What all kinds of love have in common
From 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
This story was written by a family member and read by Laura Schlessinger on her radio show:
“When I was growing up, I used to wish my parents would divorce, and we would go live with my dad. My mother was manic depressive schizophrenic, so she was not mentally capable of raising my brothers and sisters (six in all)….My father played both mother and father. He would go to work, come home, fix dinner, clean the house and then play with us. I never heard him complain about his life. She was extremely hard to live with and unrelenting because of her disease. She had very few good days (as we called them) but my father always treated her with love and respect. Everyone who know our situation said he was a saint.
“I once asked my father why he didn’t leave her because of all the pain she caused all of us. He expressed the following: that she, before her illness, was an amazing woman whom he loved dearly. When she was at her worst he thought very hard about leaving (this was about 1961), but decided he couldn’t because we would all be put in foster care and no one would take care of her. He said he put his trust in God to help out on the bad days. It was truly for better or for worse….
“My mother in the last few years of her life had mellowed more and had more better days than bad. They lived in an assisted living facility for the last two years of their lives. The nurses told us they had never seen a more loving couple than my parents. When the nurses woke them up each morning, they were cuddled together. My mother worried about my dad as much as he worried about her. They were married 55 years until they both passed away within two months of each other.”
charity envieth not;
You cannot make someone love you, make them change, or control what others say and do. Envy can come into play when you see something someone else has that you want. Envy is also when you want someone to do something different or love you differently. Loving relationships are full of contentment and approval.
charity vaunteth not itself,
Some kinds of love have strings attached. If there is an expectation of appreciation, admiration or attention, the kind or loving action is being used to elevate the giver. It is also not loving to expect a loving action in return. Love should not be used to buy, manipulate or form friendships or alliances.
Real love doesn’t debase the self either. If the love given to others means neglecting yourself, the gift is not good. Love comes from the overflow of good things not from emotional poverty.