Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4
The word “love” is often used as a noun: a way to label an emotion or state of being. Love is also used as a passive verb: more of an abstract emotion or a focus on a physical draw that we feel intently. In fact, take a look at the way the Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word:
“Love: n. a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. v. to feel great affection for (someone) : to feel love for (someone)”
The Bible, however, tell us something entirely different; it tells us that “love” is an action verb.
Love is Patient. You know that bad habit your spouse has? That one that just got on your last raw nerve merely thinking about it? That one. Ask yourself this: is it worth your frustration? Love is patient. Take a deep breathe. Focus on the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Love is Kind. Whether it’s confusing sarcasm and teasing for quick wit or going for the easy verbal jab when angry, we can all push “kind” to the wayside. Bring it back. Love is kind. Love doesn’t engage in name calling or put-downs. Remain respectful.
Love Does Not Envy. Are you home with a young child while your spouse is at work: talking to adults, using the bathroom alone and in peace, and finishing a cup of coffee while it’s still hot? Maybe you wish you had your spouse’s gregarious nature or special talent. Regardless, when envy rears its ugly head, resentment quickly steps in. Close that door, because love does not envy.
Love Does Not Boast. That last time you argued and it turned it out you were right? Love isn’t interested in “I told you so!” We may relish that feeling of vindication, sure. It isn’t doing our relationship any favors, however. Let it go.
Love is Not Proud. So that last time you argued and you were wrong? It can be hard to admit we made a mistake. Apologizing can be a blow to our ego. Love squashes down pride and does it anyway. (Need help saying you’re sorry? Try this: I’m sorry: How to say it and mean it.)
Challenge: Read 1 Corinthians 13:4 this week. How will you exhibit the action verb “love” in your relationships? Come back here next week to dig deeper into 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.