By Neysa Ellery Taylor
At nearly every wedding this scripture is read. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.” But with 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, it seems as if love fails daily. But love doesn’t fail. Love – which is a gift from God – doesn’t fail. God’s gifts are divine and perfect. We fail. That’s right.. we fail love. Love doesn’t fail us.
Think about it. How often have you heard someone say that they and their partner just “grew apart?” Did either of them stop and say to their spouse “hey, I am feeling like we aren’t connected anymore. Can we talk about it?” I bet they didn’t. That is because folks are scared to be real. They don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to offend anyone. It is so much easier to leave a relationship, than to take a look a yourself and your mate and do the HARD work it takes to improve it.
Folks that make it in relationships are not the ones that never have any controversy. The couples that make it are the ones that unite and work together when controversy arises. And it will arise. Some will be little skirmishes, others will be big. But don’t get it twisted – the little problems can grow into giants if they are ignored and fed a constant diet of resentment.
The only way to keep failure at bay is to never lose sight of verses 4 through 7. That is the blueprint for making it. For the techie folks, it is a basic “if-then-else” statement. If you do verses 4-7, then verse 8 -“Love never fails”- will come to pass. But if you ignore verses 4-7, then you fail love. It’s that simple. But is it easy? Nope. Verses 4-7 are hard work. Daily hard work. But remember that day a few years ago when you were in church wearing that white dress and some guy was standing next to you wearing a tux and you made a vow to love someone always. Well, that love was a verb not a feeling. Feelings fade. But LOVE is an action. Sometimes love means speaking kindly to your spouse. Sometimes love means fixing their favorite meal. Sometimes love means making love. Sometimes love means shutting up and letting an argument go. Sometimes love means sweet kisses and cuddling. Sometimes love means starting over. See not only is love a verb, it’s a transformative verb. It becomes whatever you need it to be.
So the next time you are thinking about throwing in the towel and just walking away, stop and think “Am I failing love?” If so,try again. Because remember love never fails only we can.
Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at www.myriadthatisme.blogspot.com