“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Let’s dissect this verse for a bit. Not only did God say love is “patient and kind”, He said it does not “envy”. Think of how many times you’ve heard or been in a relationship where one partner gets jealous? And perhaps some of the jealousy is stemmed from insecurity reasons? Jealousy is one of those monsters where you need to evaluate where it’s coming from. Perhaps you’ve been cheated on before and you have a big fear of being cheated on again? Jealousy can cause issues over nothing. You can possibly cause strife when your partner has been ever so faithful all along.

Love does not “boast, it is not proud.” Being boastful and proud is the same as being prideful. Pride can hurt us in our relationships. I think of the times, I wanted to “win” the conversation by having the need to be right. The need to be right does not win us love. It can do more harm than good. I have heard of some marriages, where one partner boasts of how much more money he makes where a marriage requires two equal partners. Release your pride and find humility to be wrong once in awhile.

Love does not “dishonor.” Dishonor goes hand in hand with disrespect. Both men and women in relationships need some level of respect to feel loved. What can you possibly do that can be dishonoring? Perhaps it’s something you said unintentionally that hurt someone’s feelings. Perhaps it’s in the tone of voice in which you speak. Perhaps it’s a matter of honoring someone’s time. Are you talking to the opposite sex through private messages on social media? If your husband or wife were to look at these messages, would it be honoring to your marriage? Look for ways to honor your relationship.

Love is not “self-seeking.” Selfishness does not equal love. I’ve been in relationships I thought equated to love, but honestly, I was just in it to seek my own selfish desires. I wasn’t into the guy, but sought the companionship to fulfill selfish gaps in my heart. Addictions? What kinds of addictions are harming your relationships? Is it social media? Is it to your phone? Is it drugs? Pornography? Alcohol? Shopping? Gambling? Perhaps it’s your need for continued verbal validation? These are all self-seeking desires.

Love is not easily angered. Think about the times you’ve been angry. Being angry or slow to anger is definitely fine. The Lord has given us the ability to experience our human emotions. Sometimes, it’s your reaction to your anger that is not OK. Was the root of your anger stemmed from the lack of control? Was it from lack of control over your spouse? Control and manipulation in relationships is never OK. The root of anger is usually from the need for control. Release your control to the Lord. Be slow to anger and be willing to find other ways to cope or compromise.

Love “keeps no record of wrongs.” Oh, the ultimate blame game. When we continue to point out someone’s faults, we are showing we have unforgiveness in our hearts, especially when the issues were supposedly worked out in a past discussion. Have you set boundaries on what you’re willing to endure? Keeping a record of someone’s wrongs is in indication we are harboring resentment. Rather than dwelling on past mistakes, how about moving forward and working on a solution both of you can manage? Perhaps, you need to communicate again and say “Hey, remember the last discussion we had? We need to come up with a solution because it’s not working for me.”

The key element to love in this verse is COMMITMENT. We cannot love without commitment. Our marriages need to make us better, stronger, and more joyful. Love is not without sacrifice. We need to sacrifice our old ways, and our old thoughts to make our marriages work better for us. Amen?! Amen.

Love you and I’m clinging on to God’s word for your marriage today.

Patty