Love suffers long (1 Corinthians 13 v 4)
I love that movie! I love their Caesar salad! I love that color on you! I love fry dumplings, or some would say, fry bake! When we use the word “LOVE” and we tend to use it a lot! We are often talking about the good feeling we experience as a result of whatever we like or enjoy. The movie left us laughing, crying, thinking, admiring, or at least believing it was worth the ticket price. The Caesar salad makes you feel satisfied. The right shade of blue makes our spouse look dynamite, always a good reflection on us. And there’s nothing like waking up to the smell of fry dumplings Ackee and Saltfish, it warms the heart.
Interestingly, when the apostle Paul described love, he did not refer to the warm and fuzzy feelings we get but rather the actions and attitudes we give. The apostle began by describing love as “suffers long” or “patient.” Clearly, Paul’s understanding of love went beyond our superficial overuse of the word. Genuine, Christlike love begins with patience, and we’d all agree that love for our spouse indeed requires patience. Author and theologian Matthew Henry wrote that such long-suffering will put up with many slights and neglect from the person it loves and wait long to see the kindly effect such as patience.
Slights and neglects, we have all experienced them and we are all guilty of them. In every marriage, wrongs are done, and injuries are experienced, yet God calls us to be long-suffering with our spouse just as Christ is with us. Think of the immeasurable patience Jesus shows us as we stumble along on the path of growing in His grace. So, choose patience. Choose to overlook irritations and offenses. Choose to put long-suffering into action and witness for yourself the lasting kindly effects these actions have. You’ll find that an extra breath of patience brings calmness to your heart and joy to the soul of your marriage.
LOVE IN ACTION
Ø List some ways God has shown patience to you individually and as a couple. Thank Him for His patience and ask Him to help you be patient with each other.
Ø Be aware of opportunities to show your spouse patience and love. Go shopping with her without a time limit or watch a weekend watch a sporting event with him, regardless of how many projects beckon. Such patient love will transform your marriage. To lengthen your patient is the best way to shorten your troubles.
P R A Y E R
Lord God, teach me to love my spouse with a love that is patient. Help me to overlook irritations and offenses. Enable me to love with the long-suffering that you command and that Jesus Himself extends to sinful stumbling me.