Happily Ever After. No matter how skeptical you might be, there’s still something about those three words that draws us in. Why? Because at the end of the fairy tale when the narrator tells us the couple lives happily ever after, we know what the words really mean is they loved happily ever after. And isn’t that what we all really want? A love that never ends?
For the past fourteen weeks, we’ve been looking at God’s definition of love: what it is, what it is not, and what it does. Honestly, when the idea for this blog series came to me last January, I had no idea how timely the topic would be. But God knew. He knew that in the midst of the chaos, in the midst of the dissension, in the midst of the uncertainty, we needed to hear of a love that never fails.
As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, Paul is writing to a church fractured by division. Instead of working together as the body of Christ, each person is grasping for his own importance, each one wanting to prove himself better than his counterparts by lifting one spiritual gift above another. Paul reminds the Corinthians of a better way: LOVE.
The love Paul describes is not an ordinary love. No. This love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not rude or self-seeking. This love is not easily angered, does not keep a record of wrongs or rejoice in evil. Instead, it ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres.
Finally, this love, this perfect God-love, never fails . . . never ends . . . never dies.
The spiritual gifts the Corinthian church were fighting over will someday fade away—their purpose no longer necessary. Many of the issues our world is coming to blows over today are just as temporal. But there is a brighter day coming. Listen to how The Message sums it up:
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”1 Corinthians 13: 12-13 (MSG)
In the midst of the angry voices, the dueling viewpoints, and yes, even the violence, choose the more excellent way, ladies, because “the greatest of these is love.”
Thank you for following our summer series here on the blog. It’s been a pleasure walking through the meaning of love with all of you. Next week we will be sharing our plans for the fall which do include (for now) an in-person bible study with an online option. If you have been a part of our Equip Her studies in the past, watch your email for details to come sometime within the next week. We can’t wait to begin diving into God’s Word with all of you again!