I BELIEVE IN LOVE
I believe in love because God is love and I believe in God. The Bible* in 1 Corinthians 13 tells me that love is patient and kind. Love does not envy, nor boast, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.
I married the first time at age 18. I had second thoughts walking up the aisle but naively passed it off as nerves and besides, what would everyone think. But once I was married, I truly believed this marriage was meant to last “until death do us part.” The marriage did last almost 26 years but I’m not sure how many of those years I was really “in love.” My second marriage was more about lust than love and when the lust faded, so did the marriage. We were together for ten years – married for seven. Then I thought I had found “instant” love and married a man after knowing him for only about four months. That marriage has taken almost longer to get out of than the marriage lasted.
Fortunately, I have known many other kinds of love. I love my children – the one born to me and the two adopted. My love for my birth son began before he was born. My chosen son and daughter came to our home at ages eight and four but they were no less loved. I also love my grandson even though he lives in another state. And I love three grandchildren I don’t get to see because of choices made by their parents.
I grew up knowing the love of my grandparents, my parents, and many other relatives. Each had their own style and their own way of showing love, but I was fortunate to recognize and know that as love growing up. Most of those relatives are gone now but their love sustains me, comforts me, and helps shape who I am today.
I’ve reconnected with God’s love, which I once came to doubt. I’ve learned that God’s son Jesus is the only man I truly need in my life and that his love will last through eternity. But I’ve also had to admit to myself that I just like having a man around. It’s part of who God created me to be.
So – I’m in a new relationship again (some would say I’m addicted to love), but this one is much different than the others. We’ve been dating for a year now and have become friends. We’ve talked about love but neither of us has come to a conclusion about whether that “fits” us yet. We’ve both had relationships end so we’re being cautious about this one. Perhaps too cautious? Who knows. But for now we’re trying to be patient and kind. We’re trying to protect one another, trust, hope, and persevere. This may or may not turn out to be the best “love affair” so far but I believe love never fails.
*New International Version of the Bible
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.