On a crisp, cool, rainy day in April, my husband and I made vows to love each other for the rest of our lives. Our theme, like so many couples, came from the famous “love” chapter from the Bible—1 Corinthians 13. We read an excerpt at our ceremony, engraved it into our wedding bands and had it framed by an etsy artist, which now hangs beautifully above the dresser in our bedroom.
Recently, on our anniversary, I felt it was time to take inventory. Was I loving him—really loving him—the way I promised I would? If I substituted my name every time the word “love” appears in this passage, would it still ring true?
Sarah [Love] is patient, Sarah [love] is kind. Sarah [It] does not envy, Sarah [it] does not boast, Sarah [it] is not proud. – 1 Corinthians 13:4
Dang it. I couldn’t even make it past the first verse…let alone the first three words.
Sarah is patient. Nope, try again.
My mind instantly jumped to memories where instead of demonstrating patience and kindness to my husband, I instead became frustrated and lashed out with sarcastic and critical comments. As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew it too. I wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt him, I just let my humanity get in the way instead of choosing the better thing: love.
Then I thought about all the times when God chooses to love me despite my failings. How he loves me with a complete and unconditional agape love—even in my worst moments. Unlike me, his name substitutes flawlessly for love in this verse.
So that’s what I’m striving for. Oh I know I’ll never be perfect or get it completely right, but I can choose to love better than the day before. I can choose to love someone else despite my circumstances, feelings or humanity. It’s a tall order, but thankfully I’ve got a loving, patient God on my side.
So here’s to tomorrow, friends…a chance to love my husband, God and others with a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love…and prayerfully make it past those ever challenging first three words.