1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
As I was Christmas shopping the other day, I came across this canvas that I just had to have. It was on clearance, and I love a good deal. I also had birthday money and a gift card left over from where I did flowers for a wedding. Score! I was carrying this big thing around the store, and ran into someone from my work church. I know who she is, but we'd never met. So I introduced myself to her.
I showed her the canvas because I was excited about it and the price. Then I prefaced it with, "I'm not married, but I'm getting this anyway."
WHAT? It hit me not long afterwards.. I don't have to be married to hang this over my bed. GOD is love, right? The Bible tells us that and is full of references about how much He loves us. This Scripture isn't just a do and don't list for married people.
It's fitting for friendship as well. I have tried my best to live by this Scripture, when I was married, and in my friendships. To me, these words are like a blue print for how we should treat people. Jesus even told His disciples that people would know they were His followers because of their love for each other. (John 13:35)
Please hear me out on this. I do not, for one minute, believe that this is God telling us to be a door mat and/or allow ourselves to be abused. God wants to be first in our lives. He can't be first if we are constantly protecting ourselves from people. He can't be first if we are living in an abusive relationship because it will take up all of our time. He wants us to be loved and live a good life. That doesn't mean it will be perfect, because we are human and the only perfect relationship we will ever have is with Him. Love enduring all things, in my humble opinion, does not equal abuse.
Boundaries are a good thing. They are put in place in your life like a fence for your yard. A fence keeps the bad things out, the good things in, and you have gates in order to determine which is which. God wants us to be wise in our love. He wants us to let Him guide us and have relationships the way He has written it for us in the Bible.
Do you live by this? Are you patient, kind, not jealous and not boastful? Do you rejoice when your loved ones have good times?
God loves us like this Scripture says. He will never leave or forsake us. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited about that!
God bless you today and always.