We apply these verses most often to marriage, don't we?
These verses were originally written to a church
The Corinthian church was blessed. And when we are blessed, don't we assume God is pleased with us? (see 1 Cor 1:4-11 ) These verses show us what real love looks like in action.
Paul's words on Love
Breaking it down
Agape love: “a caring, self-sacrificing commitment which shows itself in seeking the highest good of the one loved.”
Love is patient.
If you’re patient, you’re slow to anger, you endure personal wrongs without retaliating. You bear with others’ imperfections, faults, and differences. You give them time to change, room to make mistakes without coming down hard on them.
Patience says, "you are worth the wait."
Love is kind.
Patience in action. The kind person shows kindness in response to harsh treatment. (see Luke 6:33, 35; Rom. 2:4). Kindness, not harshness, motivates others toward positive change.
Love is not envious/jealous.
The envious person wants what others have. In relationships, they have to have all the attention. James says that jealousy is often the source of quarrels and conflicts (James 4:2).
Love is not boastful or arrogant.
“Jealousy is wanting what someone else has. Bragging is trying to make others jealous of what we have. Jealousy puts others down; bragging builds us up” (John MacArthur)
The humble, loving person is aware that everything they have is a gift from God (1 Cor. 4:7), not something they "deserve."
Love is not rude.
Love does not needlessly offend. It is courteous, polite, sensitive to the feelings of others and always uses tact.
Love does not insist on its own way.
It is not selfish, does not demand its rights. Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t insist on His rights? He would have stayed in heaven and we wouldn’t be saved!
Love is not irritable.
Phillips: “It is not touchy.” Love does not have a hair-trigger temper. Some people make everyone around them walk on eggshells. When you’re angry, usually you’re not loving.
Love is not resentful.
This word is used of God not imputing our guilt to us, but instead imputing the righteousness of Christ to us ( 4:6-8).
One married man said to his friend, “You know, every time my wife and I get into a conflict, she gets historical..."
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
These qualities are the flip side of one another. The Moffatt translation: “Love is never glad when others go wrong.” If someone you don’t like falls into sin, you don’t gloat; you grieve. If they repent, you rejoice.
Love bears all things.
Love doesn’t broadcast the problems of others. Love doesn’t run down others with sarcasm or put-downs. Love defends the character of the other person as much as possible within the limits of truth. Love won’t lie about weaknesses, but neither will it deliberately expose and emphasize them. Love protects.
Love believes all things.
This does not mean gullibility; it does mean that love is not suspicious and doubting of the other person’s character and motives without good reason, even if the actions offended you. Sometimes you will get taken advantage of when you trust, but love persists in trusting.
Love hopes all things.
It is not pessimistic. It does not expect the one loved to fail, but to succeed. Love refuses to take failure as final. It rests on the promises of God, that He is working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Love endures all things.
The word “endures” is a military word meaning to sustain the assault of an enemy. It has the idea of holding up under trial, of perseverance in spite of difficulties. It means that love hangs in there.
There is a trend among in our culture of bailing out of tough situations. Aren't you glad Jesus didn't bail on us?
Love never ends
Real love doesn't fail. It does not dependant upon the behavior of others, but upon God. It's a "father, forgive them" kind of love.
And we can all probably do better. I encourage you to make each of these "love is" statements a point of prayer over this week, especially the ones that are personally the most challenging...