After helping my friend with her Theology project in which she had to analyze Corinthians 13, I really got to thinking about this passage and what it means. Everyone has heard this verse at some point or another (most likely at a wedding), but can we really relate this ancient saying to our every day lives? Has love really changed so little that we can still connect these words to it today?
1. "Love is patient"
If you're ever been in love, you know that love means having a LOT of patience. Loving someone does not mean always agreeing with them, and listening to and compromising with the person you love is a huge part of a relationship. Whether this means my boyfriend waiting an extra hour for me to get ready to go out, or me waiting for him to be done playing video games to be able to talk to him, love requires patience on both ends.
2. "Love is kind"
This means doing things for your significant other with no other intention than to make them happy. Whether that means leaving a cute little note on their desk when they leave for work, letting them pick the restaurant you eat out at, or just telling them that they look nice in that shirt; love is about making the other person feel special and well, loved!
3. "It does not envy"
People tend to think that loving someone comes with jealousy, but it doesn't have to nor should it. If you love someone, you should be happy for their accomplishments as if they're your own. If they get a promotion, rather than being jealous you should celebrate with them. If they get a good grade, be proud of them and all of their hard work. And one of the toughest for people- if they look really nice, instead of being jealous of the other people looking at them, remind yourself how lucky you are to have them!
4. "It does not boast"
If you've found the person who makes your heart happy, you're one of the lucky few. However, since everyone hasn't found that person yet, there is no reason to show them off to everyone you know. In the same way that you wouldn't post your winning lottery ticket for everyone to see, you don't have to rub your love in other's faces! If you love your person, that should be enough to fulfill you.
5. "It is not proud"
Similar to the last line, you don't have to advertise your love to the world. This is something I didn't learn until later in my own relationship, but your relationship is no one's business! Keep the love you have between the two of you, and you'll find that your bond becomes even stronger than before.
6. "It does not dishonor others"
Loving one person doesn't mean taking everyone else in your life for granted. Just because you have found someone amazing, it doesn't mean that all of the other people in your life aren't amazing too! It's just as important to spend time with your family and friends when you're in a relationship, and having a variety of people in your life will just make your love stronger!
7. "It is not self-seeking"
This is one I have found myself personally struggling with, as we all have the desire to be loved by someone else. Sometimes, I find myself just wanting to be cared for and catered to and forgetting that I am supposed to provide that love in return. It is easy to get caught up in the receiving side of the relationship, but I've found that truly giving to the person you love can feel even better!
8. "It is not easily angered"
Being in a relationship means fighting with each other sometimes, but those little fights should never change the amount of love you have for that person. Sometimes (going back to the first line), love means having enough patience with someone to not pick at the little things they do and instead look at the bigger picture. If you love them enough, it should be enough to overcome the little things.
9. "It keeps no record of wrongs"
It is easy to bring back things someone did weeks, months, or even years ago when you are frustrated or upset with them. Let's be real though, everyone makes mistakes. If really you hold something against someone that they did two years ago, maybe you aren't cut out to be in a relationship with that person. You don't have to completely forget what happened, but it is important to forgive them and move on from it.
10. "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth"
Honesty and respect are so important when you love someone. Telling the truth isn't always the easiest thing to do, but it will preserve the respect you have for each other and make your relationship stronger in the long run. If you are able to work through your mistakes together instead of running from them, you can grow as a couple and be able to conquer the hardships that life throws at you.
11. "It always protects"
Loving someone means standing up for them regardless of what it costs you. The love between you and your significant other should prevail above everything else in your life, and you should protect your significant other from anything that might harm them. Whether it is a friend or family member making hurtful comments, a person physically hurting them, or even just their emotions getting the best of them, it is your job to be there to support and protect them.
12. "[It] always trusts"
Trust can be a tricky one in a relationship, especially in the beginning. It is important to foster trust on both ends of the relationship, whether that means reassurance that you won't cheat with other people, making sure you show up when you say you will, or something as small as taking them seriously when they ask you for an opinion. Trust is something that must be built over time, and a good relationship is able to foster trust along with love.
13. "[It] always hopes"
Loving someone means having hope for the future of your relationship together and planning accordingly. I've always believed that you shouldn't date someone if you don't have the intention of being together in the future, since that just sets you up for heartbreak! If you're going to love someone, do it wholeheartedly, and do so with the hope of a lifelong love story.
14. "[It] always preserves"
Finally, love will last through anything. Relationships are not always easy, and sometimes life can get in the way of two people who love each other. But if you truly love someone with all of your heart, that love will be able to last through even the toughest struggles that you go through. Even when things seem desolate, love is the light on the other side of the tunnel.