We moved a few years ago and received a print of the verse as a gift from my in-laws. I had the perfect spot for it in the hallway between our bedroom and our sons’ bedroom.
The love lessons are lot more useful now than when I heard those words in a church the same year Apple released the iPhone. They’re especially handy when I’ve just pulled a ‘Home Alone’ on Matchbox cars left out by my sons.
4 Love Lessons for Life
I am not a biblical scholar or anything remotely close but here’s my take on four love lessons based on those words.
1. Love doesn’t envy.
Your stylish friend, super-fit neighbor, brother who is an amazing cook, co-worker who travels the world, or the mom at school who kills it with snacks. What do all of these people have in common? They are all different people.
Instead of envying the people in your life, use them! Ask your friend to go shopping, get an easy recipe from your brother, or tag-along to a fitness class with your neighbor to see if you’d like it.
Remember, you don’t have to be good at everything.
2. Love is patient.
I am the person silently seething when someone writes a check in front of me in the checkout line and yelling expletives when I am stuck in traffic. Patience is not something I come by naturally.
My kids test my patience constantly. Most days, I have to really work at not losing my mind. Sometimes? I lose it and then remind myself, tomorrow is a new day and a chance to do better.
Has your spouse ever struggled with something? Maybe it was as small as a busy work week or as big as a life-altering illness. Whatever the scale, you probably had a lot of patience and it probably didn’t seem fair.
When you’re struggling, hopefully the patience is returned.
3. Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Who is the person I am the meanest to? My husband, no question.
We tend to have our darkest moments with the people we love the most. Why? If our relationship is healthy, it’s because they love us without keeping record of our wrongs and won’t hold it against us later.
Think about your kids. Do they hit, yell, or say mean stuff to you? Mine do. I discipline when I need to and other times, I just hold them. They know their parents love them unconditionally. My parents taught me how to love like that.
Think about the word ‘unconditional.’ Do you put ‘conditions’ on your relationships whether it’s with your spouse, kids, or friends? Do you keep a record of wrongs and pull them out when you need them? If you do, try stopping and see if makes a stronger relationship.
4. Love always perseveres.
Picture a wedding dance floor where two grey-haired people are swaying slowly to the music as they’re named, “the couple here who’s been married the longest.” Everybody claps and smiles.
I guarantee they earned the grey hair. They persevered when it was hard. They persevered when there seemed to only be darkness. There are going to be really great days, months, and years and really terrible ones. That’s life. Perseverance can serve you well in love and in a lot of other areas in your life.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes. It’s from the grandma in the movie, “Parenthood.”
“You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”
Sometimes, you’re peacefully climbing the hill and other times? You’re hanging upside down by a shoulder harness. Love is messy but worth it.