1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
We all want to be loved. We see this in how we continue to get into relationships even after our hearts have been broken. We give people countless chances to redeem themselves after hurting us. The over saturation in the market of movies, music and literature that deal with love is a testament to the importance of this emotion in our lives.
Some have called it a human need, so, we will crave it over and over again. But do you know what love is? Do you know your language of love?
Love languages is a concept thoroughly explained by Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Languages of Love. From acts of service to physical touch, everyone interprets love differently. This means that you have to start with yourself, know your language of love so that you can show others how to love you, then learn your own language of love.
What then is love? Its’s basic foundation is selflessness. Starting with John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…’ We are taught that the selfless nature of love will prompt you to give, even to an extent or not expecting anything in return.
So, do you claim to love someone? Does someone claim to love you? If so, these are some of the characteristics that this proclamation should entail:
- Love is patient. In an era of instant gratification, love doesn’t budge on this. Patience can be seen in the ability to spend time with another to learn their likes and dislikes, their languages of love and who they are within. Rushing to have sex in the name of love is lust. True love is patient, it waits for the right moment because sex changes everything, and when rushed, can even be disastrous.
- Love is kind in both word and in deed. Treating others with kindness is a testament of love because you recognize that we all have the ability to hurt or heal. A show of kindness can heal and lead others to pay it forward.
- Keeps no record of wrong. Meaning that love is the ability to forgive and let go. This is where mercy comes in. our human nature gives us the propensity to do wrong, both knowingly and unknowingly. Just like we desire mercy and forgiveness when we ask for it, we should give it too. Be willing to forgive even when someone doesn’t ask for it.
- Is not self-serving. Loving is more about giving than taking. Selfishness and love don’t mix. The desire to give others kindness, patience, to think of the other above self, to forgive, protect, trust and give second chances trumps the questions: what about me? What do I get out of this?
Love. Never fails.