This Valentines Day I was inspired to paint a passage from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for my love. I know this passage is used often when referring to love and it's obvious as to why.
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
But when we use this as a standard to measure how well we are loving, I am the first to raise my hand and say I've failed in a lot of these. I AM impatient. I DO envy. I often TRY and get my own way first. I lose heart to endure when it's hard.
I know that no man is perfect, and we all take a turn at not living up to each of these standards in 1 Corinthians. My sweet husband is not perfect either, he fails just like me.
However when I was reading through these and thinking over our marriage, and at the way we've grown and changed over the past few years I kept thinking that this IS how Jonah loves me. He is patient and kind, he's not one to envy another or boast, he shows humility easily. He strives for sharing and living out Truth. He's not irritable in the morning when things are just too loud (um, is that just me?) And he has shown me how to hope, endure and bear much.
Our first example of love, Jesus Christ is the focus and goal we have for our marriage, and family. It's THE standard we strive for. To love like Christ is the ultimate.
And this takes a daily journey of giving up our time, ourselves, our all to become more of what He wants. It's enduring when it IS hard. And often we fail to see any changes in ourselves in the day to day. I repent and bring the same failures to the Lord, and He forgives, and instructs me in the journey. He teaches new things and slowly there are changes happening.
This is what I realized when I read through these verses and thought of my own marriage.
Thank you Jonah for loving me like Christ. For setting an example of what this kind of love is. How it fills me up, and leaves me satisfied. How it makes me feel full of value and beauty.
The day to day is the hard part. But when you look back on the journey, how encouraging it is to know that we are being sanctified, we are being made more like Christ, and yes, we still have a ways to go!
I'm so thankful for my husband this Valentines, and everyday.