Thursday, February 13, 2014

What Love Does

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 
- 1 Corinthians 13:11 


If you’ve been to a wedding at any point in your life, chances are you know about 1 Corinthians 13.

You know, that one chapter about how love is patient and kind and all that other good stuff?

It’s a wonderful chapter. One of my all-time favorites. But something jumped out at me when I revisited it recently.

This whole chapter was building up what love was and culminated with faith, hope and love remaining with the latter being the greatest among the three.

But in between was this verse: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

And I wondered: Why is this verse in there? What does this have to do with love?

Later that same week, I had a conversation with a guy I’ve known for a long time. He’s been going through a rough patch in his marriage and had just begun to see a marriage counselor.

During one of their sessions, the counselor told him that same verse about leaving childhood behind and it hit him that he had been more concerned with his own wants and needs instead of his wife’s for a long time. In his own words, he realized he was a “49-year-old kid” in his marriage.

Immediately, my mind went back a few verses to “love is not self-seeking.” And then it clicked.

When I was a child, I was impatient. I was often unkind and ungrateful. I looked out for my own interests. I was selfish and quick to get angry when things didn’t go my way. If I'm honest, I still am in many ways.

At some point, everybody needs to answer this question: Will I put the ways of my childhood behind me?

Maybe leaving childhood has nothing to do with graduating college, getting a job, or paying taxes. Maybe it has everything to do with learning how to love the way God loves us.

Maybe leaving childhood means exercising patience and kindness with everyone. Being content with who we are and what we have as we lay down our pride. Honoring others, being slow to anger, and not keeping score in our relationships with people. Rejoicing in the truth, always looking out for others, always trusting God, and always hoping for the best, working towards it regardless of circumstances or opposition.

That's love in action. And making the choice to love intentionally every single day takes children and transforms them into men and women after God’s own heart.

That’s what love does. Love changes people. And I pray we all choose love.

No comments :

Post a Comment