Often when people enter love relationships, or take marriage vows, they often promise to do a lot of beautiful things. Couple promise to stick to each other in good or trying times. They promise love, respect, endure, and tolerate one other. Yet some of these marriages and relationships end up crashing. Is it that there wasn’t love in them? Or we just don’t understand what love means?
There are many definitions of love, but as a person of the Christian faith, I believe this scripture spells out clearly what true love is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “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.”
Here are the characteristics of true love according to the Bible ;
- Love is patient; “Patient helps you give your spouse the permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it.” Patience helps you to hang on during the tough times in your relationship rather than bailing under pressure.
- Love is kind; love demands that you be kind and thoughtful to each other even when there is no reward, or you are not being appreciated. You cannot love without being kind.
- Love doesn’t brag or boast about self
- Love isn’t arrogant; lording over your spouse or partner
- Love isn’t rude; but polite and displays good manners and proper etiquette. Nothing irritates people more than rudeness; “rudeness is unnecessarily saying or doing things that are unpleasant for another person to be around.”
- Love doesn’t insist on having things its way; but give precedence and priorities to the spouse, even if it has to compromise. Arguments in relationships continue because the couple often stay entrenched and unbending. But the moment one person decides to let the other win, the problem ends.
- Love isn’t irritable; love is hard to offend and easy to forgive. Some of us are offended at the slightest provocation, and hold grudges for very long period, often revisiting past hurts, or pointing to your spouse the number of times he or she has offended you.
- Love isn’t resentful
- Love doesn’t rejoice in wrongdoing; it never delights in the downfall or hurting of another person
- Love bears all things; all means all.
- Love believes all things; Love chooses to believe the best in others, and giving your spouse the benefit of doubt. It doesn’t fill in the unknowns with all sort of negative assumptions.
- Love hopes all things; love hopes for the best for all concerned. If the worst happens, love makes every effort to deal with the situation and move forward. As much as possible focus on the positive side of things.
- Love endures all; this has been called the ultimate. When you are threatened, love keeps pursuing. When you are challenged loves keep going forward, when you are mistreated, used, abused, persecuted and so on, love never quits or gives up…Love never fails.
These things make up love. It doesn’t matter how hot your love flame appear, how many times you kiss and hug, or how much money you spend on gifts, your love hasn’t got these things….it isn’t love!