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When I think of love and marriage, I think of a particular song, "What's Love Got To Do With It?" It's a perfect example of the world's way of loving, which really doesn't have anything to do with it! But genuine love, God's love, is altogether different.

Love is the basis for every strong marriage and family. It's not just an emotion or some abstract concept that cannot be defined. Love is an action - a commitment that is expressed in real ways with certain characteristics that make it clearly recognizable.

If you want to see an example of genuine love, look at 1 Corinthians 13:4: "Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily."

Love endures long. It lasts. It keeps on going. It is also patient - willing to put up with anything that's annoying. It displays a calm endurance without complaining or losing control.

Love is kind, doing good rather than harm. It is gentle and considerate in its attitude toward others. It is never envious or shows dislike for what someone has because it wants it for itself. It never boils over with jealousy, dislikes or fears a supposed rival, or feels threatened by others.

Love is not boastful, so it doesn't speak highly of itself or of what it has or knows. It isn't vainglorious, excessively proud, or egotistical. It does not display itself haughtily or feel superior to others, treating them with cold indifference.

First Corinthians 13:5 says:
Love is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it; it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.
(1 Corinthians 13:5)
Love is not conceited. It doesn't show too much pride in itself or its ability to do things. It is not arrogant or proud. And it does not have a high-minded or condescending attitude toward others or an exaggerated opinion of its worth or possessions.

Love is never rude, unmannerly, discourteous, or impolite. It will not act negatively or inappropriately. It isn't unbecoming, nor is it unfitting or unsuitable.

Love does not insist on its own rights or way. It is not touchy, irritable, quick-tempered, fretful, worried, discontented, unhappy, agitated, angry, or resentful.

First Corinthians 13:6-8 says:
Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. (Love rejoices when anything that agrees with God's Word, truth, or spiritual principles prevails.) Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything without weakening. Love never fails, never fades out, or becomes obsolete or comes to an end.
(1 Corinthians 13:6-8)
Love bears up under anything and everything. It is always ready to believe the best about everyone and hopes the best for everyone. It knows no weakness, but endures anything. With a track record like that, no wonder love never fails!

Source: Love & Marriage by Deborah L. Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Deborah Butler
Web site: Word of Faith International Christian Center
Pastor Deborah is a licensed and ordained minister of the Gospel. Her encouraging, yet down-to-earth teaching imparts wisdom from the Word of God to all that hear her speak. One of Pastor Butler's many duties is serving as the Director of God's BeYOUties, the women's ministry at Word of Faith in Southfield, and Faith4Life in Toledo. Pastor Deborah is often called to travel to other ministries to teach and admonish women to walk in the wisdom of God and to experience peace in every area of their lives.

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