"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, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I'm sure we have all heard these lines of scripture at a wedding or read them before. I just hear them yesterday at my cousin's wedding. They are great and Paul writes about some awesome attributes of love. There is a reason why they are chosen for weddings because the officiant is reminding the couple of all the attributes we should take on as spouses and share the love between us.
However, I think the point that is often overlooked is that the love we have comes from God. God gives us love and He loves us but most importantly God is love because He is all of those attributes: patient, kind, not envious, boastful, proud, not dishonoring, selfless, slow to anger, wipes away our sins, truth, protective, trusting, hopeful and perseverance. I think we believe that since there is love between a man and woman, these attributes will come naturally. I am not married but I can say for sure that even though I love my family, I am certainly not always patient or kind. I need God's love in my life and His source of patience and kindness to be able to show those to others.
Another comment is that we distinguish this as the "Love Chapter" in the Bible. I want to scream and shout at the top of my lungs on the highest tower that love is woven throughout the entire Bible. God is in each and every word written, which means His love is there always. I see His love as He creates in Genesis, as He disciplines in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, as He comes to Earth in Matthew, and as He prepares us for His coming again in Revelation. From beginning to end is Love.
So I would argue that we can't call this the "Love Chapter" because the entire Bible is a Love Letter from God to us. He wants to show us the entirety of His love which ultimately culminates in Jesus' death and resurrection to rescue us from the destruction and penalty of sin. Although this is where Paul describes Love and those attributes, we can extend them to our every day lives and not just the sacraments of marriage. I know that I need to display all those characteristics to each person in my life. So will you join me in changing our perspective on how we view the "Love Chapter" and categorizing love to only a few verses in a much larger book all about love?
What are your thoughts on the use of 1 Corinthians 13? Do you love it, cherish it, rebuke it? Did you read it at your wedding? Let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts!
In His Love,