What does the Bible say about love? The most famous verse is from 1 Corinthians 13, verses 4 - 7 and it can be read as poetry. This verse is one that is used at weddings and many people also use it as a Valentine's Day message in their greeting cards.
We show 3 different bible translations here:
From the New Living Translation Bible
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
From the Message Bible
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
From the Voice Bible
Love is patient; love is kind.
Love isn't envious, doesn't boast, brag, or strut about.
There's no arrogance in love; it's never rude, crude, or indecent-it's not self-absorbed. Love isn't easily upset.
Love doesn't tally wrongs or celebrate injustice;
but truth-yes, truth-is love's delight!
Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along;
it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.
When you read these verses there are a few things that stand out.
1. Patience - defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. When thinking about those that you love and apply this definition being patient is something we all have to work at.
2. Kindness - the world needs more kindness. With the people in our life kindness should come naturally. If you love someone how can you not be kind?
3. True Love - Not being jealous is at times a difficult thing not to do. But if it is true love then there is never a need to be jealous.
4. Relationship - Compromise is always there for love. Rather than always wanting our own way we are willing to give in and compromise.
5. Hope - Love never gives up. We always have hope. This applies to all aspects of love; we never give up on the ones that we hold dear.
6. Love and Life - It endures - through the challenging and difficult times that life challenges us, you make it through it together.
Endurance of Love
You may have heard about the amount of change that is reflected in our world today. In fact, you may be involved in adapting to change more than you want or think. What is it about change that bothers some people whereas others seem to flow through and beyond without a squiggle or squirm?
For those who resist change, it is more about remaining entrenched in something they have become accustomed to or something where they feel comfortable and secure in. It manifests itself in being stuck, being unchanged from yesterday or what was, or it manifests itself in conflict with what is happening around them despite their best efforts to ignore it.
Love is similar in that love changes as life moves on. It changes not in intensity but in expression. This kind of love keeps moving forward as in a growing partnership set within the boundaries of marriage. It is a love that was once new and bright and full of excitement.
But, life changes; people change; and behaviors change. Not everyone evolves in the same way or at the same time but that is where true love shows itself. It isn't just a love of new beginnings but a love that grows, is flexible, is accepting, is supportive and is expressed within each day. It is not a love confined to what was past but a love that extends beyond.
We grow in love with another by extending our love outwards and not inwards; it is a love that shows compassion or is tough love if need be. It is a love that endures when life throws its' curveballs at one or the other person; a love that cannot be stated by one action or behavior or expression. It is a love that always gives; a love that is there every day with all those little actions and behaviors that demonstrates caring, compassion, conciliation, compromise, tenderness, and taking nothing for granted.
Forgiveness and Love
What is it to say you love but don't forgive? Is this not denying that for you to love that everyone must absolutely conform to what you desire or expect? To who's standard are you saying that you love but you fail to forgive others for their transgressions? Are so perfect that you have never done wrong, or offended someone, or have acted in a manner that is prejudicial or ignored those who are in need when you are capable of helping?
No one is perfect; if you doubt this, just look at your own behaviors.
Expressions of Love
There are no circumstances that love is void or uncalled for, or not required. Think about those situations while at work, for example. Are there times when you are rude, or unthougthful? If so, this is not an expression of love for love is kind, without malice, and endures through every circumstance. Love is not a convenient expression when it suits you but more of an expression of who you are deep within. It isn't a love that is convenient, or a love that surfaces when favour is sought.
To receive love is to give love. If you want others to show various forms of love towards you, expect that you also must demonstrate it. If you are the one who is always devoid of expressive love, you will be hard pressed to get any in return for any length of time. What this means is that if you are the type of person who always takes or expects, you may find that less and less expressive consideration is given to you. Is this expressive love difficult for you? If it is, practice it. I know that this may sound counterintuitive but over time, you will begin to internalize what you practice. This practice isn't any different than learning a new skill. It takes time and persevrance to develop skills and demonstrating love is no different.
And, if you think that it takes a big act of some kind to show love, you're dead wrong. Real love is not comprised of that over the top showcase of a certain behavior. Real love is the on-going daily behaviors that are little. However, each of these little acts become mighty when drawn together. It can be the smallest of behaviors or acts that may make the difference to someone else. You can't determine the size of love; love determines your size.
When you adopt a life of giving, a life filled with small acts of kindness or compassion, your life also becomes a living demonstration to others. To influence is to model the behavior you want or expect. If you model non-loving behavior, you are creating a non-loving environment. It's your choice. It doesn't depend on anybody else's desires or needs. It is up to you. If you want a loving home, be a loving person. If you desire a loving work environment, be a person of care, kindness and compassion. Remember this: you get what you give.
More Encouraging Bible Verses about Love:
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
Proverbs 10:12 (NLT)
A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
Proverbs 15:17 (NLT)
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)
But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.
1 Thessalonians 4:9 (NLT)
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Romans 12:10 (NLT)