Everyone has something to learn about love, even those of us who believe we already know what love is. Ya know, when you really think about it, love is a very broad word: we love our parents, our children, our friends, even our enemies, in very different ways, but the principles are the same: according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 we are to be kind and understanding, not envious, boastful or proud. We are not to be self-centered or hot-headed but loyal, forgiving and honest. It’s so easy to forget these basic principles…especially the self-centeredness. Speaking more along the lines of intimate love not just sex but the love between man and woman, how often do we find ourselves saying that the other person is not fulfilling a need? Not loving us enough, including us or giving us what we want? With each tear and stomp we build a wall that becomes increasingly harder to climb and harder for ourselves to see across so we start looking elsewhere. We suffocate ourselves with ourselves. Brick by brick we add to our walls and blind our own eyes. But isn’t that greed?? Where do we draw the line? Don’t ask me, and don’t expect me to answer that here because I simply do not know. If it’s one thing I’ve come to realize in this walk, love is truly a mystery to me.
Some people are afraid to let love in, while others want it so bad they bypass any and all filters that could spare them from certain pain. I wish I was more afraid… I’d pray for it, but I’m afraid I’d get those lessons much like I’ve received the lessons for the patience I’ve prayed for. (Insert giggle here.) It would be much easier to walk on this earth without the desire for a companion. I honestly want for nothing…I love my job, my kids, my home, my car, and my finances are in order. For the first time in life I feel secure and happy…but…there’s a piece missing and it’s driving me nuts. Trying to find it only makes me wonder if it’s even really there, if our world has changed so much that many don’t even care about anything but themselves.
I hold onto the values listed in 1 Cor 13:1-13 and I vow to love like this as it’s obviously how God wants us to love. It’s a perfect description of love, and not just a description but…instructions. If you’ve ever wished there was a manual on love, here it is. As a reminder, I have a large 20×30 poster of the verses 1-3 on my wall in my livingroom. (Yes, I made that.) It’s not so much of a reminder that I don’t have love – I have the greatest love from my family and friends – and I know am not ‘nothing’, but I’m still waiting. Waiting for that special kind of love that will compliment me, that will make sense of my design.
“1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
“Love is like war: Easy to begin but hard to end.” ~ Anonymous
“Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” ~Elizabeth Browning
“Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we bless and are blessed.” ~ John Tarrant