As we continue into part three of this in depth look at what is considered by some “The Love Chapter”, I want to encourage you to read the entire series, Love Without Works, True Love Defined, and now A Vow Of True Love. All of these are found on our blog The Mid-Day Motivator at praise963.com. In closing, yesterday I made the statement that every wedding ceremony should include the passage that we are looking at today. The family is breaking down and marriages are dissolving away, all because we have lost touch with the true meaning of Love. Regardless of whether you are looking, dating, engaged, or married, this passage will give us all insight to what true love looks like in our relationships.
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:6-8A (NKJV)
Before we get to the vow of true love, let’s look at the first part of our passage today, “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” Honestly, I had an idea of the meaning of iniquity but I wanted to make sure I knew the full meaning. The definitions I found were immoral, grossly unfair or unjust. If there is any problem with marriages today it may stem from the fact that we rejoice in immoral and unfair behavior. I love how God at times will say something in His word, and then come back to clarify it or reinforce the point. In this instance, He uses the “but” to clarify that it is not only that you not do the wrong thing “but” you do the right thing. Paul wrote, “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth”. Not only are we not to rejoice in the immoral and unfair but we are to rejoice in the truth. Lauren, my wife, and I were talking about this passage on the drive to work this morning. She pointed out how we will tell “little white lies” to make our spouse feel good, to avoid an argument, or to make ourselves feel good, but true love in a marriage MUST be focused on the truth. Those small, insignificant, little white lies over time corrode our marriages. God is telling us not to rejoice or enjoy the immoral or impure but at the same time rejoice and enjoy being truthful with those we say we love. It is healthier in the long run. Now for what I call the vow of true love, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”. I want to dissect these and look deep into this claim that love makes. God’s Love Letter says that love bears all things. When I read this I pictured a heavy load that a loved one is carrying. Our love for that person would compel us to aid in carrying that load. They, whoever “they” are, say marriage is fifty fifty. I have only been married about eight years but I can tell you that it is never 50/50. One is always stronger and one is weaker. The roles do alternate from one person to the other but it is never equal. Love has equipped us to bear all things, not some things, not a few things, but true love will bear all things. Love also believes all things. This means we believe the best of our loved one. It also goes back to that fact that love rejoices in the truth so we believe what our loved one tells us. The next thing that love does is it hopes all things. I don’t think it means hope as in I hope it happens, but a look forward to. Love looks forward to drawing closer to one another and love looks forward for its work to be completed in our lives. It looks forward to a future of being together. The last phrase in verse seven is the one that hits the hardest. Love endures all things. I was driving down the road the other day and I saw a sign promoting the low cost of a divorce. The next sign had a higher cost for bankruptcy. I am not a lawyer, maybe there is more work involved in bankruptcy than divorce, but still it conveyed a message to me that we as Americans put more weight on finances than marriage. Till death do us part, unless you want to put down some money and sign a paper then your marriage doesn’t matter. True love would endure all things. To endure is also to push through. It may not be comfortable. It may not be pleasant. It may not be what you want it to be, but for now you will push through and endure. Looking back in this passage, endure wraps it all up.
Times are hard, but we will bear this load together. I believe you are holding up your end of our love. I hope or look forward to our love becoming complete in one another, and I am confident that our love will endure all things. Again, I say this should be in every wedding ceremony. I went ahead and added verse 8 part A, “Love never fails.” There is a worship song that says, your love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out on me.” Though this is a worship song to our Lord what if we said the same to our loved ones as our love never fails, never gives up and will never run out? This love that never fails, this true love is the love that God gives us. It’s this love that God has put in us, and it is this very never failing love that God wants us to share with those around us. I have a challenge for you. Men, when you get home tonight pop down to one knee and tell your wife that you haven’t been the husband that God has called you to be and give this vow of true love to the love of your life. “I want my love to you to be a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things and never fails.” If you mean it, and you’re willing to work on it, see what that does for your marriage. Women tonight when your husband comes home meet him at the door and tell him that you haven’t been the wife that God has called you to be. Then give this vow of true love. “I want my love to you to be a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things and never fails.” If you truly mean it, see what that does for your marriage. Repeat this process with your parents and your children and see if your loving relationships aren’t impacted by your desire to exhibit God’s definition of true love.
Dear Heavenly Father, once again we come before your loving kindness to ask that you will continue to show us what true love is. Show us your love. Put your love within us and give us the power to share your love with the world. We pray this in the name of the Author of True Love, Jesus Christ. Amen.