Does Love Expire?

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I tend to be…you could say – stubborn! At least this is what my parents, my husband, my friends and my family tell me. I personally, think that I am just Strong Willed :-).

Either way, I tend to think that my way of doing things…is the right way; it just so happens I am married to a man who tends to think the same way! (See…clearly he is the stubborn one ūüėČ )

Needless to say, there are certainly times that we drive each other crazy! Yup, he annoys me; I annoy him…then we say “I love you…I don’t really like you, but I love you!!!” ūüôā We are so romantic like that!

Yesterday, our Pastor was talking about a very well-known “poem” in the bible:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

This is often a verse that is known by almost everyone. You see it all the time in the stores. You can buy it framed. You can buy it as art. You can buy it on post cards. You can buy it on decorative plates and pillows. The options are endless.

This is also a verse that is often “liked” on Face Book. It is posted often with a background of hearts, flowers, peaceful scenery or a cross.

It is truly a beautiful description of love! The sad thing is though, in today’s world, does this description still fit?

When our Pastor asked this question; I have to admit, it stirred my heart quite a bit.

He is right- in today’s world the description goes a bit more like this:

Love is rushed – enjoyed when it is convenient. Love is selfish – given freely, when something is given in return. Love is proud –¬†and showers people and ones self with “things”.¬† Love envies and always wants what it doesn’t have. Love is temporary, it last as long as one is “happy” but then it dissolves and moves on. Love trust- only until trust is broken and then a grudge is held and often not forgotten. Love¬†seeks pleasure and success¬†above all else, if¬†dis-contentment¬†comes about or failure…it is time to move on.

This is my attempt at describing love in today’s world; our¬†Pastor’s was better…but I unfortunately did not write¬†down his. I believe the same point is¬†conveyed.

How true is this in our own lives?

I love my husband- but do I love him like the verse describes, or do I love him like the modern description?

To be honest, as much as I hate to admit it, I am more towards the modern description.

After church, my husband and I looked at each other and smiled. It was that smile of “he he I think he might be talking about me!” Unfortunately, he was talking about us….and about many others.

The verse in 1 Corinthians is beautiful and we often read it as a poem. If we go back and really read it- it is telling us the opposite of what we think.

Love – is NOT always beautiful!

Love- is NOT always poetic and sweet!

Love – is often HARD and makes us do the opposite of what our minds and hearts tell us to do.

I know that seems like a strange thing to say, but it is true.

Think about marriage! My husband and I have only been married 7 years, but trust me when I say – there have been times! There have been times that he is the last person I want to see or talk to. Times that he has made me so upset that I just wanted to leave! I know that he too would say this about myself and times I have hurt him.

Luckily, we haven’t “left” and we have stuck it out; because deep down we do Love each other. Even though it isn’t always pretty, we do.

My dad told me one time when I was younger, something that I will never forget. “When you say ‘I do’ for¬†better and for worse…No one ever says that it will be 50/50. Sometimes it will be 10% bad and 90% good…other times it will be the opposite.”

Love is hard! It is wonderful, beautiful and an amazing thing, but it is hard.

Today, it is easy to “fall in love”; you meet someone and enjoy their company. You realize you are happy with them and decide to get married. Soon though, the “honeymoon” period ends and life kicks in; your “happy” begins to be replaced with “annoyed”, “frustrated”…”unhappy”.¬† Sadly, many marriages end up dissolving due to the lack of “happiness”.

The actual definition, from the dictionary, about love is this:

noun 1. an intense feeling of deep affection.
2.a person or thing that one loves.
“she was the love of his life”
verb 1.feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone)”do you love me?”
I am far from a scholar and I am certainly not a biblical genius; but when I read this definition and compare it to the definition in 1 Corinthians…No wonder the worlds idea of love is so far from the bibles!
Love isn’t just a feeling…it is an action. Love also is much more than a romantic attachment. Yes, sex is meant to be an act of love, but it sure is thrown around pretty freely.
If we held God to the standard that we as humans have set for love…Yikes, we would be in trouble!
Imagine if God ran away when things began to get hard. What if God left us as soon as we no longer made him “happy”? What if God moved on to something else when we were no longer exciting? What if God stopped forgiving us when we hurt him and instead started to stock pile grudges against us?
If God showed us love the same way we show each other love, we would all be in deep trouble.
Love can be painful, hard, uncomfortable and something that we may have to “make” ourselves do at times. When someone hurts us, love is often the last thing we “want” to give, yet¬†it is exactly what we should give.
Love is work and this is the part where I think marriages often fall. If we are selfish and only look for our own happiness…then everything will fall apart.
I need to be more concerned with my husband’s happiness than my own! (Not the easiest thing to do!) We are selfish by nature and we are taught that we should find someone who makes us “happy”.¬† Yet no one will or can make us happy- all the time!
Take a moment to examine yourself and how you love. Think about whether you are basing your “love” on what you get…or on what you give.
This is likely not going to be a fun task! If you are like me, and like to think you are just wonderful in all ways (wishful thinking)…you will likely discover that you are flawed. Even though you would like to think that all the “problems” are your husband or wives fault…a lot of them will be yours!
Let’s take Love back to God’s version. Let’s be intentional on giving and not so focused on getting! Let’s separate “happiness” from “Love”; they are two different things and¬†shouldn’t be confused.
With love we will NOT always be happy! We will be much more! We will be fulfilled, content and satisfied. We will feel rewarded when we see the smile on our husbands face because he feels loved…we will then feel blessed when the love is returned.
We will communicate better because we will seek to know the others heart, wants and needs. We will be stronger because our strength will grow as our love deepens our bond.
If you want to be a super star, you can go to your significant other and ask them “how can I love you better?” It is likely a hard question to ask, and it could possibly be a bit uncomfortable. In then end though, working one thing at a time is how we will be successful!

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