Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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 perfection comes, the imperfect 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 childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor 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.
Selected verses from 1st Corinthians 13
I've come across this passage of the Scripture so many times in my Christian walk. I've been taught about how love is not an emotion but a decision. I agree. The emotion is a part of it but the decision is so important. The verses above give an indication on what love is. Sometimes I wish it read..'Love is butterflies in my tummy, walking on air, being breathless when you open the door'...lol! But it isn't. I love you means 'I am making a commitment to be here for you no matter what. I will be patient with you, I will be kind to you, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and not be jealous when I hear a female voice at the other end of the line (even if it is Halle B, sorry private joke!!), I will try and express myself without being rude or patronizing. I will be honest and I will trust you with everything I have and own. If I can't say something without breaking a confidence, I will let you know. I will ask God for grace to not be easily angered, to tell you how I feel about actions you have taken without going crazy and shouting.
I will protect you by keeping private things private and honouring you in your presence and absence. I will always hope for the best for you and for us and discuss my fears, doubts and insecurities with you as they come up. I love you means growing up and seeing everything with mature eyes, putting away childish ways and drama queen behaviour. Its a tall order and I'm not perfect. I have made mental promises like this before and failed at the critical moment. I can't go back and change that but I can pray daily for the grace of God to say 'I love you' everyday and mean it with regard to the statements made above. I still ask God as a side order (cheeky minx, I know) that the sound of your voice always give me that warm feeling inside...even when we grow all croaky and old. That seeing you walk in a room will always bring a smile to my face. To always love you, against all odds.
Love is so many things, a decision, an emotion, a journey, a garden, a force.
Keep on loving. Keep on growing.