Summary: In an age where love is defined by "the way we feel today," Pastor James Dunn helps us to understand that true love is not spelled..."F-E-E-L-I-N-G-S", but rather... "C-O-M-M-I-T-M-E-N-T."
I Think I Love You
You can see them alongside the shuffleboard courts in Florida or on the porches of the old folks’ homes up north: an old man with snow-white hair, a little hard of hearing, reading the newspaper through a magnifying glass; an old woman in a shapeless dress, her knuckles gnarled by arthritis, wearing sandals to ease her aching arches. They are holding hands, and in a little while they will totter off to take a nap, and then she will cook supper, not a very good supper and they will watch television, each knowing exactly what the other is thinking, until it is time for bed. They may even have a good, soul-stirring argument, just to prove that they still really care. And through the night they will snore unabashedly, each resting content because the other is there. They are in love, they have always been in love, although sometimes they would have denied it. And because they have been in love they have survived everything that life could throw at them, even their own failures.
Ernest Havemann, Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 7-9.
What a story. I love it! How many of us can relate to that couple? When the storms of life come, and they will, how will your marriage fare? What about the other relationships that you are involved with...ie... family, friends and co-workers?
When the temperature rises and the winds blow, can you remain true to the course? In our day and age, many individuals take a trial run at marriage. They conclude that if they can live together for several years without getting married...and can stand one another, then they "might" tie the knot.
Others do not even see the need to stand before God pledging their love to the one they want to spend the rest of their lives with. They just think that if the love wanes or lessens, then all they have to do is get out of the relationship.... no marriage...kids......no harm done.
The flip-side of that is also true of many who are married. They just say, "If my love for you diminishes and we just can’t get along, we can always get a divorce. Afterall, God doesn’t want us to be this miserable"
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul tells us how we can keep the flames burning even when the "feeler" gets stuck. There may be days that you don’t "feel" like loving your spouse. God’s Word does not spell love, F-e-e-l-i-n-g-s, but rather C-O-M-M-I-T-M-E-N-T.
Let’s take a closer look at what Paul describes as true, lasting love.
A. Love Never Gives Up…("Patient") vs. 4a
1. Patient to endure misfortunes… … with confidence and endurance.
2. Patient to bear wrongs done to us… not quick to retaliate when wronged.
B. Love Cares More For Others Than For Self… ("Kind") vs. 4b
1. Kindness strives to make the other person happy.
2. Kindness strives to assist others in need.
C. Love Doesn’t Want What It Doesn’t Have… ("Jealous") vs. 4c
1. Jealousy leads to suspicion.
2. Jealousy leads to fear.
3. Jealousy leads to competition.
D. Love Doesn’t Show Out… ("Boastful") vs. 4d
1. Boasting flows from pride.