Love never ends

by Mark McDonald

One of my favorite passages to share at a wedding is 1 Cor. 13:4-8a. You’ve most likely heard it, but at a wedding I like to ask everyone to say it in the first person:

“I am patient, I am kind. I am not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.” I ask everyone to think of how truly they live this in their closest relationships, whether with their partner, parent, child or friend. Then comes the kicker: “I do not insist on my own way; I am not irritable or resentful.” By this time, people are looking at each other and either laughing or blaming the other person for not living up to this standard. “I do not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoice in the truth. I believe in all things, hope in all things, endure all things.”

By the time I’ve made it through the list, we are all realizing how much we fail this law of love. Paul, the author of this passage in the Bible, is not talking to married couples here. He is addressing everyone who claims to be a Christian, or someone who claims to live in a way that is how God wants us to live.

It may seem impossible for us to live up to the standard set forth in this scripture, but it is most clearly the goal to which every Christian should aspire. When we don’t practice this love, we lose trust in each other, and it feels like love dies. But it doesn’t. Christ lived this way, and proved that love wins!

This month is the month many people think of love. Perhaps you’ll enjoy the arts we have in the 501 with someone you love. Perhaps you’ll buy a nice gift for Valentine’s Day. Or perhaps you can print 1 Cor. 13:4-8a, put it on your mirror and practice saying it in the first person each morning.

When we live with patience and kindness, when we find happiness when others succeed, when we overcome our envy and pride, when we learn how to truly believe, we begin to trust others even more. Then love grows even greater, and we begin to see that it truly never ends.