If we were to take a poll of wedding ceremonies and which passages are most read, chances are I Corinthians 13 would be at the top. Dozens of couples I have performed a ceremony for over the years, had someone read I Corinthians 13 during nuptials.
Now the context of I Corinthians 13 is not specifically to newlyweds, but it can easily be applied to couples beginning life together. It is the “Love” passage, which gives a list of how we are to love each other. Too often though, we do a quick reading of passages like this, and we really don’t meditate on them. I plan to take several articles to slowly work on how these verses can practically apply to our marriages.
LOVE IS PATIENT
What is patience? Patience is accepting (things that are not right) with someone else, and giving them the time to change that thing. Love speaks truth. It is not supposed to let people continue in sinful behaviors.. It is not loving to let someone continue to face the consequences of their actions. But patience is needed.
In marriage, patience is really giving grace. It’s saying of the other person, “I know they have done wrong, maybe even against me. But I am going to talk to my spouse, make things right, and forgive them. (I am going to allow them time to continue to grow in how they act, follow God, in interact in our marriage.)
This idea of being patient for our spouses is so integral, that if husbands are not patient it can even affect their prayer lives.
LOVE IS KIND
Kindness is lost in our modern culture. As we look at the definition, we will see that people often have an unbalanced approach to others, making them unkind. Kindness is both having sympathy for someone, and then doing something “kind” to help that person fix their problems which you originally felt sympathy for. We can do good acts to others that we don’t have sympathy for; and we can have sympathy for others, and not do anything to fix their plight. Kindness is both having sympathy, and doing something with that feeling of sympathy.
In our marriage we should have sympathy for our spouses. We should feel bad for them when things are not going well for them because we love them. We should also, in love, attempt to fix the problems and help them with the things we are having sympathy for them about. We are a team, and love is kind and takes care of those things if able.
LOVE DOES NOT ENVY
Mark 10:8, reflecting on Genesis 2:24, says that when a husband and a wife marry they are “one flesh.” When we are married we become a team. There are times within marriage when one spouse has benefits or blessings individually. Competition in marriage can cause unnecessary strife.
We should not be envious of each other but should rejoice. While a promotion, new friend, or new goal reached may be specifically intended for one, because we are one flesh, both the husband and wife can rejoice. As the apostle Paul says in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” We want our spouses to succeed and win. Marriage is not a competition between the two members, but a team. When one spouse wins, the whole team wins.
How can you be more patient with your spouse this week? How can you give godly kindness? Do you rejoice when your spouse obtains something, or are you envious?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.