The Truth about Love


“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 13 (NKJV)

We all love to use the word, “love.” This world is in love with love. Really, love is a beautiful thing. But in this age of Hollywood influence, we have come up with a false sense of what love is. Yes, it is really nice to think about that warm and fuzzy idea of love that is portrayed in movies, but in reality, it’s not always like that. I’m no expert. But I have loved and been loved all my life by family and friends. Love is not to be taken lightly. Love is hard work.

We each probably have a characteristic that sticks out to us the most in this chapter about love. For me, it is this one: longsuffering. This is a tough one! And this is also what I want to talk about today.

Verse 4 starts off with the first characteristic of love, “Love suffers long…”


Longsuffering: adjective enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently”  


So, taking this definition and using it instead, we get… “Love endures injury long and patiently…”

Let’s just stop there. Love and suffering? Together? What?

This spoke to me. Sometimes love means letting someone walk over you. Sometimes it means letting them spit in your face. After all, isn’t that what Jesus had to endure? It is not pleasant to think about, but in order to love like Jesus loves, we will have to endure suffering in this lifetime from the ones we love if we are to love them the way 1 Corinthians 13 talks about. That doesn’t mean we will do nothing but suffer constantly, but there will be a lot of heartache and being taken advantage of, because we live in a fallen world full of sinners just like ourselves.

I wonder if this is the first characteristic of love mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13 because it just might be the hardest one? That’s my thought.

When someone gets on my nerves or causes me pain, naturally the first thought in my mind is NOT “I love you.” But according to the life of Jesus, it should be. Why should I forgive them? Why in the world should I love them when they did that to me? When they act toward me in that manner? Jesus did. He loves and forgives daily those who trust in Him and ask forgiveness. We fail Him; we walk all over Him; we abandon Him constantly. But when we come to repentance, He forgives us instantly! Because of His wonderful example, one I know I should learn from, I hope and pray that I can learn to live that out in my own life.

That’s only the first characteristic of love. Now, I am not going to expand on all of them. However, I did go through 1 Corinthians 13 and write down every characteristic I found, then looked up the definition for each one, even if I already knew what the word meant (like, “kind” for example). I want to share what I learned with you.


15 characteristics of love: (definitions are taken from

Longsuffering- Enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently.  

Kind- Of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person.  

Does not *envy*- A feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.  

Does not *vaunt*- To speak vaingloriously of; to speak boastfully; brag.  

Does not puff up {proud}- Having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.  

Is not *rude*- Discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way:  

Is not *selfish*- Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.  

Is not *provoked*- To anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex; to stir up, arouse, or call forth.  

Thinks no *evil*- Morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked:  

Does not rejoice in *iniquity*- Gross injustice or wickedness.  

Truthful- Telling the truth, especially habitually:  

Bears {does not give up}- To hold or remain firm under (a load)  

Believes- To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something.  

Hopes- To look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire, or trust:  

Endures- To bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate:


That’s a pretty lengthy list! My goal in writing this really was to think about and expand on that first characteristic because I think so often we forget – I know I do. It is so hard to do. It is so hard to even remember. But in every relationship it is necessary to develop in these characteristics in order to love others – especially those in your own family. My prayer is that I can slowly start to grow in these characteristics to truly love those in my life.

5 thoughts on “The Truth about Love

  1. Now I have a better understanding of this. Love is lots of work. I think now people don’t see that. They see what the movies are. They give up at the drop of the hat because that’s not what “love” is.

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