Here’s what they read at my wedding and probably at yours too!
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 of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails … (NIV)
Let’s unpack that.
Love is patient. This means to me that I need to be patient when my spouse isn’t doing what I want him to do.
Love is kind. This means to me that I should keep my mouth shut if I feel like criticizing my spouse.
It does not envy. This means if my spouse orders a cheeseburger and I order a salad, I should try not to have order envy and I should remember to order the cheeseburger next time.
It does not boast. This means I shouldn’t run around and say, “See, I told you so. I’m the brains of this operation!”
It is not proud. See above. And I shouldn’t strut around all “high and mighty” acting like “I’m so enlightened and so wise, let me tell you how you should change”.
It is not rude. This means I should not cut off my spouse mid-sentence to say, “Do I look fat in this?”
It is not self-seeking. This means I should not disregard his ideas and keep talking about what I want.
It is not easily angered. This means when I walk into the house and see him on the couch watching football and then look at the dirty dishes and the kids all staring at ipads and Gameboys and phones while food is crumbled in the rug and there are glasses all over the coffee table and open, empty bags of chips on the floor, I should not get angry.
It keeps no record of wrongs. This means it is not “tit for tat”. I failed miserably when the kids were little and I was home all day with them just wiping butts and he would be out at the Sox game and he would get home and I would be so mad that he had fun, I would just leave. I would have no place to go but I would drive around to prove that I could leave too. Or, worse, I would stay home and simmer and keep bringing up the day he was at the Sox game while I was home with three sick kids.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. I don’t delight in evil so I feel pretty good about this one. Wait…is that me being proud?
It always protects. This means I will do anything to save us. This means that I am committed to protecting this partnership.
It always trusts. This means I trust you and you can trust me and we can trust God. He’s in this too and He wants the best for us.
It always hopes. This means I love our past but I look forward to our future.
It always perseveres. This means I will stand by you. I will stand up for us. Together we will be strong and we will last.
Love never fails. Hmm…this is a toughy. I’ve known it to fail. I’ve known the loves of this world to fail. People fail. But God doesn’t. I take this to mean I need to invite Him in. When I look through the list above, I see how tough it is to keep up with all of this being patient and kind business. I need God to help me. So when I forget, and I’m mad and angry and keeping records of wrongs, if I just go to God and ask for guidance, He’ll show me the way.
We can’t do this on our own. It’s superhuman.
So, that’s why everyone reads this passage at weddings…because it’s so necessary…because it reminds us. Because each time we read it or hear it, we remember “Oh yeah, that’s how I want to love”. And then we ask God to help us put on our superhuman capes and get ready for battle…to help us protect and trust and hope and never fail.
How are you doing today? Have you put your cape on?
©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
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