First Corinthians 13, the love chapter, has been added to wedding programs for decades, but otherwise, we pretty much gloss over it. We don’t glean the tremendous wisdom laid out in this amazing chapter. As I have studied Scripture, I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of Scripture exists to help us understand how much YHVH loves us, and help us to, even in a small way, demonstrate that same love to the people around us.
So, let’s break this chapter down and see what we can learn about love, and how to show it to others in small ways every day. As I wrote this post, I used more than one translation, so the wording will vary because of that. Also, I have focused first on family relationships because that’s kind of the theme of my website. 😉
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
I Corinthians 13:4-8b ESV
The phrase “love is patient” has been embroidered on every pillow and stamped on a million coffee mugs. But, how do we actually live it? To be patient with those around us, we need to remember that none of us has arrived, and we are all still growing. It is easy to lose patience with someone if they are struggling in an area of life where we feel we are in control. For example, I can feel impatient with a child trying to tie their shoes, because for me, it’s an extremely easy task. But, love is patient, so I offer to help, and make sure to allow more time in the future for a task that they are still struggling with.
I can feel impatient with my spouse talking about a boring subject. But, love is patient, so I would do well to learn a bit about what interests them so that I can patiently have a conversation with them. This is why I know more about aviation than I ever imagined. Doug, in turn, listens to me talk about book-making equipment.
Patience is easier to achieve in general if we take a slower approach to life. If we are always in a hurry, we will be impatient with anyone slower than us. Take time to smell the roses! Help the slower ones, and learn to slow down to their pace. All of these ways of being patient will show love to your family and others.
Do you need help with the practical details of your home life? Sometimes we struggle with being a good mom or wife, because we are stressed about all the details we are in charge of. My secret to keeping on top of all those details is using the Torah Family Living planner.
Are you generally regarded as a kind person? Do you speak with a gentle, kind tone? In my experience, our kindness is pulled out when the phone rings or when we are talking to someone in the store. But, the kindness is shelved in favor of gruffness when in the company of our children. We can be firm with our children while using a kind tone. We can do nice things for our children without spoiling them. We can, and should, reserve yelling for safety issues, and use a kind voice otherwise. As long as your children know that you mean what you say, there is no reason to be the meanie.
Try to develop a habit of saying please and thank you when talking to your children. Keep your volume down when you speak to them, since a quieter tone tends to come across as kinder. Reserved yelling is much more effective than yelling thrown at everything.
Does not envy
Love is not jealous of others’ accomplishments. A healthy level of jealousy in the very exclusive marriage relationship is a different concept. Here, we are looking at the supposedly greener grass on the other side of the fence. Are you envious that your spouse is better at something than you? Are you jealous that your adult friends have a better salary? Love would say, “Wow! I am happy for you!”
This is often easier said than done. I remember being envious of a friend who got an amazing answer to prayer. I had prayed for the same thing in my own life, but YHVH chose not to grant it. The only way I was able to counter this jealous response was to pray and say “Thank you for answering my friend’s prayer.” I did this every time I felt envious and frustrated. It worked! The jealousy was eventually replaced with true joy for my friend. This is love.
I’ll cover more I Corinthians love concepts in the next post. Until then, what aspect of love do you need to work on your family life? Remember to sign up below so you don’t miss anything here at Torah Family Living.