“Love is a laid down life.” – Elisabeth Elliott
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son… – John 3:16
Kindness may be giving up your seat for someone else. Love is always choosing a different chair than his favorite for all of your lives, without thinking a second thought about it.
Courtesy may mean asking after someone’s health. Love is hanging onto every detail about her health, her day, her hopes, her dreams.
Patience is waiting for him to finish the story you’ve already heard. Love is listening to that story a hundred times over just for the joy he gets in telling it again.
Honesty is never lying to each other. Love is being able to be completely yourself, knowing she will treat who you are and all that’s going on in your life with keen interest and gentleness and confidence that you will be the same with her.
Helpfulness is taking out the garbage. Love is taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, ironing the shirts, cutting the grass, washing the car, cleaning the toilet, and a thousand other chores because they are part of your life together…and you each know what the other would rather not have to do.
Mercy is not asking for too hard a thing from the other. Love is dealing gently with the weaknesses and lapses of the other, not holding him to task on what you know is very difficult for him.
Cooperation means you can work together toward a common goal. Love is being willing to spend a lifetime together working on those dreams you share, not satisfied with just meeting your own personal goals.
Reasonableness is not having too high expectations. Love is seeing in her all she is capable of and giving her confidence to reach for it.
Playfulness is making good times with whomever is around. Love is making him laugh on a tough day or turning a disagreement into something lighter and less painful because he matters more than being right.
Hospitality is offering a beverage to your guest. Love is bringing him coffee every morning of your lives together, knowing just how he likes it, and glad you’re the one bringing it.
Generosity is bringing lunch to your whole work team. Love is packing a special lunch every single day.
Handiness is being useful in various challenging situations. Love is picking up new skills for his sake so you can help him with the increasing number of chores that come with life.
Respect is giving honor to a person who earns it because of position or capabilities. Love is giving honor no matter the cost.
Bravery is putting yourself at risk for someone else. Love is protecting her by locking up the house at night and by putting her interests ahead of your own, whatever it takes.
Loyalty is being there for your friend. Love is being there for always, whatever happens, no matter what.
We can all experience the best from others, in terms of character or behavior. Love, however, is much more than a display of good character. It’s more than a commitment. It’s a choosing moment by moment to focus on the other, to see the good in the other, to hope for the best for him, to do what you can for her to relieve the burden, to stand together, to always pull from the same end of the rope.
Photo credit: Byron Foltz