I Corinthians 11-16; But I Love Him (Her)

How do you know if you’ve found Mr. or Miss Right? I was talking to someone recently who commented on the high number of divorces happening in Christians marriages these days. Our society has screwed up the definition of “love” so much, how can anyone be sure their marriage is going to last?

If you are considering marriage (or hoping to some day) I would encourage you to use I Corinthians 13 as your rule book. Ask yourself these questions about the person you hope to spend the rest of your life with: (I’ll be using the masculine pronoun but this is not just for women loving men. Men, ask yourself these questions about that lady in your life, too)

  1. Is he patient? How does he treat the waitress when the food takes too long to get to the table? How does he treat you if you aren’t moving as fast as he wants you to? How is he when your mom has one more thing to tell you before you go?
  2. Is he kind? How does he treat your annoying niece? Does he help you carry that heavy grocery bag, or better yet help an older woman struggling with her own? What is his tone of voice when he talks to his mom?
  3. Is he jealous? How does he handle your relationship with your best friend, or parent? What do you see in him when someone else gets that promotion at work?
  4. Does he brag? Does he have the ability to turn conversations back to himself so he can share what accomplishment he’s made?
  5. Is he proud? Does he have an air of superiority? Does he flaunt his successes?
  6. Is he rude? There are people who have no problem demanding attention no matter what others are saying or doing. Is he one of them?
  7. Is he self-seeking? Is life only about him? Do you always end up doing what pleases him? Does he make choices based on what’s in it for him?
  8. How is his temper? Do you find yourself walking on eggshells for fear of an outburst? What’s his reaction when someone cuts him off in traffic?
  9. Does he tend to throw things that you’ve done in the past at you during an argument, or maybe as a way to control you?
  10. Have you watched him lie to people?
  11. Do you truly feel like he’ll always have your back?
  12. Do you trust him? Really?
  13. Would you say your relationship is one of hope for the future? Be honest. Do you see him committed to you for the rest of your life?
  14. Do you see him working on this relationship? Or are you the only one doing the work?
  15. Does he fail you? Not just the occasional disappointment. That’s being human. But are you disappointed more times than not?

I would say if you can’t answer these questions in a positive light, he’s not right for you. End it before you bind yourself to a spouse who doesn’t love you like you deserve to be loved.

Now, go back and honestly answer those same questions about yourself. Because you might not be right for him, either, if you can’t answer them in a positive light concerning your part in the relationship.

You might take this little test and realize things aren’t as they ought to be in your relationship. “But I love him (her)!

Dear one, that’s not love. It might be lust, it might be obsession, it might be the idea of love. But don’t kid yourself. God has revealed what love looks like. If yours doesn’t look like I Corinthians 13, it isn’t love.

And please don’t believe the lie that you can’t help yourself. You are a thinking, feeling, intelligent human being, not a dog in heat. Use your God-given abilities to make good choices. Because love IS a choice, and being loving takes intention.

Some of you reading this may already be married. Maybe you and your spouse might want to ask these same questions of yourselves and talk about how to improve your marriage.  Warning: you might hear some hard truths about what your spouse sees in you. Take them seriously instead of blowing them off, or starting an argument about them. Don’t do this exercise unless you are willing to do some work on yourself. You can’t change him (her). But you can change yourself. Remember, you promised to love this person until death parts you. YOU promised to love.

For those of you who are single, I pray that you will only commit yourself to a person who loves you like God describes here in I Corinthians 13. And I pray that you won’t commit yourself to anyone that you don’t love like that, too.

And to those of you who are married, I pray that you and your spouse will consider your marriage in light of God’s Word, that you’ll both be willing to make changes if  need be, and that your love for each other will grow as you love like God describes here in I Corinthians 13.

May God bless Christian marriages.

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