“First Corinthians 13 is one of the best-known passages in all of Paul - partly, I suspect, because many couples still choose to have it read in public at their wedding, though if they reflected on it line by line they might find it quote a daunting challenge:Thanks for the continual “tough love” Julie! I love you!
Love is great-hearted; love is kind,
knows no jealousy, makes no fuss,
not puffed up, no shameless ways,
doesn’t force its rightful claim;
doesn’t rage, or bear a grudge,
doesn’t cheer at others’ harm,
rejoices, rather, in the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things;
love hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails...
Fair enough to hold before yourselves that astonishing portrait. But don’t imagine that you can just step into it on a cheerful sunny morning and stay effortlessly forever. The last lines tell their own story: bearing, believing, hoping, enduring, never failing - all these speak of moments, hours, days, and perhaps years when there will be things to bear, things to believe against apparent evidence, things to hope for which are not seen at present, things to endure, things which threaten to make love fail. The phrase ‘tough love’ now sounds hackneyed, a relic of social debates from the day before yesterday. But the love of which Paul speaks is tough. In fact, it’s the toughest thing there is.” (N.T. Wright, After You Believe)
I couldn’t help but quote N.T. Wright’s commentary on 1 Cor. 13 (our wedding passage), on this our 8th wedding anniversary. I’m so thankful to be married to my wonderful wife Julie. It’s been a great journey so far!