The perfect nature of love

Published 7:27 pm Friday, February 13, 2015

I read a story once about a man and his wife who were traveling that contains some adventure that some of you might have experienced along life’s way.

As the couple proceeded on their exhausting journey, they stopped at a restaurant to take a break and enjoy a refreshing meal.  But after they got back on the road and drove about 20 minutes, the lady suddenly discovered she had left her purse at the restaurant.  (Some of you men might be able to identify with that dilemma, but as for me, I am not admitting to anything of the sort!)

You can imagine how “proud” the grouchy old man was of what had just happened, and to make matters worse, he had to drive another 20 minutes down the freeway before he could find a place to turn around.  After finally getting turned around so they could retrieve the forgotten purse, he was letting his dear wife have it every mile of the way, giving her a sharp verbal scolding as he told her over and over how much trouble she had created and how she should always make sure she had her belongings before leaving and how much farther down the road they would be if she had not caused such a problem and how much later it would make them getting home.  He was unwilling to let up with his harsh rebuke.

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At long last and to her relief, they finally arrived at the eatery to retrieve her forgotten purse.  Interestingly, though, just as she getting out of the car to go inside, the grouchy old husband told her, “By the way, I forgot something too.  While you are in there, you might as well get my wallet and coat.”

No, the grouchy old man in the story was not me, and I hope that I would respond more kindly to my precious wife if we were the couple in such a circumstance.  Nevertheless, it is interesting—even pathetic–how we sometimes have unkind ways of responding to those we claim to love, while neglecting to remember our own faults.  Thankfully, God’s love is expressed to humankind through His perfect character and unconditional compassion.  We must never forget that He is our perfect example of authentic love that we can safely follow to learn how to truly live out and express our love for others.

The following words found in 1 Corinthians 13, paint a beautiful picture of love as God intended it to be and presents us with the challenge to always strive to allow love as designed by God to be evident in our lives:  “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (verses 4-7, New International Version).

As we wrap up this season of observing Valentine’s Day, we must make it our purpose not to forget our ongoing debt to love one another.  We are directed in Scripture to “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).