1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
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. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13 – this passage is so familiar even unbelievers and unchurched can probably quote it, without even realizing they are quoting scripture. This beautiful passage is frequently read at weddings, has been set to music, reproduced on to millions of refrigerator magnets, and is probably hanging on a plaque somewhere in most of your homes.
However, have you ever pondered the true message of this passage? Or have you heard it so often you no longer think about what the words actually mean?
Paul is actually stating that love is and action, not a feeling. This kind of love is seen, experienced, & demonstrated. How counter-cultural in a society that elevates feelings above everything else. In this culture if it feels good, do it. If if feels bad don’t. But this passage never mentions feeling love. Instead it talks about doing love, living love, acting love. So what does love look like when it is acted out?
Love is sticking with my husband and fighting for our marriage even when the going gets tough. Ok, lets get really personal & transparent; love is having sex with my husband even though I’m sleep deprived, have a headache, a million and one things still to do around the house, just finally got the teething baby down to sleep and the only thing I feel like doing is crawling into bed between cool sheets by myself and sleeping for 15 hours straight, or at least until the baby wakes up crying in the night for Mama. Yep, not what I feel like doing but that is love!
Love is getting up in the middle of the night, over and over and over with a crying baby. Even though everyone says he should be sleeping through the night by now. Comforting & soothing away the fears of his nightmares when I really just feel like going back to sleep.
Love is disciplining my children and training them up to be Godly men & women. Not letting them get away with poor choices or behavior just because it is “cute” right now while they are little. Love is teaching them modesty and appropriateness while they are tiny instead of waiting until they are teens or young adults and it is too late.
Love is setting aside my continuing education to focus on raising and educating my little ones now while they need me the most. Love is dropping out of some outside commitments activities to be a better, more present wife & mother. Even though it feels unfair at the time.
Love is a million little everyday things, cooking, cleaning, washing, mending, comforting, nursing. In short, love is putting myself last and putting others first; because love is an Action.
1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.