“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4 (AMP)
Patience isn’t a word that comes to most people’s minds when they think of love. But patience, amongst all the other listed facets in this chapter, is a crucial part of love. What kind of love does not bear wrongs and misfortunes?
No, love does not respond to provocation in kind. Instead, it truly puts others first. Even when it would be justifiable to react strongly, love holds back for the sake of the one who wrongs it whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Without patience, love is fleeting. Love is, must be, eternal and unending. Certainly, we cannot attain such lofty ideals, but as our patience increases we draw ever closer to their summits.
One of the finest poems (in my opinion naturally) is Shakespeare’s 116th sonnet. The famous line from this poem is “Love does not alter when alteration it finds.” Although this pertains to romantic love, Shakespeare grasps perfectly a truth of all love. Love, spiritual love as pertains to this writing, does not cease.
This is the patience of love that Paul writes about. It is not a mere suffering of tittles and pinpricks. Love’s patience is a mountain during a hurricane. Though everything else around it be moved, thrown about, and changed, it stands unmoving, patient even in gale.