Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Love is Patient.

I've been thinking a lot of about Love lately, mostly because my anniversary is next week. 5 years! Now that I'm married & know the amount of work that goes into it- 5 years is a lot to celebrate! Each year offers more trials, more tests to pass, but also more rewards. The reward of becoming (closer) One with your spouse. The reward of offering your WHOLE self to your partner, honoring them above yourself.  Well, since everyone wants to toss around the word "Love"-let's take it the Word.

1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record or wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

Wow. Wow. Wow. 

This is going to be a long post, but just hold on. It's so necessary if you are married or if you think you're ready for marriage. 


~bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint or anger.
~quietly and steadily persevering or diligent

~of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person.
~having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence: kind words.
~indulgent, considerate, or helpful 

 ~mild; gentle 
~a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.

~to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.
~can imply an excessive preoccupation with oneself or with one's own concerns
~discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way: a rude reply.

~rough, harsh, or ungentle
Self seeking:
~the seeking of one's own interest or selfish ends.
Anger (easily angered):  

~a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath

~to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.
Trust: ~reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
~confident expectation of something; hope. 
~confidence in the certainty of future
~the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

~the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best:
~to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.
~ to bolster, sustain, or uphold

 There you have it. These are the "magical" words everyone wants to recite on their wedding day. Eyes beaming, declaring to Love their new bride or groom forever! Through thick or thin. I feel like the same way the world views abortion is the same way they feel about marriage. "If I don't want it, I don't have to keep it." The End. No fight, no struggle "I just don't want to deal with it."

 As I experience my own battles in my marriage, I grow more frustrated with the Laxed attitude people have about it. I'm talking about Love as a verb. A responsibility you signed up for when you promised your spouse "You Would." I confidently will say being married is the hardest thing I have ever been called to do. Because it has everything to do with me and nothing to do with me; all at the same time. Let me explain. 

Many of my trials that I thought were because of my husband, were actually for my own good. God was trying to reveal something to me about ME. For example, I had NO idea how prideful I was until I got married. Five years later, I can finally see some light through my foggy tunnel.  And at the same time, it has nothing to do with me because Love is not self seeking. But it works because if both people are seeking the other then your needs will be met. Regard your spouse higher than you. 

God is so cool, too that when I'm doing well in my marriage and begin to help someone else -there's another test for ME. LOL smile. Yippe!! There's never a break. I promise you, if I Did Not know the Love of God I would have quit long ago. Period. I am too selfish to lay my life down for my partner. I can't do that in my own power. Heck no, don't want to either. 
I think it's interesting that the verse (4) starts off with Love is patient. Let's review:

~bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger.
~quietly and steadily persevering or diligent

Marriage is Hard! How many of you have hit a rough season & yet still walked in patience? Any raised hands? Lol. Didn't think so. To bear hardship and pain while being calm without complaint or anger? Whoaa. If I had to rate myself I'd say I get a D+. Ha! As a whole I think we've become more impatient than before. Thanks to the internet & smart phones, we can access so much information in seconds that the idea of waiting is like-whhhaaat???? How long??!!!
I had a hard time with waiting. I wanted results; progress. Like today. Can I just say I am so grateful that Jesus does not have us on a timeline. Think about it. You've been walking with Jesus for like 5,6, 8 years and you still slip up and tell a lie or go off on your husband just because you're tired. If Jesus was impatient and told you, "you know what Jewel, it's been 10 years now, surely you should have gotten a better hold of --------. 

I'm kind of tired of seeing you fall, you've had enough time to perfect it. This is just useless, I'm wasting my time on you. It's time to go." The END. Yea none of us would appreciate that. Why are we so quick to quit on our spouses? If that's your attitude then you should have just been honest from the jump. As you were standing at the altar ready to say "I DO", you should have included your timeline in your vows. "

I promise to work with you and wait for you for better or for worse but only for the next two years. If it doesn't get better by then, then I'm going to have to leave." Why don't we say that? Not waste anyone's time. We stood there before God and our family and friends and said "For better or for worse till DEATH do us part." 
Okay so I know I'm ranting now. I just get tired of how selfish we are. I get mad at myself for my own high expectations. Marriage is the perfect illustration of how Jesus loves His church; us. It is not some $40,000 dollar event made to Look perfect then finding out later how imperfect it really is, then bailing out! 

No, no, no. Jesus promises to Never leave us or forsake us. His love was a sacrifice to the billions of imperfect people in the world. And His love is freely given & cannot be reciprocated. So when you get married, that's what you can expect. You are to be called to Love freely with no small fine print. You are called to Love an imperfect person who may not love you with the same conditions. There are no refunds or trades.  Love perseveres. (To maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly) So. To end my ranting I will say this:
You cannot get married with the intent of "finding love." Or fulfilling voids. You will be a mess! Pursue God. Discover true Love first. Then, get married (already fulfilled) and LOVE, Love LOVE your spouse! Forever. Be ready to "lose self" & spend a lifetime becoming One with them.Marriage is beautiful. It is the hardest thing ever, but it's beautiful. It's beautiful because God says it is. He created it and everything He lays His hand on is GOOD. So the next time you want to quit, think about your vows. Think about 1 Corinthians 13:4, and think about Jesus' life-long pursuit of you. His love for you never stops.  

~~We cannot lay our life down for our spouses without the help of Jesus. It's just not in our nature to keep on giving. We are selfish people but He is our true example of what it means to be self...less. "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28
~"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6  
 ~"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2
 ~"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has  promised to those who love him." James 1:12 
 ~"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8 
~"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
~"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

p.s when you hear about someone's anniversary-Celebrate! God got them through another year! no lie, satan hates GOD. He hates anyone who loves God and anything GOD loves. God loves marriage and so our adversary will do his best to destroy it. Family is always under attack. Just look at the news. Encourage someone who is having a hard time; Remember Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth! And the Truth is, Nothing is impossible with GOD. Period.

Love me,
Love God.


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