For me, one of the miraculous things about interning at Vision of Hope has been in refreshment. In one sense, you could take this to mean that I’ve been reviewing a lot of the truth I already knew. That would be one interpretation, yes; but I mean “refreshing” in the sense that I dip my hands in the still pool and splash my face. It leaves me sputtering, but engaged, suprised, clean, wet, and ready for whatever God might bring next. One of the “refreshment” experiences I’ve had at Vision of Hope has been about love. There’s certainly a lot to love about love. Even more, after glimpsing how wide and how deep and how far and how high is God’s love for us! It’s good for me to look as much as possible at this kind of love. So, where do I look?
You may be familiar with the Bible’s “love” chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. I know I am, and that familiarity makes it difficult to really digest what Paul is saying about love here. To combat “reader’s plaster,” I decided to make my own examples of the qualities of love Paul presents. I challenge you to create your own. It makes you stop and think, and it made me question, “is that really what love would do?” There are always opportunities for exceptions, but here’s the list I came up with. Some of these are a little silly, but they’re practical!
LOVE IS PATIENT
Love keeps putting the kids to bed when they won’t sleep. Love waits until marriage to have sex. Love stands in line at the grocery store. Love understands if you’re in the bathroom for a long time. Love doesn’t get antsy 5 minutes to closing.
LOVE IS KIND
Love gives up the front seat. Love writes you encouragement cards. Love helps out with gas. Love opens the door for you. Love tips well. Love gives you a shoulder massage when the days been rough for both of you. Love does something special for your birthday. Love watches the kids. Love makes breakfast in bed. Love walks you to your car.
LOVE DOES NOT ENVY
Love doesn’t care what car you drive (or what car it drives). Love isn’t wishing for your abs. Love is grateful there’s food on the table. Love thinks the chipped paint gives character to the room. Love isn’t rushing to the box office for fear of missing out. Love doesn’t exercise just to have a magazine body. Love can shop at thrift stores. Love doesn’t hide her worn shoes under long pants. Love doesn’t stay up all night missing what it had before the break-up. Love doesn’t compare. Love doesn’t wish it ordered the steak instead.
LOVE DOES NOT BOAST
Love doesn’t show you all its trophies every time you come over. Love doesn’t smile on the inside when it wins and you lose. Love doesn’t do victory dances. Love doesn’t repeat the results of the bet every few days for months. Love doesn’t post on Facebook about all the pushups it’s done.
LOVE IS NOT ARROGANT OR RUDE
Love doesn’t make sarcastic jokes about coworkers. Love doesn’t flip you off when it’s cut off in traffic. Love doesn’t text when you’re trying to have a conversation together. Love doesn’t come to your house uninvited. Love passes the potatoes. Love respects people, no matter what color they are. Love doesn’t smirk.
LOVE DOES NOT INSIST ON IT’S OWN WAY
Love will stay up late on a school night if you need help. Love will let you put onions in the salad this time, and next time. Love gives up the remote control. Love let’s you listen to country music at 8am without complaining. Love will go to either restaurant. Love will turn the A/C up.
LOVE IS NOT IRRITABLE OR RESENTFUL
Love does not struggle with PMS. Love doesn’t think you did that on purpose. Love doesn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink because you did last night. Love doesn’t lash out at the kids after a stressful day at work. Love takes deep breaths. Love lets things go. Love doesn’t give you the cold shoulder for breaking the family vase.
LOVE DOES NOT REJOICE IN WRONG, BUT REJOICES IN THE TRUTH
Love doesn’t think you got what you deserved when the bank takes your house. Love celebrates when you turn the lost wallet in to the police, even if it’s claimed. Love doesn’t “stick it to the man.”
LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS
Love will get a second job to pay the rent. Love will continue reading bedtime stories even when it works the morning shift. Love stays positive. Love holds on. Love gets help when it needs it.
LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS
Love doesn’t assume you left the top off the toothpaste (again) on purpose. Love takes you at your word. Love doesn’t make a liar out of you. Love sees the best in you.
LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS
Love is excited for the new day, even after a bad one. Love doesn’t let what she did determine the flavor of the entire day. Love is confident in God’s plan. Love expects you to keep your promises.
LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS
Love will hear you out even when it doesn’t agree. Love will hold your hand, but still make you go to the dentist. Love will run marathons. Love is still trying to find a job in this economy. Love refuses to stay in bed all day even through it’s cold outside. Love carries your heavy bags through the airport, and your fears of moving to a strange town. Love puts up with “them.”
LOVE NEVER ENDS
Love does not retire. Love has no expiration date. Love has no end credits. Love’s soundtrack is on repeat. Love doesn’t have a bedtime. Love doesn’t have a weight limit. Love doesn’t close, it’s open 24 hours a day. Love doesn’t send you home at the end of the night. Love is a highway with no exits.
GOD IS LOVE