Different seasons of my life warranted different definitions of what love was. There was the hope of finding a love that rivaled the romance played out in the movies. My hopeless romantic definition of love was eventually confronted by the physiological effects of love discussed in college psychology lectures. I allowed unhealthy relationships to determine what I considered love to be. It became awkwardly obvious where my love life was headed. I sat with my eyes full of tears staring at turning 30 as a brutal reminder that my perspective of love desperately needed to change for the better if I was going to experience authentic love. A friend directed me to 1 Corinthians 13, and we spent an entire evening discussing how love is meant to be expressed.
Be encouraged that you were designed to love and be loved! Do not be discouraged by your past negative experiences in relationships. Most often, what manifested between you and your partner was not love at all.
Be encouraged that love does not hurt or harm you. We should all strive to love as Christ loved. Consider the following attributes:
Love is patient.
Recognize how love helps you remain calm when provoked. When love is truly present, a circumstance of annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship or even pain can be faced from a position of fortitude. Most importantly, negative scenarios are approached void of complaints or anger when fueled by love. Decide to practice patience in order to give and receive love to the full extent in which love was meant to be conveyed.
Love is kind.
Be friendly. Be gentle. Be compassionate. Kindness is exhibited in speech and behavior. Engaging in acts of kindness benefits both the provider and recipient. Provide support just to help someone be able to smile and have a much better day.
Love does not envy.
Envy discredits the value of another person’s advantages, success and possessions. There is no room for discontent or ill will against another person when genuine love is expressed.
Be encouraged that love and envy do not complement each other; therefore, choose love as victorious over envy, so that you may avoid conflict!
Love is not boastful.
Accept love as a gift to be grateful for, so that love is expressed in humility. Remain humble in love in order to resist pride polluting love.
Be encouraged that by the grace and mercy of the Lord, you are saved and delivered, although you are undeserving, the Lord loves you forever!
Love is not conceited.
Love is complimentary in that it is flattering and free; however, be mindful to avoid exaggerating statements regarding yourself or someone else.
Be encouraged that love is edifying and does not cause you to stumble or become a stumbling block for anyone else!
Love does not act improperly.
Be responsible in love. Hold yourself accountable to a higher standard, especially as you grow in your love of Christ. To know better is to do better.
Be encouraged that authentic love steers the believer in the right direction, so that he or she may serve as a role model in the community!
Love is not selfish.
Love is intended to be shared and exchanged. Discernment guides you to know when you are placing too much emphasis on your own welfare compared to the needs of others.
Be encouraged to spread love today!
Love is not provoked.
Love is not confrontational. In a situation of emotions escalating, remember to allow time to cool down. Love is respectful.
Be encouraged that cooler heads prevail!
Love does not keep a record of wrongs.
Forgiveness is not only offered by Christ. You must learn to forgive, and this includes yourself. Healing takes place after forgiveness has been granted.
Be encouraged that the past is behind you, so leave it there, and move forward in love!
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness.
Allow the Holy Spirit that dwells within you to serve as your moral compass. Know the difference between right and wrong, but more importantly, conduct yourself morally even when nobody is watching. Be consistent in your walk with God. Strive for excellence, and you will have favor over you in all things.
Be encouraged that God sees you and smiles upon you being righteous!
Love rejoices in the truth.
Be honest at all times. Exercise truth in order to maintain your integrity and be trustworthy in your affairs. Good seeds are sown in truth. Blessings flow for those who remain honest. Be open and honest with God. He knows your heart.
Be encouraged that the Lord is pleased when you are honest with Him!
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Be encouraged to have faith in love today. You Kandu It!
1 Corinthians 13:1-7