What Love Looks Like

I wonder how much more often “I love you” is said in February than in other months. I googled it and didn’t find anything. But when you establish a “holiday” designed to promote romance (not to mention bolstering the greeting card, florist, chocolate, and restaurant industries), it makes sense that it would be said more than in, say, August, which has no holidays at all (seriously, can’t we even move Columbus Day to August just to throw it a bone?). 
 

But while “I love you” is said more, are we really loving people as we should? Helpfully, God has given us a handy-dandy guide to help us find out. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 He shows us what love looks like in a simple, easy-to-understand way. 

“Love is patient.” When we’re truly loving we deal with other people’s foibles, failures, and flaws with an understanding and compassion that gives them room to grow without giving up.
 
“Love is kind.” When we love someone, we respond positively and with a generosity of spirit to others because we genuinely care about their well-being.
 
“[Love] does not envy.” When we’re loving we celebrate others’ blessings rather than sulk because they aren’t
our blessings. 
 
“[Love] does not boast, it is not proud…. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking.” When we’re loving as we should, we’re humble. We’re focused on what’s best for others, rather than on satisfying our own wants. Someone I read described it as, “not thinking less of yourself; but thinking of yourself less.”

 

“Love is not easily angered.” Connected to the above, we are usually angered by others when we don’t get what we think we deserve from them, or when our plans are disrupted by them. It’s another form of self-centeredness. Love is focused on others.
 

“Love keeps no record of wrongs.” When we’re genuinely loving to others, we forgive. And while we may not forget what a person did, we don’t hold it against him. 

“Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth.” When we love someone, we want truth to win out, but don’t gloat over a person “getting what he deserves.” Our ultimate hope is that the people in our life begin to hold to the truth because that’s what’s best.
 
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” When we love people, we don’t give up on them. We choose to love them through the good times and the bad, through their mistakes and missteps. 
 
When you look at love the way God does, you realize that it’s not about roses and heart-shaped candy; it’s about little choices we make throughout each day (though, guys, that’s not an excuse to skip the sentimental stuff with your wife). If you need an example to follow, Jesus is a pretty good one—just look at how He does all those things with us. And love like that never, ever fails.
 

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