Love is more than we realize. Here are true love’s characteristics.
The couple had been married for 5 decades. He suffered from dementia, and her strength was fading, but day after day she cared for his needs. She was not compelled to care for his needs by romance, but sacrificial love compelled her.
Love is more than a deep romantic attraction to someone. While there is a place for such feelings as romance and attraction, The Bible encourages us to reach higher in love to obtain sacrificial love for one another.
It is sacrificial love which compels a wife who has been married for 50 years to care for her husband. It is sacrificial love which sends a husband married for decades to visit his wife in the nursing home every day. It is this love which allows a parent to forfeit sleep to care for an ill child. So, what are the characteristics of this love?
The Love Chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, tells us. We also find a challenge in this chapter. To fully obtain the character described in this chapter is a growing process. I know I have more growing to do. How do you measure up?
Characteristics of Love
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says love is…
Love is patient and kind.
A man was lonely, so he decided to get a pet. He did not want to get just any pet. He wanted a unique pet, so he purchased a Centipede. The pet store put the animal in a box and the man returned to his apartment.
That evening, he decided to go out on the town, so he invited the Centipede along. The man opened the box and said, “Centipede, would you like to go out this evening?”
A couple seconds later, the man asked again, “Would you like to go out on the town tonight?”
Hearing no answer, the man thought maybe the Centipede had trouble hearing, so he shouted, “Centipede, do you want to go out tonight?”
A little voice came from the box, “I’ve already said yes! Be patient with me! I’m putting on my shoes!”
Patience can be hard. We live in a world in which everything is a web search away. We want what we want when we want it, but sacrificial love learns to be patient.
Love is not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love is not irritable.
“By now he had learned enough to know that when he was getting annoyed at somebody else it was usually because there was something that he himself should be doing and he wasn’t doing it,” says Lev Grossman.
Love keeps no record of being wrong.
- S. Lewis comments, “Everyone believes forgiveness is a grand idea until he or she has something to forgive.” Forgiveness is hard but necessary for sacrificial love.
Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never looses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
God is love.
1 John 4:8 says, “God is love,” so if God is love, here are God’s characteristics.
God is patient and kind. God is not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. God is not irritable and keeps no record of being wrong. God does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out. God never gives up, never looses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
How do you measure up?
1 John 4:9-12 says, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God but if we love each other God lives in us and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
How do you measure up? Put yourself in the list of characteristics above. Can you say, “I am patient and kind. I am not jealous,”
I need to grow. How did you do? Are there characteristics in which you lack?
Make a mental note of the characteristics in which you fall short. Ask the Lord to help you grow in those areas.
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