Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seekth not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth..
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
We have all heard the love scripture. It tells us pretty much everything we need to know about love and how we are supposed to go about showing it.
Love is not any easy thing for our fleshly selves to master. When we do not walk in the spirit it becomes pretty much impossible to love the way The Lord commands us to.
You see the big difference between what The Bible tells us about love and what the world tells us, is emotions. The world believes that love is a feeling. It’s something we get to experience only if we’re really “lucky” to find the “right” person. It tells us that love is not something we can control, but it’s something that just happens at random. If we believe this definition to be true then it becomes something that we cannot work for, and in turn it becomes pointless to hold onto a relationship if you are no longer “in love”. The “luck” of love has slipped away, and now we must move onto another relationship, and hope that we hit the jackpot again.
Now The Bible tells us that this is all false. Love is not a feeling, and it is something that we are surely able to control. Love is a choice that we have to make everyday in our marriages. It is something that takes work, commitment, discipline, and a will to not give up. We may have started out our relationship with “feelings” of love but when that starts to fade, real love is what makes us hold on to what we have. If we want to be in a marriage that stays together, a marriage that defies the statistics, and most importantly, a marriage that is in line with the Gospel, then we must put our emotions aside. We have to look to The Lord to guide us and help us, instead of looking to our silly ol’ heart.
If you desire to have a Godly marriage, study 1 Corinthians 13 to understand what The Lord tells us about love.
Love suffereth long :
Love endures through the hard times. Love copes with being treated less than perfect. Love sees the bigger picture. People are imperfect, we all say and do things that cause the other hurt feelings, but love does not simply give up and run. Love stands strong, love holds on when the world says let go. Love knows that emotions are fleeting, but marriage is forever. No, it is not okay to be treated with disrespect, but we need to learn to put our bruised egos aside, and look to Jesus to comfort those areas that our spouse ignores, and to heal those wounds that our spouse causes. As followers of Christ we know that we are called to endure through the trials and the tribulations, holding out for the greater treasure that will be given to us. When marriage gets really tough, if we hold onto hope, we have the assurance that The Lord will reward us for it.
Love is not shaken by a rude remark or a lack of attention, love endures until the end.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
– James 1:12
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.
– James 5:13
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
– 1 Peter 4:13
And is kind:
Love is caring and gentle. Love approaches every situation with soft words, and the intent of serving the other person. We have to remember that our spouse is our partner, our help mate, we need to always treat them with kindness. Love does not choose to be kind one time, and not the next, depending on it’s mood. We cannot base how we behave on the attitude of the other person. The Lord calls us to walk in righteousness and purity. Kindness is like food for our marriage that enables it to grow and become strong. If we starve it, it will only become weak. Show your spouse kindness everyday, whether it is a simple encouraging word like “You are such a blessing to me”, filling their car up with gas, or even just a meaningful hug before work. It’s the little acts that show each other that we care. The Lord shows us kindness every single moment of our lives, we owe it to Him to show the same to our spouse.
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
– 2 Peter 1:7-8
Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
– Psalms 31:21
Charity envieth not :
Love is not jealous. Jealousy and envy breed discontentment, resentment, pride, and in certain circumstances, a wandering eye. If we become jealous of our spouse, or another couple, it will only lead to bitterness. It is wrong to look to the relationships of other people to compare them with our own. It will only cause us to feel more disappointment in our marriage, and may lead us to look elsewhere for the things that we feel we are not receiving.
Jealousy also creates disunity. We are called to be one with our spouse, a united force, but if we allow jealousy to enters our hearts then the strength we have as husband and wife will begin to diminish. The enemy wants to sew jealousy in our hearts because he knows that a house divided will fall. He knows that there is much strength in a righteous marriage, and if he wants to defeat us, he will have to separate us.
This is why we are called to be content in everything, and give thanks for all things. We need to be happy with our relationship and not allow ourselves to continually think “what if” or “if only I had..”. There will always be things that we don’t have, but if we continue to long for them and be ungrateful for what The Lord has given us, then we will never find the joy and the peace that comes from His love.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, that in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
– Phillipians 4:11
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
– James 3:16
A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
– Proverbs 14:31
Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up :
There is no pride in love. Love does not need to be right, it does not judge others, it does not think it knows best. We are called to be humble and meek. When Jesus walked on this earth, he was not filled with pride. He did not look down on others, and shame them for their sins. If anyone had a right to condemn us it was Him, but He chose not to because that is not love. Jesus is love.
Pride is in all sin. In order to keep our marriage strong, and full of God’s love, we must keep pride out. We must purpose in our hearts to stay humble. The Lord tells us that those who will talk highly of themselves will be less, and those that are humble will be lifted up. We want to be lifted up by Jesus. There will be times in marriage when we know that we are “right” but it is in those times that we are called to humble ourselves. It may feel good for a moment to win the argument, but it is so much better to be obedient to God’s word and to choose meekness. The Lord will reward us for swallowing our pride, and believe me when I say this, our pride cannot even compare to the blessings that He has in store.
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
– Psalms 10:4
And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
– Matthew 23:12
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
– James 4:6
Doth not behave itself unseemly :
Love does not speak disrespectfully to others.
As the years go by in a marriage the spark that once burned bright can sometimes start to grow dim. We become filled with disappointment and bitterness because our relationship isn’t turning out the way that we thought it would. As the hurt becomes stronger, our words become colder. Precept upon precept, line upon line, what once was something we never would have said to our spouse, has now become just one of the many insults we throw around in the day.
The Lord asks us to show each other kindness. He wants us to speak words of encouragement, and respect. I know how hard it can be, I’ve been there many a times, but it is not okay for us to use words to hurt one another. The Bible tells us that the tongue is an unruly evil, that no man can tame. We need to understand that we hold a lot of power in our words, and with them we can either choose to encourage and uplift, or we can discourage and break down. The Lord will judge us for what we say, and how we treat our spouse. We do not want to look back on our life and regret the damage we caused with what came out of our mouths.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
– James 3:6-10
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
– Matthew 5:5
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
– 1 Peter 3:4
Seeketh not her own :
Love is not selfish.
It’s something that we all struggle with, we want what we want, and at times we don’t care who gets left behind in the process. We find ourselves justifying our actions, and believing that we “deserve” it. In our marriage, the disappointment becomes our excuse to stop caring for our spouse, and focusing solely on what we need. It becomes every man for himself. This is completely the opposite of what Jesus teaches us. We are called to be servants. Jesus came to earth to serve the Father and to serve us. He showed us that love is sacrifice. He loved us so much that He gave us the ultimate sacrifice on the cross in order for us to have everlasting life. We are commanded to have a servant’s heart, and to live the way that Jesus did. This means that we have to put our needs aside, and think about how we can do for others. This also means that when serving others, we do not expect anything in return. It is our job to treat our spouse the way that Jesus treated us. We must look to Him as the ultimate example of love. If we put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last, we will be filled with JOY.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
– Acts 20:35
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
– 2 Corinthians 9:7
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
– James 1:27
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
– 1 John 3:17
Is not easily provoked :
Love is not quick to anger. It is not easily offended. We all have our buttons that get us upset. Some of us are loud when angered (ahem myself), others may hold it in, and some might release it in a passive aggressive way. When we are filled with the love of Jesus then our instant reaction will not be to become offensive and lash out, but we will learn to have a kind response. Jesus shows us that no matter what someone may do to us, we are not to retaliate. We need to follow Jesus’ example, and show our spouses kindness in every situation.
Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
– Ecclesiastes 7:9
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.
– Ephesians 4:31
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
– Proverbs 15:1
Thinketh no evil:
Love does not keep records of wrong. Love forgives. Love does not remember the bad that someone has done, but remembers only the good. When we are wronged by our spouse it is our duty to forgive. The Lord is faithful to forgive us when we sin, and because of this we are
expected Commanded to forgive, as well. When we forgive our spouse, we must also forget it. We do not keep it in the back of our mind to bring up whenever an argument strikes. We don’t use it as a way to remind our spouse of where they fall short. When Jesus forgives our sins, He forgets them.
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
– Psalms 86:5
He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter seperateth very friends.
– Proverbs 17:9
I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
– Isaiah 43:25
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their tresspasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
– Matthew 6:14-15
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth:
Love does not seek sin, love seeks truth. We are not to look for ways to discourage our spouse, or search for reasons to leave. We are to look for the truth and the good in our marriage.
Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
– Amos 5:14
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
– Psalms 34:14
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
– Proverbs 8:17
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things:
Love stands strong when the tribulation in a marriage comes. Love believes the best in their spouse when everyone is telling them their worst. Love holds onto the hope of a marriage that will last forever. And love endures through all of the heartache and confusion in order to obtain the greater treasure that is promised.
We are not called to give up on our marriage when times get rough. We are not called to stray in order to find something “better”. We are called to hold on tight, and look to Jesus to bring us through.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
– Mark 9:23
For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
– Psalms 38:15
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
– Jeremiah 17:7
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
– Romans 8:24
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
– Romans 12:12
In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses.
– 2 Corinthians 6:4
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
– Galatians 6:9
Charity never faileth:
Love will never, ever fail. If we are filled with the love of Jesus then our marriage cannot crumble. It is by the love of Jesus that we are saved from sin. Through this love we no longer have to fear death, but can rejoice in the promise of everlasting life. If His love can conquer death, then it can surely restore our marriages. If we keep the faith, and walk in His love, then we will obtain the Godly marriage that He desires for us to have.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
– John 3:16
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
– Romans 5:8
These things I command you, that ye love on another.
– John 15:17
Marriage is one of the toughest, most amazing blessings in our lives. In those moments when we don’t know how to find the strength to love our spouse, we need to remember Jesus and the unimaginable love that He has showed us. We must believe that God is faithful. If we are obedient to His word, then He will fulfill all that He has promised to us. But we cannot expect The Lord’s blessings in our marriage if we are rebellious against His Word. Marriage will not always be easy, but if we obey, and allow The Lord to do His perfect work in us, then He will begin to mold us and change us into the husband and wife that He has created us to be.
Love is not always going to be this over the moon, breath taking, can’t contain yourself sort of experience that Hollywood likes to depict. Love comes only from our Heavenly Father. It is when we allow His love to move through us that we will be able to truly love Him and others.
Use 1 Corinthians 13 not just as your guide on how to love your spouse, but how you should love everyone. Jesus tells us:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
– Matthew 22:37-39
The greatest marriages do not come from luck, or compatibility, they come from endurance, commitment, and an obedience to God. Lets remember, friends, to always think of 1 Corinthians 13 and what Love really is. Lets lay our wants aside, remembering Jesus and what He did for us out of love. We will keep our eyes always fixed on Him, and our hearts in complete surrender to His Word, and that is truly when we will see the marriages we have always dreamed of unfold in our lives.
Which scriptures do you refer to when you need encouragement in your marriage? Let me know in the comment section.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
– 1 Corinthians 13:13
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