“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful’ it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” —1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Atheist or Christian, believing or non believing, everyone knows the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. We have all seen a beautiful couple gaze into each other’s eyes at the altar as this go-to bible verse is read to a very teary-eyed crowd. As an incredibly (and proudly) single college student, I have always dreamt of the day that I would feel this kind of love. I’ve always wanted the stereotypical love story. I have prayed to God for a man who would show me this love and lead the way. But, I was missing the fact that I already know that man. I already am loved by a man who shows me every day that love is kind. He loves me despite my wrongdoing and rejoices when it’s right. He endures all things because He loves me.
While, of course, this verse is the essence of what a loving relationship should be. For this is the kind of relationship that you were created to be a part of. Yes, we know that this kind of love comes from God, but we don’t realize that these words not only come from God, but they describe Him for GOD IS LOVE.
God is patient and kind.
God is not jealous or boastful.
God is not arrogant or rude.
God does not insist on its own way.
God is not irritable or resentful.
God does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right.
God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
We are so deeply loved by the God who created us in love and out of love, in His image. We are called into relationship with Him. So, this verse is not meant just for weddings and relationships. It is meant for us to imitate in our lives.
We must be patient and kind.
We must not be jealous or boastful.
We must not be arrogant or rude.
And so on…
We are called to love others and to be that image of His love for the world. Paul was giving us a blueprint of how to live when he gave us these words. That is no easy feat, but luckily we have a God who is patient and kind. There will be mistakes along the way, we are not perfect. But, we are loved by the One who is.
I still long and pray for the day that I can hear these words at my own wedding, as I gaze into the eyes of the man who shows me this truth through his actions. A man who doesn’t just live out 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in our relationship, but exudes it in his relationship with enemies, strangers, and friends alike. Until that day and long after it is past, I will continue to gaze into the eyes of The Man who taught me what love was. For the love story, I have always dreamt of, has been waiting in the arms of Jesus.