Tag Archives: the love chapter

(I Corinthians 13) 60/40

I love seeing the love between my niece and her husband. There is an intentionality, a sincere desire to build each other up.

I recently witnessed an exchange between them that came to mind as I read the “Love Chapter” today. They were in my kitchen putting together a lunch for them and the kids to take to the beach. I’m not sure what was being said but I heard my nephew say, “60. 40.” They both laughed and Elizabeth went over to him and gave him a hug.

I asked them what that was all about. They explained they were in a marriage class at their church and learned that 60% of the effort in their relationship was what they were to give to the other, gladly receiving a 40% return. You may be more familiar with this seminar than I, so I might not be explaining it exactly.

But I thought of that in regard to Paul’s letter. For those of you in a relationship (and those of you hoping to be), let me ask you this from I Corinthians 13:4-7:

Are you – or are you willing to be – 60% more patient with your spouse to their 40% of patiences shown you? Can you be 60% of the kindness factor in your home to their 40%?

Can you accept the 60/40 rule when it comes to not envying, not boasting, not being arrogant, rude, or self-seeking? What about the balance of irritability or keeping track of every little thing your spouse does wrong?

Verse 7 might be a killer for some of you. Can you expect more of yourself to “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things” about your spouse? 60/40?

“Not fair,” you might say. “I want my marriage to be 50/50 all the way.” Honestly, I’m not sure how you measure that unless you keep track of every little thing. Do you give yourself a moment of meanness because they haven’t met their allotment of kindness?

I believe if you determine to give more, love more, do more for your spouse without expecting an equal return, you’ll be happier and so will they, and your relationship will be stronger and sweeter. At least that seems the case for Elizabeth and Seth.

Do you love your spouse, but expect them to love you more? Are you happy with that arrangement and fulfilled in your relationship? If not – and even if your relationship is good – I challenge you to read I Corinthians 13 and make it a pattern for your own 60/40.

Side note: if Jesus is our example, and if people will know we are His disciples if we love one another, 60/40 compared to his 99/1 is doable, don’t you think?

November28

I Corinthians 11:2-13:13

I Corinthians 13 is probably one of the most known chapters of the Bible along with Genesis 1 and Luke 2. Did someone read the Love Chapter at your wedding? These verses have inspired song writers and challenged newly weds. But is there something in here for all of us on this Thanksgiving Day, 2013? I’m glad you asked.

Jesus told us the second greatest commandment, after loving God, is loving our neighbor. Scripture tells us people will know we are Christians by our love. And I Corinthians 13 tells us what that love looks like. As you read the traits of love in verses 4-8, do you see yourself as you consider your relationship with your neighbors, co-workers, and family members?

Read these verses carefully and don’t gloss over the traits you know you lack. It’s not a test God is grading on a curve. Godly love is demonstrated when all the boxes are checked.

Are you having problems in your marriage? Read verses 4-8 and ask yourself if this is the love you have for your spouse. Resist the temptation to see if your spouse measures up with the love he or she has for you. Remember, love is not self-seeking. Are you really patient when the top isn’t put back on the toothpaste? Are you kind even though that biting comment is on the tip of your tongue? Do you find yourself competing with your spouse, jealous if your spouse gets recognition? I am pretty sure more marital problems could be solved if couples would demonstrate the love described in these verses toward each other.

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and at the top of my list of things I am most thankful for is the heritage left by my parents and grandparents, people who loved the Lord and demonstrated that love according to I Corinthians 13. I am so thankful for my four sisters – Peggy, Kathy, Nancy, and Sally. I am blessed because these amazing women are my sisters, my friends. Their love to me is described in the verses we read today. I am thankful for nieces and nephews who have brought such joy to me and my whole family. For great-nieces and nephews who have stolen my heart. I am thankful for health, for having everything I need.

And I am most thankful for Jesus. I am a sinner saved by his grace. I am a child of the Creator, the God of the Universe. And I have the assurance that my eternity will be spent in his Presence! My prayer today is that I will demonstrate my love for him by living according to the verses I read today in I Corinthians 13.

May God bless you today. And may you look to God, the giver of all good things, with a truly thankful heart.