The Love Checklist

As February begins, the cost of flowers increases, chocolates in heart-shaped boxes show up on store shelves, and thoughts of love - or a desire for love - are uppermost in the minds of many.

But consider this a warning: do not confuse the "love" of movies and cheap romance novels (even "Christian" ones) with the true love that comes from God. The love that we are commanded to show for friends and enemies alike. The love that is patient and kind and keeps no record of wrongs. Doesn't sound much like the commercialized Valentine's love, does it?

Instead of comparing your significant other to the fictional (key word) characters of book and film, consider instead your own role in your relationships with loved ones. And since Valentine's Day is almost upon us, let's think, specifically, about your attitude of love towards your spouse. The day-in/day-out, "why can't he/she remember to put his/her dirty socks in the laundry hamper instead of tossing them on the floor" kind of love.

Oh yes, it's easy to watch a film like Pride and Prejudice and say, "they just don't make them like Mr. Darcy anymore...", but keep in mind that "Mr. Darcy" was created by a British spinster. Of course he was the ideal man! If Mr. Darcy existed in real life, I guarantee that no matter how sweet he might be, he would also make foul smells, drop his socks on the floor, and disagree with you about how to spend money. That's real life. Don't confuse it with fiction.

Instead of focusing on how you wish your spouse/significant other would change, why not focus on how you can change to better love him/her? In 1 Corinthians 13, we find a checklist for love. Several years ago, our pastor shared a way that he used this passage to self-check his heart attitude, by inserting his name where the word love is written or implied. If he got to a line where he couldn't honestly say that he was [insert: patient, kind, not keeping a record of wrongs, etc.], he knew it was an area to work on.

It requires complete honesty with yourself, but I believe it's worth the effort. I encourage you to print the image below, save it as a desktop photo, and share it on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. Use it as a daily reminder that it's God's job to change your spouse, it's your job to be sensitive to the changes that God wants to make in you.

This Valentine's Day, focus on God's definition of love, rather than the world's idea of it. I guarantee that as you allow God to change you, your romantic relationship will heat up as you begin to see your spouse as God desires you to see him/her - made in His image, and uniquely suited for you. Don't lust after the shallow, so-called "romance" that the world offers - embrace the heart-pounding, butterfly-giving, lifetime love for the spouse of your youth. It's worth the effort.

 photo 1Corinthians13Checklist_CBN2_zps9ce6ace1.jpg

1 comment:

  1. Using your minister's method of reading I Cor. 13 has been a big help to me, too. God bless us all in our marriages and just in generally learning to give up SELF.


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