Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4–7 ESV)
Love Is: patient, kind, rejoices with the truth, bears-believes-hopes-endures all things.
Love Is Not: envious, boastful, arrogant, rude, insisting on it’s own way, rejoicing at wrongdoing.
Enduring Love: It has a new kind of ring to it as I sit this morning and ponder the meaning of love. Love bears with all difficulties, while patiently and kindly clinging to and rejoicing in the truth. Love does not insist on (it’s own way) being out from under whatever difficulty the providence of God has required for the day, the week, or the year. It does not become arrogant, believing it deserves something or some situation that is better. It does not envy the life or lifestyle of another. And love never, ever rejoices in wrongdoing. Love
Reading the above paragraph over and over again this morning, I see my lack glaring back at me. I can so often become impatient because I insist on my own way. Again and again we deal with the disobedience of our younger two children. I desire them to be a certain kind of way, yet I have a hard time patiently enduring (all things) the slowness of their change. I envy an ideal I have in my mind of what they should be instead of rejoicing in the truth of who they are now. It is sin, and I am asking the Lord this morning to bring about change in my own heart. My children will change in time, but God desires changes in mommy and daddy as well.
I also struggle with the pending difficulty of the upcoming birth of our daughter Mercy who has trisomy 13. I struggle with the uncomfortable condition my wife is in. She is having a harder and harder time being on her feet for any length of time. Her fluid may be at a higher level than normal because of Mercy’s condition. I struggle with thinking about the delivery that will be soon upon us. I find myself living in denial most of the time because I do not like to ponder this upcoming event. Death is a hard pill to swallow.
We have our dear friends (a family of nine) in our home for one more day before they drive back to Kentucky. It has been a sweet time of fellowship and sharing while they have been here. We are two families that share the same goals, the same struggles, and the same Savior. We will all be sad to see them head out the driveway the last time for at least a half a year. The wife is the one who was in the delivery room with us while we delivered our stillborn son Justus a little over a year ago. She shared last night a letter she had written to us just after she returned home from this experience. Karie shed many tears as the memories flooded back to her mind. It was indeed a time of great sorrow, yet sweet rejoicing at the same time.
Many people might not understand the kind of fellowship our two families have. Sure, there have been trials and conflicts over the years. But we love and enjoy each other so much. Christ brings amazing unity. Enduring Love, this is the phrase that best expresses the bond our families have. And it is the phrase that best expresses the bond I have with my own wife and children. Just as the relationship with our friends is not always perfect, neither is the relationship with our own families. But because we have Christ, we have his enduring love. And this love bears with all difficulties, while patiently and kindly clinging to the truth. I am so thankful for Jesus Christ!