But The Greatest of These is Love
“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.”
These verses from the New Testament book of the Bible, 1 Corinthians, are often spoken at weddings.
Long ago, a friend of mine suggested we would all do a better job of living side-by-side in this world if we replaced the word “love” with our own name. He said it would be a good reminder of who we are and how we measure up to living a God-filled life.
I tried it. “Becky is patient. Becky is kind. She does not envy, does not boast, is not proud…”
You get the idea.
And if you know me, you know I am not always patient. I’m not always kind, though I try. I can’t say I’ve never held an envious thought or never boasted about something. And yes, I’ve been proud…though I contend that part is perfectly accepted and expected of grandparents.
I’ll not go through the entire list here.
Still, the passage came to me this week unbidden. My brother-in-law, Tom’s brother, came for lunch. He hadn’t been to our new house. Ron knows Mike. My whole Waters family knows him. They all grew up on the same country road in Florida.
My thoughts were filled with the love my Waters family has displayed throughout the years.
They are what my folks always referred to as “good people.”
Tom died in 2014. If you read last week’s blog post, you know that Mike and I started dating in 2022. When it became clear we would marry, I decided to call Tom’s siblings.
Tom and I were married for forty-three years. I didn’t want my Waters family to read about my newfound relationship with Mike on Facebook.
I called Ron. I shared with him Mike and I were planning to marry. His response?
“Mike will be a good addition to our family.” ... a good addition to our family.
Tom’s older brother and his younger sister were also supportive.
When my mother and I came to Florida for the month of February, Mike came to the house the same day my sister-in-law, Christy, was there.
“You remember Christy, right?” I asked Mike.
“Yes, I do,” Mike said. He headed Christy’s way, his hand extended.
Christy stood up. “A handshake won’t do,” she told him. “You’re family now.” And with that, Christy hugged my future husband. Love.
The entire family has been that way. A family who understands what love really looks like.
Love isn’t an emotion.
Love isn’t a word.
Love is… a way of living and accepting.
Love includes it doesn’t exclude.
That chapter in 1 Corinthians ends with this:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”