.” Love is not jealous. Even when those around us seem to prosper and succeed more than we do, love isn’t jealous. Love says “I am happy for your successes and will not let jealousy sour my love for you,” and “I am for you. I have always been for you, and I will always be for you. I will not be caught up in comparisons, even when you are more successful, prominent, recognized, or rewarded than I am. I want the best for you.”
Love “is not arrogant or rude.” Love chooses not to make another feel uncomfortable by boasting about personal success or highlighting your own life in a way that would embarrass or belittle a friend.
Love is accepting. “Love bears all things, believes all things…” Love bears the weight of misunderstanding and defends the heart of the other. Love gives the other the benefit of the doubt and regularly says, “That’s not what she meant.” Love always believes the best about people.
Love “…hopes all things…” Love sees people not as they are, but as they will be someday, by God’s grace. We are not the people we once were—God is changing us. We need to extend the same grace toward others that we want extended to us.
Love “…endures all things.” Endure is actually a military term for driving a stake into the ground. Love does that. Love won’t retreat or back away. Love will be there for the other person and will stand its ground.
“Love never ends.” Love will never fail to accomplish God’s highest and best purposes. If you love others wholeheartedly and embrace the people in your life as they are—warts and all, even when they hurt you—God will use that. Love never fails—not at home, at work, or in our church. That’s an unequivocal, absolute, condition-free guarantee: “Love never ends.”
At Crosswalk Community Church let’s be people who love each other well.
In love, with love,