Our wedding day was a perfect pink cloud of devotion and romance. It was a dream day that is locked in my memory as one of the happiest days of my life. As with most weddings at some point during the service we had someone read the Love Chapter. The amazing words from 1 Corinthians 13:
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,
Every couple at the altar hears those words with tears in their eyes and dreams of this ultimate and unending love for one another. On our day I soaked those words into my heart vowing to my new wife and myself that I would do those things, that I would be those things for my new wife.
It didn’t take me long to recognize that my love for Kate was not looking like the love from 1 Corinthians 13. I was trying but it wasn’t happening.
While my heart was trying my life was writing my own variation of the Love Chapter. Mine went something like this:
- I will love you as much as possible but it is conditional on how much love you show me.
- I will do my best to hide the record of wrongs as long as it doesn’t get too long. If it does all bets are off.
- I will be irritable and you are had better show me love when I am.
- I will demand my way, and if you don’t meet my selfish desires I’ll meet them myself.
- I won’t be jealous as long as you don’t give me any reason to be.
- I’ll pout alot when I’ve been proven wrong,
- And I’ll try to only gloat a little when I am right.
I felt that I was loving, that I was devoted and caring and that my love for Kate filled my heart. But in those times of honesty with myself I knew that I was failing. I was failing at loving my wife the way that God wanted me to. I was failing at being a husband. This realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I was the “romantic” guy, I thought I was the “feeling” guy. And yet I couldn’t do love the way I was supposed to.
When we would argue my guilt would eat away at my insides saying “you aren’t loving her right”. I would commit to myself, to God and to her that I would try again.
The more I would try to love like I should the more I would see how much I would fail.
Darkness Into Light
It was in this pit of knowing that she deserved better, and that I couldn’t give it to her that I finally got it. God didn’t give us this model of love to follow. 1 Corinthians 13 isn’t about striving for an unreachable goal. God wasn’t teasing me by showing me a something I couldn’t do. This isn’t about failure.
God gave us 1 Corinthians 13’s definition of true love to us to show us that we couldn’t do it on our own. No matter how hard we try. No matter how much we LOVE. We can’t do it on our own. The standard isn’t there to show us how much we fail. It is there to show us how much we need Him! The Love Chapter is there to show us how much our marriages need Jesus.
I hope it doesn’t take the same ton of bricks to help you realize that you too will fall short of loving like 1 Corinthians 13. But that doesn’t mean you give up. It mean that you need God to renew your heart, and then allow him to draw you up into the love he designed.
Are you wrestling with the definitions of love in 1 Corinthians 13?
How are you seeing Jesus draw you closer to this model as you draw closer to him?
share with us in the comments!
Photo ©CreationSwap/ Linda Brane