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. – I Cor 13:4-6, NIV
Adultery and divorce have a way of creating confusion over what love is and isn’t. I know I felt like my head was in a fog or underwater much of time in the early months. I struggled distinguishing between people who actually loved me or were just using the words to do further damage. It helps to have things laid out clearly when one is experiencing such disorientation we all have in times of great and traumatic loss.
This passage is a passage the Apostle Paul is addressing to the church at Corinth. It is addressed to both men and women. His teaching on love is not actually about marriage per se. However, it is about living in community with other Christians.
Love is patient
Patience does not ask why you are not over the betrayal yet. It does not say your tears and anger over the adulterous betrayal are too much or are taking up too much time. It does not judge your grieving. Patience says I will sit with you as you grieve your losses and feel the pain. Patience says I do not judge you in your grief. Love is patient.
love is kind.
Kindness gives hugs. It sits tenderly in silence with you as you cry. It buys you a cup of coffee or tea on a difficult day. Kindness listens as you pour out your heart without judging or condemning. Kindness does not blameshift, lie, or minimize adultery.
It does not envy
Love does not encourage comparisons. It does not declare you too fat or too thin. Love does not value you in monetary ways. It does not treat you as a commodity with a lower value than others out there. It does not envy what others have in partners.
it does not boast, it is not proud.
Love does not say that it is too good for you. It is humble. No pompous arrogant jerks or prima donnas allowed. Love is not all about the person loving but about the person being loved.
It does not dishonor others
Love does not look to belittle another. It avoids such pettiness.
it is not self-seeking
Love is not about what I get but about what I give. It does not seek for itself. Love gives of itself.
it is not easily angered
Offenses are not easily registered with love. It takes a lot to push love over the edge. Yet love can be angered. Anger is not the issue. It just takes serious offenses to get on love’s bad side.
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love is not a score-keeper. It never says these offenses add up to a “free affair.” Love does not see relationships as games to win but rather as places to inhabit and beautify. It is not interested in the score but in how to care for the other.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Love does not lie, and it does not cheat. It does not hide the truth but rejoices when the truth is exposed. Love does not seek to distort the truth. It sees the highest kindness is to walk in the truth and thereby avoid evil. Love takes no delight in committing adultery and lying to a faithful spouse. And love does not try to hide the truth of the treachery either. True love rejoices in the truth. Yes, true love rejoices even when the truth is a hard truth.
That’s love as I see it from Scripture. May you all experience it more and more fully each day of your lives as you find people exhibiting this amazing fruit of the Holy Spirit towards you. And may each of us live with it flowing out of our lives as well.