This is the last post in the series on 1 Corinthians 13 and parenting. It is not possible or even wise to attempt to say all that could be said about love in these posts. Rather, I have just focused on making specific application to parenting. Even with this restriction, my comments are summary at best.
We have focused on verses four through seven. This section begins with two positive statements about what love is and then follows with eight statements about what love is not. The Holy Spirit then ends with five positive statements of what love is. We looked at verse six, "love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth," in a recent post. Now we come to the last four statements in verse seven:
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
These words are clear and convicting. They are bold and full of hope. The Holy Spirit defines love in these nine words in a way that makes human imitation impossible. Before genuine, biblical love can be an emotion, a feeling, a mood, it must first be a commitment. The world makes many attempts to counterfeit genuine love. These attempts, though false, are powerful. Emotion and feelings are strong pretenders in and of themselves. But if they are not based on the reality of self-sacrificial commitment that is found only in Christ, then, they will remain alluring counterfeits.
To be sure, emotion and feeling can and should be part of what it means to be loving. But these two things can only be reliable if they are rooted in the love of Christ. Remember that Jesus is the one who defines what love is by his sacrifice on the cross.
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]