And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
The dictionary defines love as an intense feeling of deep affection. But the Bible tells us that love is much more than a feeling, it’s the most important and greatest virtue of all. 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. Love never ends.
Love is not rude. No one likes to be around a rude or an unpleasant person. When we’re the one being rude we don’t see it as such a big deal. Oh, but when someone is being rude to you it is a very big deal. The bottom line is we need to treat others, especially our spouse, the way we would like to be treated and we need to act in a way that makes us enjoyable to be around.
Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
We are living in an age where selfish ambition is the norm. Our culture teaches us to think of ourselves as the top priority and to put ourselves first in everything we do. But the Bible teaches us to be humble and not to think of ourselves as more important than others. True love is not selfish, it puts our partners needs and happiness above our own.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
In all our relationships, whether it’s with a friend, relative, child, or spouse at some point one of us may do something to make the other angry or hurt each other’s feelings. We’re not perfect and we make mistakes. It can be something small or it can be something really big, either way it’s how we handle these offenses that determines how the relationship will proceed. It takes genuine forgiveness to make a relationship work and survive. God has forgiven us of all our sins both big and small and he expects us to forgive others just as he has been forgiving toward us.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Love is kind and your kindness shows compassion to the people you love. Sometimes we slip into a comfortable state where we take each other for granted, not intentionally, but it happens and we no longer go out of our way to be kind. The Bible tells us over and over that we should be kind to one another. How much more should we intentionally be kind to our loved ones? Let’s choose to go out of our way to show kindness to the people we love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
No one is perfect and everyone has faults and quirks, but when we show genuine love and patience we overlook the things that frustrate and possibly even annoy us. When we are patient and kind we try our best to focus on the wonderful qualities of the people we love. Just like our heavenly Father is patient with us we should also be patient with those we love.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Like Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus, we need to pray for our friends and family, our enemies, and the world. We need to pray that they would invite Jesus into their lives so they may experience His infinite love first hand and have a personal relationship with Him. We also need to pray that they would come to truly know Him, His grace, glory and how much He really loves them.