Love is…..

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a)

That passage is from 1st Corinthians, it is written everywhere and unless you live under a rock you have either heard it or said it yourself. I started thinking about my life and how I’ve been searching for something real, something tangible, something God like and then I thought, maybe the answer to my life’s questions could possibly come from that scripture.

I know that I am searching for a better me and I figured a lot of other people are too and I started thinking, how many of us have actually thought about what the Love Is passage really means, what it symbolizes and what it would feel like to actually have that kind of love. I have been thinking about love, real love, not the love that is being widely accepted around the world, which by the way is nowhere near what the above passage says love should be and from what I can tell, we don’t have a clue what love and commitment is all about, not even a little bit.

Men/women always have the choice to leave a situation that is not beneficial to their well being, cheating should never be an option.

So what does the Love is Patient scripture have in common with my cheating comment? It proves just how removed we are from God’s will, how we have allowed the world to dictate what is right and what is wrong in our relationships. As much as the Love Is scripture written EVERYWHERE and quoted at EVERY wedding, no one understands the meaning. Let’s dissect what I believe it means verse by verse, you will either agree with what I say or you won’t that’s your decision, you always have the opportunity to tell me how you feel about what I think.

Love is patient, love is kind, think about it, when you love someone you are saying to that person that they are important to you, they are deserving of your time, your heart, your mind. If you think someone is worthy of your love, why would you do anything to destroy that? Patience in any relationship is key, we are flawed beyond belief and you and your mate will do some things in your relationship that will require you to have the patience of Job, but at the end of the day when you have crafted and are living the life with the relationship you want, it won’t seem like a daunting task, you will appreciate every sacrifice, every moment because you know it was well worth it.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, real love doesn’t have to be projected on the biggest screen for the world to know it’s real, real love is real because it is. We all know those women that scream to the top of their lungs that they are independent and don’t need anyone to take care of them. Then you get to know them and you figure out that they don’t have it together, on the surface they appear to have it going on but in reality they are barely holding it together. The truth is, when your life is together you don’t have to remind everyone, they will see it in how you carry yourself, they will see it in your eyes, when your life comes together not only does your appearance change but the way you carry yourself changes also. You never have to boast because everything about you will tell the world where you are in life.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. That statement right there tells us that a cheater is a liar. A person that is in love, God’s love would never forsake you. Now I understand that the flesh is weak, believe me I do and I also understand that people will make mistakes, however, when you keep making those same “mistakes” then it wasn’t a mistake it was a choice. Now if your mate does make a mistake, and you know and believe that it was an honest mistake then you are supposed to forgive them and forget about it. It’s no different than asking God to forgive us for our transgressions, which we ask for every time we say the Lord’s Prayer.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, this I think is my favorite part of this scripture. If we were to believe the world then we would believe that lying and cheating is the only way to keep your relationship going. People don’t seem to appreciate honesty in a relationship, how hard is it to tell the person you’re with that their actions or their behavior is inappropriate or it’s bothering you. Is it hard to hear that something your doing is hurting your mate, probably, but is it necessary, yes. How else will you know what your mate likes and dislikes if you are afraid or lack the vocabulary to be honest. Talking to your spouse is the only way to keep your relationship growing and prospering, lying and cheating is the only way to keep it stagnant and worthless. If you’re like me, you want to hear the truth, that’s the only way I can process things, I have to have the facts, if the facts are lies then you can’t hold me responsible for how I react, in love we all take risk, if you are taking a risk at least make it a even playing field.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres, beautiful words with beautiful meanings. Who doesn’t want to feel protected in their relationship, who doesn’t want to trust their mate, if these things weren’t the goal what would be the point in being in a relationship. Love is beautiful; it’s something we all require to function in this life. People that don’t have love in their life are the most miserable people in the world. God is love and having a little bit of God in your life is what keeps you moving and striving for more. A part of our American dream is meeting someone, having a family (whatever that looks like for you), and growing old with someone that has your back, that’s perseverance in a nutshell.

Have I ever experienced this type of love, no, I have not had that kind of mortal love nor have I ever given that kind of love but I’m working on it. I want to be able to give the same type of love that I want to receive. I want to know what real love feels like; I want to know that the woman I’m with understands what real love is and is willing to give me that kind of love.

Let’s make a vow to ourselves, let’s vow to love, honor, trust and obey ourselves and our mates (if we have one), let’s vow to be the things that we ask others to be. Let’s vow to love ourselves unconditionally and expect that same love to be given to us. Let’s vow to work on accepting and living God’s love. Let’s vow to do better and to be better, my thought process is, if we are what we want to receive we will get exactly what we put out. We won’t have to worry about the side chick or the side dude coming in to destroy and conquer because when we all know and understand our worth we will know that things on the side are not a part of the equation for a reason…they aren’t good for you.

Agree to Disagree

No matter how good of a communicator you are, you will come to a time in a relationship when you must learn how to politely disagree. The Bible gives us an excellent illustration of this when Jesus showed his disciples how to disagree without being so disagreeable in disposition that people are turned off towards you.

The Jewish people were accusing Jesus of being demon possessed. Jesus simply replied, “I am not possessed by a demon, but I honor My Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for Myself; but there is One who seeks it and He is the Judge. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” The Jews replied, “Now we know that You are demon possessed” (John 8:48-52).

Jesus knew how to disagree in a way that was factual and loving while unwilling to dilute the truth. We should ask God for the wisdom to be able to disarm those who disagree with us without becoming argumentative and rude. Let’s look at  ways that Jesus showed us how to disagree without losing self control: 

1. Jesus knew how to state the facts in a way that was not offensive to believing hearts. Cynics, skeptics, and accusers will always find something wrong even if they have to invent the problem. The Pharisees were looking for an excuse to cast the Lord in a false light, so they could remain in their sin. Jesus responded to this by speaking in truth and love.

2. Jesus knew how to respond to provocation. We must learn how to control our anger, fear, and defensive emotions. We are to quick to try an kick someone while there down if they disagree with us. James wrote, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:19). Ask God for the ability to listen before you speak. This will help you in every relationship. When you take the time to better collect your thoughts and take a series of breaths, you will be better able to answer objectively rather than from your subjective feelings and emotion.

3. Jesus knew that there are people out there that have selective seeing and hearing. They only hear and see what they want to. Because of the Pharisees misconceptions about Jesus and His motives, they condemned Him before understanding the facts. Ask the Lord to give you the serenity to accept the fact that some people will think badly of you for no reason at all. There are modern day Pharisees that will not like the message you teach and talk about, but accept them and disagree without being rude.

4. Jesus knew that people who have a secret selfish agenda are blinded by the truth. He knew that getting angry, irritated, and emotional would only make the situation grow out of hand. We should never add fuel to a fire that is already burning out of control. This is very counter-cultural to our society today. Everybody has the attitude of, “You can’t out yell me, I’ll tell you!” We must let our guard down and remember what James says about being quick to listen and slow to anger. Paul wrote in Romans 12:19-21, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

5. Jesus is a God of peace. By maintaining the peace of God, we are able to graciously disagree with people in a way that will affect their thinking, emotions, and behavior. The Lord’s peace has a way of showing people that His supernatural calm accompanies His people.

6. Jesus is also God of law and order. The Lord would not let the Pharisees and the Romans get away with condemning Him without properly showing them that they were bending their own laws in a sinister way to have Him crucified. Jesus was charged as innocent, yet still crucified. Stand up for your legal, human, and civil rights.

7. Jesus is the God of love, truth, and power. The Lord Jesus Christ would not back down from accusers who tried to portray Him as something he was not. He knew His identity. Be sure that you know whom you believe and be secure in your identity in Christ. Let God be true and all the world be found as a liar if that’s what’s necessary to stand on Truth.

Jesus is love and we are to strive every second of our day to be more like Him. Learn how to control yourself in a disagreement with someone, so God can use you to the fullest extent.