We all know the “love verse” well. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 tells us what true love is. It helps us to understand God better since He is Love. I have begun a study of this verse with my girls on my floor for Bible study. Each week we are going to look at one aspect of the love verse; one adjective that the love verse uses to describe true love. We will then look at a story in the Bible that exemplifies that adjective of love. This will help us to fully understand what true love really is and stop seeing it as just a part of the verse that is read at weddings and in church. I want to share our studies with you all.
The first part of the love verse is patient. Love is patient. A story that exemplifies patient love is that of the prodigal son. Luke 15:11-32 talks about a son who takes his inheritance and leaves home. He loses all his money living a “wild” life and then comes home begging to be a servant to his father. Instead of accepting that offer, the father wraps his arms around his son, kisses him, and throws him a party to celebrate his return.
That is patient love. The father had so many chances to just forget about his son and then not accept him when he came back, but instead he accepted his son with open arms, like Christ accepts sinners. Look at these parallels:
1. The father is basically told that he should be dead. That is the only way the son could get the inheritance. Jesus had to die for us to get our inheritance, grace. Both of these occurrences should cause people to have non-patient love, but that is not the case.
2. The son goes out and squanders his money. He is left broke and alone in a harsh world. We, as sinners, go out into the world and squander our lives by sinning and turning from God. This, again, should warrant non-patient love, but it did not.
3. The father accepted his son back with patient love, open arms, and a celebration. Christ accepts us sinners with patient love, open arms, and a celebration.
Patient love is the love that endures everything. It waits for the person to turn around and run back. It is one of the hardest loves to have all the time, but it is so rewarding when it is acquired.