know what love is really all about? It’s not about having your
needs met; it’s about meeting the needs of another. It’s not about being served, but serving. It’s not about keeping track; it’s about paying the
price. It’s not about finally
getting everything you always wanted; it’s about forgiving another for who they
cannot be. Love is not a noun—something to
have. Love is a verb—something to do.
Love is patient. It means to be generous in waiting, serving and giving
someone time and enduring attention. Love is self-restrained and restful in spirit. It carries the idea of having hopes for one another
without imposing your own agenda. In a romantic relationship true love is marked by patience. Love willingly gives people time to become who they
are in God’s design. Love
endures the process because it’s good for the one loved. True
love is patient.
Love is kind. Kindness wants a person to perform at their best and
acts in such a way that the other person is enhanced and not demeaned. Kindness does not harbor a critical spirit or a quick
tongue. Kindness is thoughtful
and observant. It notices the
strengths and gifts of another and creates opportunities for the other person
to exercise their attributes. Kindness
builds up another person and desires good for them. Love gently enhances the best in another. True
love is kind.
True love is not jealous. Jealousy always tries too hard to get what it
wants. Love is not this
way. Jealousy is not conducive
to healthy relationships in any way. It wants what it does not have or can’t have. Jealousy is out for its own good and self-enhancement
and in this sense is the opposite of kindness. True love
is not jealous.
Love does not brag. Love is not self-promoting. It does not make itself look better or gain attention
at the expense of another. Love
does not seek the spotlight. It
is not boastful. True love is humble, and so it is surprised by blessing. Boasting is often based on an insecurity that
needs self-assurance. The
secure person knows that love given is a gift of grace and that love received
is cause for humility and awe. Because true love casts out
fear ,is not need to boast.
Love is not arrogant or proud. When a person is “full of himself,” he has no room for
loving another. This is the
essential problem. To be
“puffed up” leaves little room for another’s needs and comforts. Love treats the other person as more important and
loves the other person as more valuable. True love is not
Love does not act unbecomingly. It is not rude. Lovers do not behave disgracefully or
dishonorably. True love does
not embarrass those loved. There
is a think-ahead thoughtfulness that marks how we love another person. Love that is not rude is a love that is considerate
and courteous. It is an
attitude that speaks the truth in love—at the right time and in the right
way. Love does not jest at
another person’s expense. True
lovers guard the public life of those they love. They make public praise a habit. It is something altogether endearing to appreciate
another person in front of other people. True love is gracious
and not rude.
Love does not insist on its own way. Love isn’t out for its own sake, its own agenda, its
own welfare or its own ends. True
love is the opposite of self-seeking and self-serving. Love seeks the welfare of the other, and searches for
a way to serve and not be served. Love adopts the agenda that is best for the other person. Love gives way to the needs of the one loved. It does not push for its own accommodation, but
creates a comfort zone for the other’s life. True love is
not insistent, except in its persistence to love the other.
Love is not provoked. It does not have a “life of its own.” Being provoked means to be irritated and touchy. It is associated with sudden fits of temper and
anger. This kind of attitude
creates an atmosphere described by the idiom “walking on eggshells.” True love does not engender such tension. True
love puts others at ease. It is in many respects so
dependable that others know what to expect.
Love does not take into account a wrong suffered. Love
does not keep track of wrongdoing. It does not pull out the ledger of life and record what went
wrong. Love does not store up
memories of being shortchanged, wronged, sinned against or misunderstood. True
love does not store up ammunition for the next dispute. Love does not drag up stuff from three years, weeks or
days ago to make a point, win an argument or remind another person how she or
he has failed. True love is not resentful.
Love does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the truth. Love
celebrates the other person. Lovers are each other’s best
cheerleaders. Win, lose or
draw, the loved on is the one you cheer for. True love does not grow from fair-weather
friendships. There is a
stick-to-itiveness in true love. And when things go right, especially after hard work and long seasons of
effort, there is joy. Love, in
the same way, shares the pain of disappointment and failure with the one
loved. It hurts to see someone
you love lose—even when they might have done things differently. Love supports the ideas and plans and enthusiasm of
the other person even when personal interest is at a minimum. True
love rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things. The idea here is that love can “cover anything.” Love like this endures patiently the ups and down of
life. It faces disappointment
without panic. “Love covers
over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Love like this provides protection from the storms of
life. Lovers offer an acceptance that provides an emotional covering from
the criticism and harshness of others. Love is not blind, but it does conceal what is
displeasing in another. Love does not publicly criticize the other
person. Love protects what is
vulnerable in the loved person from all that might be wounding. True
love bears all things.
Love believes all things and hopes all things. Love
is for the other person. True
love responds in faith to the character and intention of the one loved. Again, love is not blind, but love sees the best
possible in another. Love
supports and encourages the dreams and efforts of the loved one. Love places confidence in the know-how of the one
loved. Love believes when
doubt is a threat. And love
hopes at the same time. Love
wants the best, and watches for the best. Hope is an assurance of unseen things. Love that hopes is love that watches for love even
when it is unseen. Love
continues to hope when disappointment is reality. True
love believes and hopes.
And love endures all things. Love that endures is a love that stays put. It is a love that is immovable. True love endures until it is victorious. It does not give up. It overcomes and is not overwhelmed. Love like this lasts because it does not entertain
another option. The only kind of prenuptial agreement for this kind of
love is to work at it for a lifetime. True love endures.
intention for all human relationships. It always has been.