by Aja Dorsey Jackson
One of my favorite teachings about love is found in Corinthians 1:13. Most people have heard this scripture at least once and no matter what your religious beliefs, it speaks to so many things about love that are universal.
I love this scripture because in my opinion it sums up most of what we need to know to love successfully by teaching what love’s foundation truly is. It never once refers to love as being a feeling. It never talks about butterflies in your stomach or warmth and happiness every day. Instead it gives us all of love’s building blocks. It teaches love more as a way to operate than a feeling. To me, it is a checklist. If you break down the elements of the verse and operate with this foundation in mind, you will learn how to work to truly love your spouse.
Love is patient With patience we understand that some aspects of our relationships will take time to develop.
Love is kind Kindness and love seem like they would just come together naturally but so often that is not the case. Kindness is going out of your way to make your spouse feel valued and appreciated.
It does not envy Jealousy typically either stems from a lack of trust or some type of insecurity within ourselves. It is important to deal with these issues instead of projecting them onto our partners as envy.
Love does not boast I think that we should praise our spouses, sometimes publicly, but bragging about love is a different thing. Express your happiness, but be sure to check your intentions.
Love is not proud When we won’t admit that we’re wrong, or don’t want to apologize, pride is the culprit behind it. Love means knowing when to be humble.
It is not rude Familiarity doesn’t mean politeness should fly out of the window. Love your spouse by saying please and thank you.
It is not self seeking Translation- it sacrifices. Sometimes in love you have to put your own wants aside to fill the needs of someone else.
It is not easily angered Of course there will be moments that will upset you, but you should be able to let some things slide. Every little moment of irritation shouldn’t result in a fight.
It keeps no record of wrongs This is by far the hardest part for me. True love means forgiveness and true forgiveness means not keeping a tally of everything your spouse has done wrong to bring it up again later. Holding on to anger just allows bitterness to grow.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth Love is honest. Love your spouse by being honest, even when telling the truth feels uncomfortable.
It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres Love lasts. Through ups and downs, for better or worse, when we get married we promise to love one another through it all.
Of course we are human and won’t show this type of perfect love every moment of every day, but if we use these principles to guide our actions, we can work toward building the type of unconditional love that we expect in marriage.
Do you practice these principles in loving your spouse? Do you have a different favorite passage or saying that helps you to be more loving?
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