Read: 1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Paul’s “Hymn of Love” is likely the most frequently read passage of scripture in Christian weddings. Countless adoring couples have gazed into each other’s eyes as this beautiful love poem has been read to them and for them. Enraptured in the moment, and confident that their love will last, most brides and grooms never fully hear the demands of love, believing that affection comes easily to those who are truly soul mates.

However, if love is indeed patient and kind, never insisting on its own way, then that means love is work. And it takes work not to be irritable or resentful of your partner when they don’t seem to be pulling their weight. It takes work to believe and hope that you can make it as a couple, when other couples begin splitting up. It takes work to endure the demands of life with someone who does not always see things the way you see them. Love isn’t simply a pretty collection of words spoken on a wedding day—love is a lifetime work that is worth all the effort needed to nurture and sustain it.

Do you expect love to be easy?

Lord, I want love to be easy…and perhaps you do too. I have no doubt that it is a chore to love me, and I am so grateful that You do. Help me to be similarly committed to the work of love that my relationships require. In Jesusname, I pray. AMEN.