“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.” —1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Though most of us recognize these lines, but how do they apply to a marriage in today’s modern world? Let’s explore this passage in more detail to learn more about what love is and what love isn’t according to God.
Love Is Patient
In any relationship, patience is certainly needed. But in a marriage, it is vital to health and longevity.
When two people co-inhabit a home, there are certainly going to be frustrations and high-friction moments. However, employing patience (i.e. remembering that life is about progress (not perfection), honoring personal boundaries and differences, etc.) can calm the anxiety or irritation that comes with these situations. Additionally, taking a perspective of patience rather than perfectionism prevents resentment – the kiss of death for any marriage.
Love Is Kind
A little kindness goes a long way, especially in a marriage.
When two people love each other enough to commit to a lifetime together, kindness is often implied or assumed. However, it’s not as often employed. For that reason, many marriages begin to lose not only the spark but the shared sense of admiration. In fact, some couples stop liking each other altogether.
With regard to the latter, most would say they still love each other, but “not in that way.” That addendum is typically the result of a lack of kindness or (more to the point) an abundance of emotional negligence, harshness, constant criticism or even abuse.
Love, however, is none of the above. It is kind. Daily acts of kindness are required to ensure a successful and fulfilling marriage.
Love Keeps No Records Of Wrongs
Keeping score in a marriage is a big no-no. Primarily, doing so negates any efforts toward forgiveness or personal growth. A person cannot make progress if they are constantly reminded of their past regressions.
Love allows every day to be a new one. When the sun sets and clears away the events of the day, so too should love allow for a clean slate upon sunrise.
Love Protects, Trusts, Hopes And Perseveres
Even when the aforementioned steps aren’t easily falling into place or it’s clear there’s work to do to re-instill love in its truest form, there is one bit of advice to employ; even when you don’t like each other, respect the relationship as a separate entity. In other words, even when acts of love are lacking and patience is running thin with your spouse, express love toward the marriage itself.
The latter is an act of protecting the relationship – something love also does. Additionally, it is the relationship equivalent of boarding up the windows in preparation for a storm. So, in that way, it’s perseverance in its purest form. This helps keep hope alive for a brighter day and employs the trust you’ll need in one another to do the work needed to carry that hope into fruition.
If nothing else, when it comes to your marriage and the Biblical reminders of the importance of love and its true definition, remember that love simply is. As such, let it be.
You may also be interested in Love Patterns: How To Create Routines Of Romance In Your Marriage