Many things are said and done in the name of “love”. Poor love…it gets blamed for so much. For love’s sake, let’s clarify what love really is.
I Corinthians 13:3-7
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
If love is patient and kind, it cannot be short-tempered and mean.
Love is not physically, verbally, or spiritually abusive. “I love you, but you made me do that” and “I get violent because that’s all I know” are excuses for physical abuse. FLEE from this. Love does not devalue or set out to make another feel inferior (verbal abuse). Love does not twist God’s Word to satisfy its own agenda (spiritual abuse). Love yourself enough to protect your body and soul. Your love cannot save them or cover their sin. Only God’s love can do that…and even some people reject HIS love.
If love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude, then it must be admiring, humble, and kind.
Love builds up. If you cannot stand to see another succeed or “pass you” in life, you are flirting with hate, envy, and believe it or not - inferiority. As our friend Latasha Eady Haynes says, “Her success is not my failure”. If you can’t help but to show others how much you’ve accomplished in efforts to be validated, your reward will not surpass what man can give you. Matthew 6:1-2, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.”
If love does not demand its own way…it must be willing to compromise.
If you are 100% set in your ways and unwilling to consider another person’s opinion, stay single and friendless. While we should NOT compromise our principles (which should coincide with God’s instructions to us, a.k.a., the Bible), we SHOULD be able to compromise in other areas of our relationships. When you can’t function outside of your own way, you may be struggling with narcissism.
If love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged, then love must be patient and forgiving.
When struggling with this, I often have to remind myself of God’s patience with me. Remember how many times you swore you’d never do that again? Have you lost count of how many times you’ve apologized? We may be prompted to ask, well how many times do I have to forgive? Peter asked the same thing in Matthew 18:21-22, "Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Disclaimer: This does not mean that you should accept abuse, infidelity, or any other form of disrespect.
If love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out, then love must sympathize and not praise falsities.
Simply put, love HATES sin and does NOT gossip.
If love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance, then love must NOT throw in the towel, lose faith, become hopeless or quit after the first sign of adversity.
Love believes in and administers second chances. If the good outweighs the bad and your heart can stand it, try again. Because it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb. 11:6), love never loses it. Give yourself and others grace to grow.
I pray this blesses you and encourage you to continue below as my sister Mo’Nique discusses myths about love.
At this time of the year, many of us are thinking of ways to surprise our loved ones with gifts that express how much we appreciate them. It always baffles me to think of how I could possibly sum up how much I loved a person in one day with anything that was tangible but every year I am shocked at how we manage to do so. There are showers of chocolates and roses, people are surprised with gifts or keepsakes, and restaurants seemed to always have waiting times of an hour of more during this season of LOVE. I, for one, am all about the mushiness. I love sweet nothings being whispered to me and I love to be surprised with all of my favorite things, however, I understand that these are only acts of kindness and they are not what love is all about.
How much do we really know about this frequent, loosely used term? Or, do we just know the ideas of love from what we see plastered across the media? Well, lets compare what we think we know about love to what God's word says about love.
Love Myth # 1: If you love me, you'll sleep with me.
Love Fact: Ephesians 5:3 states that, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people." If it is truly love it wouldn't request from you what God is against. True love will keep you accountable and steer you towards God and not away from Him through sin.
Love Myth #2: They only are physical with me because they love hard. No one has ever loved them the way that I do.
Love Fact: 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own..." For one sis, God loves us more than we could ever love one another. He knows what is best for us better than we could ever know. Secondly, God's word says that we belong to Him. He would never set abuse against His own creation. Not only are we precious to God, but He goes even further to tell us how he is our hiding place from all trouble. Love does not hurt.
Love Myth #3: I told you that I love you, so I must mean it.
Love Fact: John 3:16 explains the true meaning of love in action: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Love is not just spoken words. It’s also an action word. God provided us with the perfect example of love in action through sacrifice. It’s not always enough just to say it to them. Sometimes the affection is lost through simple repetition of the phrase that we have heard so many times throughout our lives. Love should also be shown.
If there is ever a question of whether someone truly loves you, simply compare it to God's word. If it does not align, then you may want to re-evaluate that relationship and question its motives. God provides us with plenty of examples of safe, comforting and affectionate love. You don't have to settle for imitations of love - choose truth.