• Retief Burger

Love protects DAY 10

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoiceswith the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Tonight as I put my eldest to bed and we were talking about his little sister that will be born in August, I asked him how he is feeling about her coming into the family. He said happy and sad. Perplexed I asked why. “Happy, because I can’t wait for her to come!” and sad “Because I have to wait so long”. I answered, “Well my boy, the best thing for her is to stay inside mommy for as long as possible. That is where she is the safest and can grow stronger and stronger.” This immediately made me think of today’s text. It always protects… What a beautiful phrase… the love of God, the agape, true love always protects. The Greek word for “protects” is stegei, which literally means “to cover” and includes the idea of protecting and preserving. “Protects” shares something with the other three actions of love in verse 7 (trusts, hopes, and perseveres): in the original language, all four words end with the same sound, creating a poetic rhythm and a pleasing phonetic iteration God’s type of love protects. That is, it watches out for others. It withstands difficulty. And, if there is a shortcoming or fault in the loved one, love has the ability to cover it. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12 When you’ve been married for a couple of years, you will understand that love needs to mature over time. We always joke and say “I used to love you because of…. And now that I know all your quirks, I love you in spite of”. That is exaggerating a bit, but the point is – true Godly love asks of the giver to love beyond feelings and covering offenses and pain. It always goes the extra mile. As I am spending so much time with my loved ones at home now, I am more aware of my own shortcomings than ever. We all have them. But will I love beyond the flaws and let love protect the other? One of the marks of love is that it always seeks to protect the loved one. This doesn’t mean that we excuse wrongdoing or seek to evade the natural consequences of sin; it means that we strengthen what is weak, shield what is vulnerable, and forgive what is provoking. Love knows how to keep its mouth shut and just listen. Love creates a safe place to talk it out and thus protects us from doing something foolish. It is a fool-proof security system. It wraps us in acceptance and guards us in its embrace. When we are loved — when we are wanted, claimed, and enjoyed by another — nothing can hurt us to the core. Because love always protects. Stay safe and stand strong. Retief Burger

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