This past Sunday the preacher at the church Jan and I visited talked about “True Love.” Noting the upcoming holiday, in his introduction to the sermon he reflected on a wedding he presided over many, many years ago on a Valentine’s Day. He couldn’t remember the names of the couple, but he said he wondered how they were doing in carrying out the commitments they made to one another that day.
The preacher and most of those in attendance at this small non-instrumental Church of Christ were elderly making Jan and I feel younger than we are. Everything about the church and service was old school, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. The preacher spoke to the couples present who had been married for many years emphasizing the challenges we had all faced and overcome in our life together.
For the most part I was affirmed and encouraged by what this non-contemporary preacher said. But one passing reference in one part of his sermon got my attention. He read Paul’s description of love from I Corinthians 14:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. The reminder that “love is not easily angered” (“not irritable” in the NLT) was like a punch in the stomach or a slap in the face. Too often I am easily irritated or angered. As a matter of fact, while we were walking the dogs Saturday night, I got irritated not once–but twice with Jan. I was convicted.
Jan and I went to lunch on Valentine’s Day. And as I expected, she gave me a card. I thought about getting her a card but decided not to; I wanted to do something better. I didn’t need to remind her about Saturday night, but I did let her know I was convicted by the sermon on Sunday. And I told her for Valentine’s Day I was committing to trying a lot harder to show her my love by not being so easily irritated.
If you’re married may I ask how you are doing in carrying out the commitments you made on your wedding day? And in the afterglow of Valentine’s Day, which of the qualities of true love in I Corinthians 13 do you most need to work on?
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