Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
At my first wedding (which feels like forever ago), one of our friends stood up and read out the very beautiful and well-known verse from Corinthians. It is a moving passage that everyone has heard before, and I think it speaks well of the whole concept of love.
But… it’s also incredibly and undeniably WRONG.
Love is patient… except for when you’re up at 2 AM with a screaming baby with a poopy diaper who wants a bottle, and you’re at your wit’s end with him AND the blissfully unaware man who put you in this position in the first place.
Love is kind… except for when you’re so angry at your husband because he is texting while he’s driving, and you have to scream obsenities in his face and vow to divorce him on the spot if you EVER catch him doing it again.
Love does not envy… except for when your partner gets to go on a five day work trip which involves travel to sun, sand and beaches while you are stuck at home looking after two young children in mid-winter.
Love does not boast… except when one of you sees your child walk for the first time and can’t help but rub it in the face of the other one because he’s been obsessed with being first to see SOMEthing.
Love is not proud… except when you’ve bought your wife the perfect gift that you know will make her happier than ever, and you can’t help but swallow down a laugh when you hear her complaining about not being able to think of anything appropriate to get you for Christmas.
Love does not dishonor others… except when your homophobic, racist, sexist father denies you the chance for happiness with your same-sex, darker-skinned partner based on his own twisted version of “loving” you.
Love is not self-seeking… except when you are so despondent that you love your partner extra hard because you know that without him, you might not make it to morning…
Love is not easily angered… except when it is taken away violently and forever, and you must rage against it because it hurts too much to let go.
Love keeps no record of wrongs… except to use as ammunition the next time you feel like you deserve a pedicure and your husband complains of the cost, so you throw back in his face the time he spent $40 on fishing lures for a trip that he never even went on.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth… except when you let your children excitedly jabber on about Santa and the Easter Bunny because their excitement is so contagious that you just have to join in with them and write your own letter to St Nick.
Love always protects… except when you’re walking beside a puddle and your son thinks it’s hilarious to push you over in it.
Love always trusts… except when your daughter won’t believe you when you promise you’ve killed all the dust bunnies and monsters under her bed, and she insists on sleeping in YOUR bed instead.
Love always hopes… except when the only hope you have left is that your grandpa can die with dignity instead of succumbing to endless months of not knowing who he is or who is with him while those he has always been strong for have to see him being cleaned and dressed by nurses in a home.
Love always perseveres… except when the only choice is to let him go because you know you love him enough to let him be happy with her.