Two Hearts, One Love!
In today’s post Jody, my wonderful husband, and I will share in the writing. We feel inspired to share with you our hearts about love from one of our favorite passages, 1 Corinthians 13 - God’s view of love. I hope you enjoy this post! Keep reading and Happy Valentine’s Day!
FROM SUE’S HEART:
When I read the LOVE chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, I am always convicted of a way in which my heart sometimes does not reflect the ideas that Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned in this letter to the church in Corinth. At different times in my life, different verses pop out and chip away at this cold part of my heart. This Valentine’s Day, the truth that jumps up and says, “NOTICE ME,” is verse 5: “It keeps no record of wrongs.” This is where I am going to camp out today. I hope you don’t mind, but I may step on your toes a bit as the Holy Spirit has surely smashed mine!
I have a great memory. This is not bragging, it’s just true. I can see a movie once and many years later remember verbatim lines from it. It drives Jody crazy. We will see a rerun or a movie for the second time and I will ruin every suspenseful spot by saying the actor’s line before the actor does. Each time, Jody will look over at me perplexed and say, “How do you do that?” It annoys him because it is rude, and also because life with my memory has its challenges. Jody lives with his very own DVR wife 😊.
I use my robust memory for good, and bad. I’m great at remembering practical things, like our schedule, the grocery list, friend’s birthdays, and prayer requests. But I also wield this memory when Jody and I face off over issues. When we argue, I use my power of recall of any and all details to win my point. If it supports my case, I will state where we were and what was said by who. I also remember and can quickly restate every other time Jody was wrong in the very same way. Ouch, huh?! You may be like me in this way, and if so, you already know that this is wrong and not a fair way to argue. There is no room for this in a Godly marriage.
Let me explain why. God’s word says that, “Love does not keep a record of wrongs.” And, God knows that His example of love, Jesus, demonstrates the ultimate forgiveness. God will not cheapen His sacrifice or change His rules midgame just to remember our sins. My ability to recall past wrongs isn’t a testimony of my big hippocampus, but rather my unforgiving heart. I’m very thankful that when I ask God to forgive me of my sins, He doesn’t dredge them back up and throw them up in my face the next time I sin. This is most critical to how our marriages, Godly marriages, must reflect the Gospel love of Christ. When your spouse sins or in any way hurts you, and then turns around and asks you for your forgiveness, you must forgive and ALSO erase the memory or the sin or hurt. If you don’t, you have chosen instead to be right and gloat in it. That, sweet friends, is called pride. Just before writing, “It keeps no record of wrongs,” Paul writes in verse 4, “Love is not proud.” I don’t think this order was accidental, but rather testimony that together, both are an everlasting truth. You can’t have one without the other. Pride stops us from fully loving our spouse … and sometimes from loving God. We believe that we know best. And although we know that God forgave us, we sometimes do not want to follow suit. We illogically rationalize that the Bible is in need of an update, a 2.0 if you will, and that we are up to the self-serving task. We are happy to figure it out ourselves and take the next step: update God’s Word and eliminate the need to fully forgive and forget. As an example, arrogant pride would tell you that your spouse does not deserve forgiveness and that if God were standing next to you, given the nastiness of your spouse’s sin, He would add to His Word a clause that supports your record-keeping behavior. WRONG. In the beginning, God fore knew every sin before they were even committed! And God, our righteous Father, determined how all future sins and hurts would be paid – through the precious blood of Jesus! The answer was, is and will always be, “JESUS!” God expects you to care more about being His child then being right, to forgive your spouse again and again and to remember the sin no more.
Take some time this Valentine’s Day to celebrate God’s version of love by re-reading 1 Corinthians 13. Read it to your spouse aloud. Let the words wash over your heart and chip away at the part of your heart that needs more of Jesus. This refining of your heart, or sanctification, is an important part of your walk with Christ and should be celebrated on this day and every day!
FROM JODY’S HEART:
I am a child of the 60’s who was raised in the 70’s. The music of the 70’s … Classic Rock, Pop, Funk, and Disco … influenced who I was as a young boy. And to some extent, it still does. I am a bit of an introvert … the opposite of my wife, Sue … and a little shy … also the opposite of Sue. So, how I came up with the courage to ask Sue to go with me to our High School Prom was nothing short of miraculous. Now knowing these things about me, you may appreciate my story.
Sue enjoys joking and teasing – she always has! On our Prom night, she pulled a BIG one on me. So there I was … the slightly shy introvert … at the Prom with the prettiest girl in the whole school. Sue was, of course, an officer of our High School class. As such, she was, along with the other officers of our class, obligated to be part of the first dance of the night. We “strap hangers,” the dates of the class officers, were to be part of this first dance too. I was prepared for that, but I was not prepared for what Sue was about to do to me first.
Just before the first dance started, Sue leaned in toward me and whispered, “You do know that everyone in the first dance will have to give a short speech, and that includes you.” I froze! Oh no! I didn’t agree to this! I can’t do this! Help!!!!! After enjoying a few seconds of watching sheer panic swell up in my face, she nonchalantly chuckled, “Just kidding, you don’t have to say anything.” Agggghhhh!!!!!!!! I had been played!
Well, the music started and onto the dance floor strolled the class officers and their dates to dance the first dance. I don’t remember any of the other songs played that night, but I do remember that first song, “Always and Forever,” by the Funk-Disco group, Heatwave. Perhaps because this song is associated with one of the most significant … and terrifying … moments of my young life J, it is today my favorite song. I can recite almost perfectly the lyrics of the song. I can sing it even better J!
The word, “always,” is one of the most important words of the entire song. It qualifies how long will be the “life of love” between the boy and girl in the song. The word, “always,” is also one of the most important words of one of the most important verses about love in all of Scripture – 1 Cor. 13:7. The word, “always” appears four times in the 13th chapter of the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Church in Corinth, but all four are in only one verse – verse 7. Why is this? I believe that Paul was, among many other things, a great poet. He got it!
Every single word of Scripture has meaning. And as good food which is made of good nutrients nourishes our body, Scripture, which is made of good words, nourishes our soul! So then, consider the Greek word that Paul used for what we today read (in English) as, “always.” In Greek, “always” is the word, “pas.” The complete and thorough meaning of “pas” is, “day after day.”
When we translate the rest of 1 Cor. 13:7 from English into Greek, we grow and expand our understanding of God’s Word. Read in English, the verse says, “It [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Read in Greek, it says, “Pas stego, pas pisteuo, pas elpizo, pas hypomeno.” And when we consider the complete and thorough meaning of each Greek word in this remarkable verse, it says to us, “Day after day love covers us, day after day we can put our faith in love, day after day we can confidently look forward to love’s benefits, day after day love stands firm.” How beautiful is God’s Word! It nourishes my soul!
Day after day cover your spouse in love, day after day put faith in your spouse’s love for you, day after day confidently look forward to the benefits of your spouse’s love for you, and day after day stand firm in love for your spouse. This is how I chose to love Sue, and how I have tried to love her since our first dance together 37 years ago. Husband and wife, chose to love your spouse this way too! Thank you for allowing me to share this Valentine’s Day with you.
I appreciate your time each week reading my blog! My prayer is for your marriage to reflect the true love of God and to be strengthened through the power of the Gospel. Love each other well today, and every day. Keep reading, friends!
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
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.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.