True Love

We’ve all heard so much about true love, yet we have such a hard time finding it sometimes.  When we stand at the altar and repeat our wedding vows the preacher asks us something like, “Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish…”  Then we say something like, “I do…” unless we’re really nervous and forget our lines.

As a husband, I want to love my wife in a way that is going make her feel like she is really loved – not like I’m just saying the words I’m supposed to say. 

If you’re in a dating relationship it is extremely important for you to be able to recognize whether the feelings you have toward each other are love – or a well-disguised imposter.

You’ve probably heard that love is a decision – but what kind of decision is it?  What is it a decision to do?  In 1 Corinthians 13, God took the time and effort to help us understand what true love is – and what it isn’t.

First, the straight-out-of-the-Bible definition of love (charity):

  • Suffereth long and is kind
  • Envieth not
  • Vaunteth not itself
  • Doth not behave itself unseemly
  • Seeketh not her own
  • Is not easily provoked
  • Thinketh no evil
  • Rejoiceth not in iniquity
  • Rejoiceth in truth
  • Beareth all things
  • Believeth all things
  • Hopeth all things
  • Endureth all things
  • Never faileth

Second, some easy-to-understand definitions:

  • Suffereth long and is kind
    • Love puts up with inconveniences with a good attitude.
  • Envieth not
    • Love lifts up others instead of self.
  • Vaunteth not itself
    • Love is not proud or stuck up.
  • Doth not behave itself unseemly
    • Love does what is right.
  • Seeketh not her own
    • Love looks for ways to help others.
  • Is not easily provoked
    • Love responds properly to adversity.
  • Thinketh no evil
    • Love thinks correctly.
  • Rejoiceth not in iniquity
    • Love doesn’t enjoy what is not right.
  • Rejoiceth in truth
    • Love gets excited about what is right.
  • Beareth all things
    • Love carries the weight others share.
  • Believeth all things
    • Love gives the benefit of the doubt.
  • Hopeth all things
    • Love always hopes for the best.
  • Endureth all things
    • Love keeps on through hard times.
  • Never faileth
    • Love doesn’t quit and always succeeds.

If you are in love with someone try this:

  • Instead of just saying “I love you,” show “I love you.”
    • What would happen if a wife would put up with the inconveniences her husband caused her – with a good attitude?
    • What would happen if a husband enjoyed when his wife got a compliment, extra credit, or a promotion without becoming jealous?
    • What would happen if a wife never again said, “He just doesn’t meet my needs?”
    • What would happen if a husband did what was right – not just convenient or popular among his friends?
    • What would happen if a wife made an effort to find ways to help her husband with daily tasks?
    • What would happen if a husband responded kindly when his wife said something to make him mad?
    • What would happen if a husband and wife both allowed the Holy Spirit to control their thoughts so they thought about right things instead of sinful imaginations and worrisome scenarios?
    • What would happen if neither of you enjoyed sinful entertainment?
    • What would happen if right things and relationships excited you instead of wrong things?
    • What would happen if a husband knew that his wife would listen to his problems and help him carry his load?
    • What would happen if a wife knew that her husband was going to give her the benefit of the doubt when she made a mistake?
    • What would happen if a husband knew that his wife was pulling for him and hoping for the best instead of secretly hoping he’d fail?
    • What would happen if neither of you had to worry about the future of your relationship because you knew your spouse would stay with you through hard times?
    • What would happen if divorce wasn’t an option, you were both determined not to quit, and you knew you would eventually succeed?

Maybe you are at a point in a relationship where you are trying to decide if you are dating the right person.  Here’s an idea.  Let that person prove they love you before you believe what they are telling you.

  • Here are some questions to ask yourself:
    • Does he put up with inconveniences that I cause with a good attitude?
    • Does he lift me up instead of himself?
    • Is he proud or stuck up?
    • Does he always try to do what is right?
    • Does he look for ways to help me?
    • Does he respond kindly when someone (including me) provokes him?
    • Does he have a clean thought life?
    • Does it bother him to see somebody do wrong?
    • Does he get excited about right things?
    • Is he willing to carry the weight of my problems?
    • Does he give me the benefit of the doubt when I make a mistake?
    • Does he hope for my best?
    • Does he ever talk about or show signs of quitting when challenges arise?
    • Is he in it for he long haul?

All of these long “little” questions are tools for answering one short “big” question, “Does he truly love me?”  Hopefully you’ll be able to recognize true love and its evil imposter – self-love.