1 Corinthians 13
This is the famous chapter on love/charity. The term means to seek the highest good of the other person without expecting a reward. Love is spelled out in very clear and practical ways!
Love is patient. This is to put up with difficulties without inner turmoil. I am not always patient, but I am when I trust the promises of the Bible for those who love God (that all things work together for our good).
Love is kind. To be kind is to WANT to encourage the other person. Let us pray that God help us to want to encourage the other person, and then we will find words and attitudes and actions that really do!
Love is not envious. Instead, we pray to identify, develop, and use our own abilities to benefit any relationship we have.
Love is not rude. So we do not have insults or put downs. These are marks of hatred and not love.
Love is not selfish/does not insist on its own way. The song "I Did It My Way" maybe interesting but it is not a good theme song for a marriage!
Love is not irritable/touchy/cranky/grouchy/easily provoked. Even if we are sick or poor or misunderstood we are responsible to treat others as we want them to treat us!
Love is not resentful/does not carry a grudge/keeps no record of wrongs.
Dr. Lewis Smedes points out that when we are resentful we feel superior to the person who has wronged us. The opposite of that is to forgive.
When we pray Jesus Christ come into our lives he does so. Then we have the ability and the motivation to forgive others for the relatively minor sins they commit against us.
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the right. We do not lie or steal even if we can make more money, and we do what is right even when it costs us jobs or friends or comfort or status. We know what is right and wrong because the Bible teaches and explains the difference.
Other types of love are mentioned in the Bible, and are translated from Greek into English as love. There is storge, or family love. Eros means romantic or erotic love. Filias refers to brotherly love, or good friendship. But 1 Corinthians 13 refers to agape, which means to seek the highest good of the other person without expecting a reward. When we decide to add this sort of love, then the other loves we have deepen and flourish instead of withering and dying.
More Practical Results From Following 1 Corinthians 13:
A good relationship means the freedom to have our own opinions and friends. It means to have physical and emotional SAFETY! Also a good relationship allows for personal space and privacy, calm discussion, and an acceptance of who we are.
On the other hand, a good relationship excludes put-downs, insults, yelling or screaming, threatening gestures, throwing things, verbal threats, driving dangerously, damaging pets or property, "silent treatment", bullying, public embarrassment, all physical abuse (hitting, pushing, grabbing) and not respecting the word "no".
Please do not reward harmful behavior by marrying a person who chooses it! Instead I hope you have good behavior and attract someone who appreciates that in you.
Rev. Alden Marshall
|Visit Other SmokiesWeb