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Summary: It’s one thing to TALK about "real, built-to-last love". . . it’s one thing to say, "We’ve got that "no-matter-what" love. But what does REAL love look like in practical, everyday life? I Cor. 13:4 tells us. . . *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

Last week, we discussed the foundation of great, built-to-last relationships. It’s unselfish, unconditional love.

But it’s one thing to talk about this love – but what does it look like in real life? How does this REAL love ACT? Well, we’re going to look at several ways it acts and DOESN’T act today. . .

NEW KING JAMES

4 ¶ Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

NEW LIVING TRANSLATION

4. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud

LOVE IS PATIENT:

Do husbands ever need patience? Just before I moved here, I was at work, and a song came on the radio. . . it was called “Work In Progress”, and part of the verse went like this:

“I’m sorry I got mad, waiting out in the truck/

But it seemed like hours, you gettin’ all dressed up/

Just to go to Shoney’s on a Wednesday night.”

But to be fair, the chorus ends with these words:

“I even asked the Lord to try to help me/

He looked down from heaven, said to tell you please/

Just be patient – I’m a work in progress.”

(Alan Jackson, Work in Progress)

If you’ve been married over two weeks, you know that BOTH the husband and the wife need patience.

I found this poem while I was doing research for this sermon:

Patience is a virtue,

Possess it if you can.

Found seldom in a woman,

Never in a man.

Now, wait a minute! That’s discrimination!

It’s easy to sit here and talk about patience here in a church where husbands and wives aren’t in the middle of paying bills or disciplining kids or discussing the in-laws. . . but patience isn’t just for here in church!!

What about next time you get angry with your spouse?

What about the next time THEY are not acting patiently toward you?

I suggest that THOSE are the times when patience is needed MOST of all!!!

Stanton and Abraham Lincoln..

Fosdick points out that no one treated Lincoln with more contempt than did Stanton. He called him "a low cunning clown", he nicknamed him "the original gorilla" and said that Du Chaillu was a fool to wander about Africa trying to capture a gorilla when he could have found one so easily at Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln said nothing.

Lincoln made Stanton his war minister because he was the best man for the job and he treated him with every courtesy. The years wore on. The night came when the assassin’s bullet murdered Lincoln in the theatre. In the little room to which the President’s body was taken stood that same Stanton, and, looking down on Lincoln’s silent face, he said through his tears, "There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen." The patience of love had conquered in the end.

Let me give you several tips to help you in developing patience:

1. Remember that no one is perfect – including you!

2. Remember how much you need others to be patient with you.

3. When you have a smart comment, don’t say it.

4. Practice NOT interrupting – even if they do.

5. Seek first to understand, THEN to be understood.

I went to the doctor the other day. Pain in my head, blurred vision, and a pain in my side. . . he didn’t run any tests, or even finish listening to my symptoms. Instead, he handed me a prescription, told me to take it for a couple months, and check back.

This didn’t really happen of course, but if it had. . .

How many of you would go to that doctor? OF COURSE NOT! I’d be frustrated – because he didn’t take the TIME necessary to understand my problem! I’d never go back to a doctor like that. . .

But how often do we as husbands (and guys, usually we are the worst at this!) listen for 30 seconds, do a quick diagnosis, and then give our “Mr. Fix-it” advice?

That’s why this last one is HUGE in the developing of patience! If you can do that, you’ll be a large step closer to developing the part of real LOVE that is patient!!!

LOVE IS KIND:

What is kindness? Kindness is actively showing your love by treating the other person gently, whether they deserve it or not.

Simple Kindness is powerful! Alexander Maclaren once said, “If you want to win the world, melt it, do not hammer it.” The same could be said of your wife. . . simple kindness will do more for her than a million times of hitting her with a verbal hammer – EVEN IF YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

An extraordinarily beautiful woman married to an extraordinarily ugly man. When a family friend once asked how such a beautiful woman could have married such an ugly man, she replied, "He has never once hurt my feelings.”

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