“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 records of wrongs.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.

Love is patient and kind are words from the Bible we see and hear in flowery terms all the time. It’s commonly used at weddings or for signs girls put up. But this verse from St. Paul is profoundly true, extremely beautiful, and very hard to live out.

Love is patient, love is kind.

How patient are we, really, with our spouse? How often does a wife snap at her husband to do something? Or a husband wishes his wife didn’t need emotional care? How easy can it be to pass a harsh word to your spouse instead of a kind one? Hopefully these interactions do not dominate most marriages, but they certainly happen. We are called to love our spouse unceasingly, but constant patience and kindness do not come naturally.

It does not envy, does not boast, is not proud.

Do we ever wish we could trade places with our spouse? Or refuse to admit when we’re wrong? Do we suffer from either a martyr complex or a hero pedestal? When spouses do not share equal childcare or employment responsibilities, it can be easy to fall into these mental pits. It can be hard to ask for help and easy to act like we’re doing more than the other. That’s no way to sustain a marriage, much less a family life.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking.

One spouse should not be put down to raise the other up. Our merits should speak for themselves, independent of what our spouse has done recently. Yet, how tempting can it be to keep score? How easy can it be to say, I did this so you do that?

It is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrong.

How long can we hold onto hurt in our marriages? When the person we love most, who we have given ourselves to, hurts us? How easy can it be to hold onto pain instead of opening ourselves to healing? But that’s not love. That’s human nature. Human nature is easy. Love is hard. It’s a choice we have to make over and over again.

We know what love is meant to look like. That doesn’t make it easy; but it makes it possible.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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