Remember that scene in Wedding Crashers where they’re hanging out in the pew of some unsuspecting couples wedding ceremony. Vince Vaughn offers Owen Wilson a bet – which scripture will be recited today? “First Corinthians,” Owen Wilson replies confidently. “Love is patient, love is kind…” the minister rattles it off and Vince Vaughn pays up. It’s a funny moment, but honestly, not a very impressive feat. Devin and I have been to lots of weddings and more often than not, 1 Corinthians 13 is recited at some point during the service. We’ve all heard it before, but what does it really mean? With wedding season upon us, we figured what better time than now to dive into what Paul is really telling us in 1 Corinthians.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“We’re in love!” It’s the reason every couple sites when getting married – am I right? They feel something. They feel crazy about each other, feel like their chest is going to explode, feel like they can’t go on without the other person. Those of us who have been in love – you know what I’m talking about. It’s the best feeling in the world. But Paul is talking about something more than a feeling in those verses above. He is talking about verbs, actions.
Love is action! Love is patient and kind. Those are actions! Love rejoices in the success of another and builds others up with words and deeds – actions. Love looks for ways to encourage your spouse, forgives and thinks the best of your spouse – even when they left the dishes in the sink for the 1,000,000th time. Love endures long, it has the ability to put up with stuff for a long time. Like 50+ years of marriage long. There’s no quitting with love. Love is never envious, it doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. It doesn’t lust over the hot guys at the beach – unless that hot guy is already yours :). Love is not boastful, it doesn’t call attention to itself. You shouldn’t have to brag about it all over Facebook to prove that it’s there. Love is not conceited or rude. Love doesn’t insist on its own way. Love could care less when it’s been wronged. And lastly, love never gives up! Not even when you can’t feel it anymore.
The love that Paul is talking about here is legit. It’s the real deal. The not for sissies, I’m in this for the LONG haul kind of love. In fact, this is the kind of love that God has for us. God sent his son Jesus to earth to love us perfectly. He followed every. single. rule that Paul outlines above. He even died on the cross for our sins. Talk about action.
Think about your actions today, do they speak love? Do your words build your significant other up, or do they tear them down? Do you look for ways to encourage your spouse or are you only thinking of yourself and what you can get out of the relationship? Despite popular opinion, we believe that love is something that can be seen. It is seen daily in our behavior and how we treat others – it is seen in our actions.
So here’s our challenge to you today: Go out and do love. Show your spouse, and the world, what you’ve got through your actions.