Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, 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.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)
The prayers, words of encouragement, and affirmations have been pouring in, and I just want to take a moment to say “Thank you!” I am in the throes of this difficult exam but I am determined to stay the course. Passing this exam is the last major hurdle before moving on into the steps for preparing and writing my dissertation – I’ve come too far and through too much to stop now!
I was just whispering a brief prayer of thanksgiving for the love I am blessed to have in my life, and then the song Tell Him by Colbie Caillat popped on in my iPod. This song was written by Lauryn Hill and for those of you who don’t know; it is a take on a passage in the Bible from 1 Corinthians 13, which is also known as “The Love Chapter.”
A portion of the passage is provided above, but here are some highlights from Lauryn’s song:
Let me be patient let me be kind
Make me unselfish without being blind
Though I may suffer I’ll envy it not
And endure what comes . . .
Now I may have faith to make mountains fall
But if I lack love then I am nothin’ at all
I can give away everything I possess
But am without love then I have no happiness
I know I’m imperfect
and not without sin
But now that I’m older all childish things end
I’ll never be jealous
And I won’t be too proud
Cause love is not boastful
And love is not loud
Now I may have wisdom and knowledge on Earth
But if I speak wrong then what is it worth?
To me, so much of what 1 Corinthians 13 says speaks to relationships. Of course when we think of “relationship” we often think of our S/O, and it certainly applies. But this passage (and song) is so much broader than that – it speaks to our relationships with people: how we interact with them and how we treat them. This love thing is a two-way street, and everyone in the equation is tasked with the responsibility of making sure they love each other right. And you know what? That “rightness” means not focusing so much on what you do to me and how you love me, but how I love YOU.
Focusing on how I love you gives me the ability to first realize and recognize my imperfections, and that I need love and tolerance just as much as you do. Next, focusing on how I love you enables me to do what the passage says: Be patient, be kind; not boastful or proud. It helps me to not dishonor or mistreat someone – and if I am mistreated, to not keep a record of the wrong that has been done to me, but to forgive and let it go. It helps me to always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere.
In other words, it helps my love to never fail.
When SM and I made the big decision to date exclusively with the intent of marriage, we both had to take a long, hard look at the potential impact our relationship might project on our family and friends. Yes, the decision was ours to make, but we had to be realistic and decide if we cared enough to continue loving each other in spite of any obstacles we faced. I remember telling SM that the only person who could change the way I felt about him – was him. When I love, I love. Period. The end. (And yes, he made the same affirmation to me).
I believe if more couples approach their relationship armed with a “my love will never fail” mentality, they would be able to withstand any storm life sends their way.
[Sidebar: Ahhh . . . so much for my not engaging in any “heavy thinking!”]
Here are three versions of the song for you to enjoy!
(Watch for a glimpse of Michelle-O in this one!)
Join in the fray:
Who/what is your “unfailing love?”