What the world will never understand about love.
True love hurts!
I saw a purple magnetic ribbon sticker on a car which said “True love should not be painful...” or something to that effect. I immediately disagreed with it. I brought it to the attention of my family, and they disagreed with it too. To expect true love to only be joyous, and pleasurable is to deny the very character of God expressed in Christ, and the nature of mankind.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
This definition of love is repeated many times in wedding ceremonies. It is a standard of loving many if us aspire to, but fail miserably. See what love does in verse 4. Love ENDURES all things AND is kind. If love is never to suffer, why must love ENDURE, and be KIND while doing it? Look at verse 7 & 8. “Love bears all things, [love] believes all things, [love] hopes all things, [love] endures all things, love never fails.
Love is not self seeking….what does that mean, and how do we apply it? Can we say that love is not selfish? Can we say that love seeks after the betterment of the of the person we love? What about God or our neighbors? Is this kind of love without pain?
The Apostle John, the brother of Jesus, defined love like this;
1 John 4:10 NKJV
"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
In the old testament, God declares this to His people;
“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; “but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
When the history of the old testament is read, do you notice a continual thread? God gives directions for a blessed life, and the nation of Israel rejects God's plan for them. God continues to love but Israel continues rebel.
John 15:16 [Jesus is speaking]
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."
Are you similar to the nation of Israel, do you bear the good fruit of repentance, or do you rebel, looking to please yourself?