What God-given love looks like

Posted May 6, 2017

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Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. 7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.

Reflection Questions

Love “doesn’t keep a record of complaints” is a difficult ideal, maybe even impossible to live fully in this life. Paul was aware of that: “We know in part,” he went on to write in verse 9. But the ideals for which we aim matter. You can see where unchecked “keeping a record of complaints” leads by looking at Palestinians and Israelis and dozens of other warring ethnic groups. But you don’t need to study tragic world events. You need only look at thousands of broken relationships to see what happens when “score-keeping” replaces love and trust.

  • How do the other qualities of love Paul listed shape a relationship in which keeping no record of complaints becomes a realistic, joy-filled way to live? In which, if any, of your day-to-day relationships are you able to readily and easily live out most of the qualities of love that Paul listed? In which relationships is it a struggle to show these qualities, even with gritted teeth? What marriage(s) have you seen that seemed to come close to living out these ideals? What intentional choices and positive actions helped those couples live into mutual support and respect?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you walked among as genuine love incarnate. Help my understanding of love to grow beyond the sentimentalism my culture often confuses with love, and to be a robust force making every life I touch better. Amen.

Family Activity

Treating one another with patience and kindness can be difficult in relationships of any kind. Read Matthew 7:12. This Scripture is often called the Golden Rule.  Hand out an index card to each person in your family.  Have each person write, “I did or said something kind” on one side of the card.  On the other side write, “I did or said something hurtful.”  Ask each person to pay attention to their words and actions each day. Encourage them to place a mark on the appropriate side of the card each time they do something kind or hurtful. No one else needs to see the cards.  These are just for each individual and God.  Each day, work towards having fewer marks on the “hurtful” side and more marks on the “kind” side.  Pray for God’s help to treat one another with patience and kindness.

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