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I Corinthians chapter 13 changed my life.
When Justin and I counsel couples about to get married, we read “love always trusts.” We watch God upend cultural paradigms, tear down self-protecting walls, and show us the way of vulnerability. Young eyes open wide and heads start nodding, and those words seem so obvious and right.
When I think about parenting my girls and I think “love is patient” I am challenged to wade through and live beside their failures and incompetencies, pulling them gently into victories and mastery, all the while keeping my cool.
When I get frustrated with myself, thinking maybe I’ll never get better, maybe I’ll never live up to God’s pattern, I read “love always hopes” and I am reminded to love myself, to look at my flaws through a filter of hope.
When I read a blog post with which I disagree, I decide against the snarky comment I want to write and I refrain from throwing my coffee cup against the wall because “love is not easily angered.”
When I pray and ask God for what I’m certain I need and wait and wait and wonder why He won’t give it to me, I read “love is not self-seeking” and I know that following God isn’t about me and what I want.
Every bit of life looks to I Corinthians 13 for direction. I handle conflict with this chapter scrolling through my mind. I engage with people who don’t know Christ in light of I Corinthians 13. I live in community with Christ’s children, learning the love I find right here. I even choose what to wear through the filter of this chapter.
Learning to live love begins in understanding what love looks like. Love looks like this:
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.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away…
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.