What love is.

I’d love to have you join our Saturday small group. Sort of. If all of you came, we wouldn’t be a small group. But I’d love to have you participate this week. We’re taking some of the phrases from 1 Corinthians 13 and trying to illustrate them.

My guess is that you have heard these words at a wedding or two. On Saturday night, we’re going to walk through this list, asking the same couple questions of each. First, we’re going to talk about specific ways to cultivate this aspect or characteristic of love. If love is not rude, for example, how could we become less rude? What situations invite rudeness and how can we change those situations? Second, we’ll talk about best examples of each characteristic, whether it’s a person whose life demonstrates this, or a particular instance of responding in love.

If you want to leave your answers in the comments, I’ll take them to the group.

1. Love is patient. How can we cultivate this? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

2. Love is kind. How can we cultivate this? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

3. Love does not boast. How can we cultivate humility? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

4. Love is not rude. How can we cultivate this? And what do we call it? Civility? Politeness? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

5. Love is not self-seeking. How can we cultivate this? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

6. Love does not easily get angry. How can we cultivate this? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

7. Love does not keep record of wrongs. How can we cultivate this? How do we clear the slate? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

8. Love does not delight in evil. How can we cultivate this? What’s the best example you’ve ever seen?

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

6 thoughts on “What love is.

  1. For me, a lot of this is about making sure we “pick our battles”. Love is patient and kind is, for me, thinking about how the other person will feel before I make an issue about something. The petty small things, like stuff left all over the house, or asking for a favor you know they don’t want to do… Deciding, for example, that running a forgotten item to my husband’s work, even in torrential rain, is about being patient that none of us are perfect, and kind, in that he needs something and I can provide it, and trying to do it without letting the “internal” critical voice take over that says “If you would just remember, I wouldn’t be inconvenienced.” It’s about remembering to give and also receive from a full heart as often as possible, with partners and children.

    So the best examples are daily things, often small things. Things like, even when my husband is dog tired after being on call at the hospital, he still came with me to Parent Night at school. I know he didn’t want to, but he knew it was important to me, and I wanted to be seen as part of a team by the teachers and support our kid, and for us to be on the same page. This simple act, and many like them, show me his love and commitment. Likewise, I will argue with myself whether letting him stay home and rest would be the better thing and to go it alone, but his willingness to do this is important for all of us in the family.

    Love is more about the thousand of small, selfless, team player gestures we make than about the grand, Hollywood romantic gestures we tend to think of as symbols of love. A nice dinner out may be romantic, but it’s really the conversation and making the other person a priority in your life that demonstrates the love.

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  2. i remember in a study I did years ago, they explained the ASL sign for “patient” is a fist, with the thumb up in front of your mouth and then pull it down…as if to say “keep these lips closed”. Patient took on a new meaning when I saw this. When I want to speak out, when I want to correct, defend or add to…I think of “patient”. It has kept me out of a lot of trouble. I still need to think of it more often, but it definitely has helped:)

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