Summary: Why does our way of expressing love change so much over time.

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I love you but…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8A

The word “Love” has been distorted to mean a lot less that I think it should. It happens so innocently and easily. We decide that we want a word more powerful than like. So, we love that dress, cheesecake, chocolate cake, but it cheapens the word when we use it to express preference or liking something.

I guess it really does not hurt anything except that it waters down the flavor. It is like kool-aid with to much water. The color might be there but the taste is quickly reduced.

In the Bible there are three words used in the way we use the word love and they have three different flavors. However, today’s scripture is only describing one kind of love. Agape Love

Paul wrote this to the Corinthians because of the divisions that had been arising in the church. People were all worked up over how right they were and how wrong others were.

I compare this to My mom often accused us kids of being willing to argue with a stop sign. It seems that this church fought over everything and they were influenced by every new preacher that came to town.

Paul offers the Corinthians a definition agape love.

Agape love is deeper than mere friendship, and is not romantic love.

Agape love is selfless and has no restrictions or requirements from the loved person.

It is a love that is there no matter how we act (good or bad) or even what we do.

Agape love is the love that God demonstrates when He looks at mankind.

Love is good stuff. I like the way it makes me feel as a person in love and a person that is loved.

I remember what falling in love was like….It was mostly good. New Love is exciting

New love and new relationships bring out the best in our human nature.

New love makes you treat people special and do things that are extra nice. New love makes you take risk and spend all you have, money and time.

New love says I want to do what you want to do…square dancing… football…shopping…Let’s go!

Personally, when I contemplate what love is, I think back to a wedding some 28 years ago. I was the groom. I was totally in love with my first wife……..Renee.

At first, I have trouble seeing how the love I felt for her has changed at all. I think that the new love feeling is alive and well. I feel that I love her just the same as then and even more in some ways.

However, it does not take but a few seconds for me to recognize that my ideal picture of my love for her has changed and not necessarily for the best. The new that influenced me to do special things has warn down.

I used par to Paul’s description in Chapter 13 as a measuring stick of my love…

Love is patient - when I feel good and am not in a hurry to do something I want to do.

Love is kind – when I want something

It does not envy – unless Renee is happy / busy with something else

It does not boast – except to show how important I am

It is not proud

– OK I better stop there….

I don’t consistently meet any of the baseline qualifications that a Christian should have when it comes to love.

If I get to rude or self-seeking or not easily angered -- it will make my pride lead me to consider lying.

As if all that were not enough Paul has to say that, Love keeps no record of wrongs – That is not fair, I have a memory and I know what she said, I can’t help myself.

Folks, when I look at my love for my wife and family, which is normally the best I can do. I fall short of what Paul is describing.

I seem to remember a time when I was better at showing my love.

Why does that change?

Why is it that after some period of time the way we act seems to change?

I don’t think that the love is gone. But, the way I show my love has definitely changed. The power of the motion has faded.

It appears to be something that wears down with time, like being on a motorized treadmill. After a while we get tired of having to constantly show our love. It is not that we don’t want too. We just seem to lose the energy that comes with new love. Perhaps the scenery becomes familiar.

I guess it is really more a level of being comfortable.

When we are comfortable in our relationships, we don’t dress up as much.

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