Tonight I had the complete privilege of starting our two month (or so) Bible Study on Love. I have been researching and studying and we have been so busy lately, and I just felt grumpy tonight when I came home to do my last minute preparations. My sweet, patient, and kind husband (the BETTER half of Team Jones), could see my frustrations and quietly sat down at the table with me and opened his Bible. I was looking through my notes and laughing (rather sardonically) at God for the topic that He chose for this week-when, at that moment I was quite "unlovable". You know when you just want to be mad about something. Like you are grumpy and you just need to be grumpy? That is where I was. Then I began reviewing my notes of what love is (as defined in 1 Corinthians 13 and others). My tense shoulders started loosening. Brian wrote down a few verses and notes for me to consider adding to the Bible Study tonight...and I felt my grumpiness melting away (sure...five minutes before I was holding on to the grumpiness with all that I had). But, Then I looked across the table at my man epitomizing what Paul says love is. He was being patient....and kind...and unselfish. He was loving me even when I was really being quite a stinker! My heart melted and the verses Brian chose for me were just beautiful additions. One of the verses was from Song of Songs 8:6-7. On the page he handed me, his lefty chicken scratch said: " These verses were written about a young couple in love...but it is an allegory (it mirrors)God's never ending relentless love for us". I love that man, y'all. These verses got me so excited about Bible Study. I reviewed the plan with Brian and I just couldn't WAIT to get to Bible Study with our girls. I was busting at the seams to share what God had revealed to me.
In Bible Study, we talked about what we think love is and what true love is and how the world changes our view of love.....then we looked to God's instruction book for our lives. I know you have probably heard 1 Corinthians 13 at more weddings than you can imagine (we had those verses read at our wedding as well), but tonight it hit me. These verses aren't just about marital love...they are about the loving "others" that He COMMANDS us to do. God expects us to be patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud or arrogant, to endure even in the uncomfortable times, and to chose love. He expects us to behave that way with OTHERS. Not just those in our immediate circle. Yes, these verses are important for marriage...but they are important for all relationships. You probably already "got" that message....but it hit me tonight. After sharing scripture and discussing the attributes of love according to God, and how much God loves us and that His love is the blueprint for how we should love others. I ended with the verses from Song of Songs 8:6-7...this is how my Bible(NLT) reads:
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