“My husband will be a man who has practiced and respected patience.
He is charmingly and truthfully kind.
He is not jealous, because He trusts in the Lord enough to trust in me.
He is not boastful or proud because our love speaks in actions.
He surely is not rude.
Our love most definitely does not demand its own way
for we know and long for the Lord to lead our path.
He is not irritable when times are stressful.
Together we will keep no records of wrong.
He dances with me and rejoices when truth wins.
His joy carries us through the valleys.
In the hard times, he will love even harder.
He will help silence my fears, but he will not accept them.
He believes in truth over convenience or being comfortable.
He feels my cry, is encouraged by my laugh, and joins me in song
no matter how off key to worship our father God.
He will never give up, because his eyes are on God and not me.
He will never lose faith.
Even if the whole world is against me, he will be for me
because he loves the Jesus in me.
He knows a river brings joy into the city of God
even when the nations are in chaos.
He sits still with me and knows that God is God.
He will be able to endure all circumstances,
because I will be right there with him holding his hand—striving to do the exact same thing.
He will lead me where the Lord is leading him.
We will meet at the Lord’s feet.”
I came across this quote in an article yesterday or the day before. I clicked it out of curiosity. The clickbait headline was a turn-off, but I clicked anyway. While I felt that most of the article was feel-good and poorly-written, the last bit grabbed me. See, she talks about a list.
A list, ya’ll.
I made a list once. A long time ago. A list of qualities I wanted in a partner. A list of ideals. But none of these qualities really make a relationship last. I mean, they’re nice if they fit and if you get what you want, but since when does what I want mean that it’s best for me?
God knows what’s best for me, and one of the best passages of love out there is in God’s word.
“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
This list is gold. And the only one that matters.
I’ve never believed that the emotion, the feeling, of love amounted to any sort of “glue” that could keep a relationship thriving or keep a couple together. Feelings are ambiguous and feelings are subjective. I can’t even trust my own feelings from moment to moment, so why should someone else rely on them as an indicator of truth?
Feelings betray. Feelings aren’t truth. They are just feelings. Reactions. They aren’t truth.
But LOVE, true love, love you can believe in—that kind of love is an action word.
Love is a verb (not a noun).
So how does one act out love? I’m so glad God tells us.
To love another, I must be patient.
I must be kind.
Jealousy needs to sit on the sidelines,
alongside my pride.
Out of love, I won’t disrespect those I care about.
Instead of being selfish, I must choose to put others before myself.
I pray that anger leaves me, because anger is bitter, and bitterness and love cannot coexist.
To forgive and let go of past wrongs is also an intentional action of love.
I will not celebrate evil.
I will rejoice in the truth.
I choose to protect the relationships God has granted me in these ways:
By trusting, even if it is not deserved.
By hoping for the best, always, instead of immediately thinking of the negative possibilities.
(Basically, being an optimist.)
And by persevering, even when the going gets tough,
even when my feelings are hurt and my soul feels weighed down and crushed.
Loving is hard work.
I’m so glad God chose to love us.