Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I am sure that many of you, including myself, had this scripture passage as part of your wedding. If not, I am sure that most of us have been to weddings where this passage has been used.
Obviously, the key to this passage is “love” but do we, as spouses, always treat our significant others with the love they deserve? Do we treat them as an extension of ourselves or someone who we only turn to when we need something? Are their hopes and desires our hopes and desires?
Without hesitation, I can say that I have not always treated my spouse with the same love and respect that she treats me with. It is because of her, and the way she has treated me, and others, that I have come to know just how much I needed to change. Most importantly, her relationship with the Lord made me want to become a better person for her, for my family, for my friends, for my parish community. As I thought about this passage more, I decided that in order to live with love, you need to be more humble and do everything with kindness.
“It is not pompous. It is not inflated.” (humility). “It is not rude. It does not seek its own interests.” (kindness). The two go hand-in-hand. When one is more humble, kindness towards others and their needs come first and this is especially true when it comes to your relationship with your spouse.
Humility is probably one of the most difficult traits to portray and to come to grips with if you will. When we humble ourselves, we make ourselves vulnerable and most of us, myself included, do not like to be vulnerable. What we need to remember though is that the Lord wants us to be humble, to be vulnerable, because it is then that we can truly feel His grace and His presence in our lives, The more we embrace Him, His teachings, His will for us, the more kindness and love we can share with others.
So beginning today, be more humble, be more kind, whether it be to your spouse, a family member, a friend. Be deliberate in your interactions with them. When they are speaking with you, stop what you are doing, look them in the eyes, and listen with holy ears. Let the Lord’s spirit envelop your heart so that you can be more attuned to their needs. When you can more clearly understand the other person’s needs, you can help to fulfill them through love and devotion, to that other person and to Christ himself. The more attentive we are, the more trust grows, the more humility shines forth, the more that love grows.
“So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Peace and Blessings.