1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It's easy to think about love in the month of February. Valentine's Day has long been celebrated with roses, chocolates, cards and conversation hearts. Hallmark saw an opportunity and we fell for it hook, line, and sinker. A desperate need for that sought after emotion called "love".
The above verse in the Bible discusses what true love should be, which seems so far from our ideas. First, love is patient. Patience has never been my virtue. But, God says that's what love is. I can't really argue with that. So, every time I bend down to pick up the socks that sit two feet from the hamper, I have to remember that there is a man who wears those socks that comes home every day from work, without fail, and provides for his family. Love is kind. It's easy to be kind when someone else is kind to you, but when someone says to you "why isn't dinner ready?" after you've taught the kids all day, did the laundry, kissed the boo boos, dropped off and picked up from practice, and did the grocery shopping - not to come back with an unkind word is the love that God talks about. It's the Holy Spirit that speaks to you and reminds you that he's been stuck in an office all day dealing with people that are probably not Christian and you've been blessed to be able to spend time with your kids - he's just wanting to know you've thought about him enough to expect his return.
Love doesn't envy, boast and isn't proud. Are you envious of anyone? While I know this is a struggle for some, there's really not anything that God hasn't provided for me that I need. Sure, a new dishwasher or a new kitchen might be nice, but I wouldn't want someone else to go without it so I could have it. Boasting and being prideful go hand in hand. I would like to get credit for a job well done, but not at the expense of belittling someone else who may feel they deserve the credit.
This is just the first part of the verses that discuss God's idea of what true love is. It's not simple, it's not easy, and it doesn't happen quickly. It's like a garden that you begin to grow. You plow the dirt, you plant the seeds, you water the ground. Sometimes the storms that come make it seem like it's going to all wash away and you feel like you may lose your garden. But, if you pay attention to it, keep protecting it, soon... you begin to enjoy the fruit that comes from all your hard work.